Tricks To Make It Stick
Below you will see the different types of tricks you can do and doing these are crucial for success. The more Tricks to Make It Stick you do throughout the day, the quicker you’ll become a Peaceful Eater.
Each time you do one, you prove to yourself that you don’t have to give into your impulses. That leads to trust and faith in yourself which we often don’t have as compulsive overeaters.
I suggest you aim for a minimum of 5 Tricks To Make It Stick per day if possible.
Below are some examples of Tricks To Make It Stick, by category:
Putting off a meal or a snack instead of eating it immediately
Why Is This Important?
As binge/emotional/compulsive overeaters, we normally turn to food as soon as we think of it. Maybe we get triggered by something or someone. Or maybe we’re bored or lonely and eating becomes our impulsive, go to habit to soothe ourselves.
By delaying satisfaction, you are doing the opposite of giving into your impulse which puts you in control of your actions instead of feeling like you're powerless to your urges.
Putting a pause in between your thoughts and your actions is so empowering!
Some Examples of Delaying Satisfaction
Here are some examples from my own life that I use to do the opposite of giving into the impulse. It is simple to do and shows me just how mindfully I can eat which feels great!
I put off breakfast until after my morning walk. Since I still wasn’t that hungry, I had a phone call with a friend and then ate.
I waited to eat my popcorn until I was actually hungry, instead of just eating it right after lunch when I was tempted but full from lunch.
I thought of having my dinner smoothie at 3:30 but knew that it would leave me with too many hours left in the day and I might get too hungry later on so I waited until 5:00 to have the smoothie.
Scale It Down
Choosing to have less of an amount of food than you would normally eat
Why Is This Important?
A big part of the problem as compulsive overeaters we face is portion control. When we love the taste of something, we often overindulge mindlessly, even though we know we’ll feel disgusting afterwards.
So in this case, the impulse is normally to keep eating past fullness until we end up in a food coma berating ourselves and promising to “be good” tomorrow. Sound familiar?
But, by choosing to have a little less of something, we are still eating the food we want so we won't feel deprived, but we are proving to ourselves that we have a say in how much we actually eat.
Doing that feels great!
Some Examples of Scaling It Down
Here are some examples from my own life that I do which is the opposite of giving into the impulse. It puts a space in between my thoughts and my actions which gives me back control over my behaviors.
I love oil free, unsalted popcorn. I normally have ½ a bag of it as a snack. One day, I was in the mood for the whole bag. But I realized that if I ate that extra ½ a bag, I wouldn’t be happy when it was over so I didn’t.
I had 10 grapes in my salad instead of my normal 16 because I didn’t feel I needed as many.
I was tempted to have a medium sized smoothie at Smoothie King but realized I would be happier and satisfied enough if I had a small one.
Out to dinner one night, the portion of starch they gave me was HUGE. I knew I wouldn’t be happy (afterwards) if I ate the whole thing, so I gave half to my husband.
Out to lunch one day, in the chickpea, quinoa bowl I ordered, they gave me ½ an avocado. I normally eat ¼ each day in my salad. I didn’t need that extra ¼ to be satisfied, so I gave it to my husband. I also left over some of the quinoa because I had enough.
Eating only what you are truly in the mood for
Why Is This Important?
One problem I find is that as compulsive overeaters, we eat without actually asking our body what it really wants. For example, what are we in the mood for? Is it crunchy? Salty? Sweet? Creamy? Etc.
But if we don’t know what our body is actually asking for, we often go from food to food until we finally get to what our body needs.
Sometimes it's a nutrient, a temperature, a texture or a flavor that our body is wanting and until we tune in, we just aren't aware of how to give it what it wants.
This can lead to consuming a tremendous amount of extra food/calories because eventually, we will end up eating what we are really wanting but that can be after 3 or 4 other foods we ate first to try to satisfy us.
Some Examples of Choosing Wisely
For this category, I'm going to share my favorite example which came from a client Lizzy a few years ago.
Lizzy told me that she asked herself what she was in the mood for and what came to her was "I want something warm and creamy."
Her first thought was to have chili. She waited a minute and realized that was not really want she wanted.
Then she thought "oh, I know...I want oatmeal." A minute or 2 later she realized that wasn't it either!
Next, the idea of pizza came to her and she contemplated that as well, only to realize again, that wasn't going to hit the spot either.
Finally, it hit her...she wanted grilled cheese! Plain and simple that was it for her. She ate it and was satisfied and comfortable.
Had Lizzy not thought all of this through, she would likely have gone from chili to oatmeal, to pizza until she finally landed on what she truly wanted and would have eventually eaten the grilled cheese too.
Just think of how many calories Lizzy saved by choosing wisely.
Handling situations that arise in ways that will keep you feeling in control with your eating
Why Is This Important?
Who among us has not found themself out and about sometimes, feeling starving, and notice that the only options anywhere in sight are places like Burger King or Taco Bell?
It becomes so easy to give into the temptation of eating at those places out of sheer hunger, only to feel bloated and upset afterwards.
Or just think about all of the situations you can find yourself in be it at a dinner party, a wedding, a work event, etc. where you could easily give into temptation and feel miserable.
This is when you have the opportunity to plan ahead so you won't end up in a vulnerable situation.
Some Examples of Situation Solutions
Here are some examples from my own life that I use to do the opposite of giving into the impulse. It puts a space in between my thoughts and my actions which gives me back control over my behaviors.
If I know I’m going out shopping or will be out for a number of hours, I bring snacks or a meal with me so I won’t feel vulnerable.
Sometimes things take longer than we think, and we don’t want to just wing it, without looking out for the possibility that we will get overly hungry and have poor options to choose from.
I went to a dinner party and knew there would be nothing I’d be happy eating so I asked the hostess if I could bring a dish (something I knew I was in the mood for and would be happy eating).
I made my salad at 9:30 in the morning, because I had a lot going on, and knew I wouldn’t be able to start making it until 1:00 if I waited.
By that time, I would have been ravenous (my salad takes a half hour to make) so I made sure it was ready for me at 1:00 when I would be able to eat.
I ate some carrots and an orange before going to yoga class because I didn’t want to come home starving and feeling vulnerable.