Today a short article sharing something I've learned in my quest for self betterment.
Do not eat snacks
It's as simple as that.
I used to love eating crisps (what you Americans call "chips") or popcorn while watching some TV movies most evenings. This was often with a significant other, but not always. You get into these habits of having something tasty to eat while watching things. It makes it more enjoyable.
You might also have some biscuits or crisps during the day at work with tea or coffee. This can provide you with a little pick me up and breaks up the day. For any ex-smokers too, this is something one often replaces cigarette breaks with.
But I've come to realise that while enjoyable, this kind of eating is mindless. It does not contribute to my personal health goals. Part of those goals is a general calorific reduction, and so this is an easy one. I also want an increase in food quality, and most snacks I ate were low in nutritional quality.
I did replace "bad" snacks with "good" snack to begin with. But then I thought about it from a psychological point of view. I have realised that I tend to comfort eat, and this is a habit I want to break. If I have a stressful day or very bad argument, that evening I tend to want takeaway or to reach for snacks. Everyone needs to be comforted from time to time, and emotionally cared for. But using food and especially snacks to do this is unhealthy mentally.
Now I only eat three times a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating at specific times trains my body to expect food and reduces hunger at other times. I'm making sure that I get what I need at these times and I don't bother eating while watching anything at all now.
Exceptions to the rule
There are generally some exceptions to any rule, and this is no different.
- Long outdoor exercise. For example, a day of hiking. You can use much more energy than a normal day so it's encouraged to snack at rest points and afterward.
- Parties. when at parties where there is food or snacks it is fine to have a taste of what's there. This includes family events like Christmas time and birthdays, or fancy art or wedding receptions. It is best if these parties don't happen too often though of course.
- When ill. Eating schedules can go all over the place when you have a cold or flu. It's not a good idea to eat junk food when sick, but not keeping to regular eating might be expected.
If you have any more ideas of exceptions I'll add them if there's still time to edit.
What do you think? Too strict or a good practice?
In one of my last posts I said I was going to try to post ever other day, and then I dropped off the face of the Earth! I actually fell ill so it was terrible timing. As we say in Ireland, that's Murphy's Law. I'm going to try to start up this challenge again. For the moment you should know I'm suitably embarrassed by not fulfilling it so far.