overeating

Break up with nighttime overeating: Steps 1 & 2

Do you end up eating more - or differently - than you wanted to after the sun goes down?



This is verrrrry common for a number of reasons. Today, I want to focus on the biggest reason: willpower.


You may have heard me talk about this before. In fact, you may notice that I talk about many of the same concepts often if you've been hanging out with me for a while. The truth is, these things aren't always the sexiest and don't always work as clickbait, but they are real, important, and necessary to address for any and all health transformations to occur.


YOU ARE NOT LACKING WILLPOWER! Seriously, you're not. For argument's sake, let's say we all each start the day with the same 20 willpower 'points'. Every decision you make uses up a point. Skipping the doughnut in the break room, biting your tongue when your boss pissed you off, deciding whether or not to honk the horn when the jerk cut you off on your drive home...point, point, point. We make so many decisions throughout the day (more than we even consciously register), that by the end of a long day, we're all depleted of willpower!


Have you ever noticed that it becomes harder throughout the day to say no to your favorite sweet treat? Have you had those days where you put off your workout 'til nighttime only to skip it in the end and tell yourself you'll do it tomorrow instead? Willpower depleted!


So when it comes to planning for your success, part of your plan needs to include what to do when you're not actually able to stick to your original commitment to yourself. Rather than hope it'll be different tomorrow, "trying" again, or resisting this fact, let's learn how to work WITH the way our brain works.


I want to share 2 important steps in doing just that with you today. There is no video attached in today’s blog because I made a mistake and didn't end up saving my latest video workshop. Oops. But that's ok! I'm still going to give you all of the information today. ;-) If you do prefer to watch or listen instead of reading this, head over to my facebook page and look for last Wednesday's live video recording.


STEP 1:


Think ahead to the time when you normally start feeling out of control with your food choices. This is around 8 or 9 PM for most people, but can occur at other times as well. What are you usually feeling at that time?

  • Tired?

  • Stressed?

  • Overwhelmed?

  • Anxious?

  • Needing a break?

  • Wanting to 'unwind?



Next, ask yourself how you're hoping the food will make you feel in that moment. Are you hoping it will give you a needed break? Help you relax? Numb a certain emotion?



***Important to remember: The only thing food can actually solve for you is physical hunger. Any other feeling or emotion can only be temporarily distracted by food - not solved!



Lastly, ask yourself what you can plan ahead of time to do instead of reaching for the food that will help you feel the way you're looking to feel.
It's important that you plan for this ahead of time, because in the moment, you won't want to have any obstacles in the way. They will only act as a deterrent.


Examples: Call a friend (put it on your calendar), read a book (have it out on the nightstand), watch a show on the DVR without a snack or with a healthy option you choose in advance, go for a walk, listen to a podcast, journal, meditate, have relations with your partner.... ;-) Anything (other than overeating) that will help you get to that end goal of relaxation, unwinding, calming down, or getting the break you deserve.



STEP 2:

Delayed gratification. We all have a toddler brain and an adult brain. (These are actual parts of our brains, but obviously not the technical terms.) Our toddler brain wants what it wants, when it wants....just like a real toddler! But our adult brain actually has reasoning capability. Our adult brain can make plans and decisions that serve our greatest good, not just what feels best right now.

When we have the urge to overeat / stress eat / binge eat, it's our toddler brain requesting it. And guess what? It's probably pretty used to getting what it wants by now, right?

No worries! Here's how we start to discipline our toddler brain: we delay our gratification. Next time your brain asks you for a gallon of ice cream at 8:00, give it ice cream at 8:05 or 8:10 instead. You will likely still eat the same thing. You'll likely still overeat. AND THAT'S OK because you've starting doing really important work in rewiring your brain!

That toddler brain will stop thinking it's always going to get what it wants, when it wants it. Eventually it will stop being so bratty. And at some point, you'll be able to delay gratification for long enough that you may end up choosing NOT to eat the ice cream at all. BIG WIN!

These 2 tools are considered steps 1 & 2 in breaking up with nighttime overeating because they are so effective and foundational! Try these tonight - or whenever your toddler brain throws its next tantrum.


Talk soon,
Tara


P.S. Every week I share more content than I could possibly put into a blog on social media. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and / or Instagram for more tips and free resources.

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Are you tired of the weekday restriction / weekend indulgence cycle?

Happy Monday!

Or should I say, "Happy 3.5 days until it's weekend mode"?!

If you're like many of the ladies I talk to, you might find yourself stuck in a weekday restriction / weekend indulgence cycle.

This is you if you recommit to a "plan" every Monday that's unmanageable enough to have you breaking up with said plan by week's end. Then one happy hour, a baby shower, and a big Sunday dinner leaves you feeling bloated and unhappy with your affinity to overdue it every. single. weekend.

Or maybe you're experiencing shorter cycles - daily cycles. You restrict most of the day only to find yourself out of control by the time the sun goes down.

There are many reasons for this happening and, thankfully, many tools we can put in place to be able to take back control. Side note: make sure you're popping inside my Facebook group, Healthy, Fit, & Strong with Tara Allen Health often so you don't miss any of these tools!

For today's purpose, I want to focus on one, important tool…MODERATION.

Moderation is a word we hear tossed around all the time and often think it's for those of us who are already at our goals, right? Like, can you possibly practice moderation AND STILL make more progress?

Yup!

In fact, you'll be making it much easier to reach your goals if you practice moderation.

Moderation in this case means allowing some "fun foods" into the mix on any day that ends in a "y" if you feel like it.

Moderation means no foods are off limits (unless, of course, it's an allergy or sensitivity that will make you feel like garbage - totally not worth it).

But just because something might be higher in calories, or more rich, or higher in carbs…it doesn't mean it should be shunned Monday through Thursday only for you to be left pining for it come Friday night. I see you chocolate, wine, chips and dip, ice cream...

Is there a way you can nourish your body and also allow a little flexibility for some things that you really enjoy?

If this is something you struggle with, you're like 90% of the people I know. ;-) Leave a comment below and let me know. I'd love to help you get to a place where you're not just comfortable with moderation, but you enjoy it and thrive with it.

In health + happiness,
Tara

Overeating, stress eating, emotional eating, binge eating...it's more than the weight!

Why is it that you can stick to your plan - or at least reasonable portion sizes - alllllll the way until about 8 PM?
Is there a magic switch that goes off at 8 PM that tells your brain to crave all the things?

Well yeah….kinda.

If you have been overeating - eating more than your body requires for fuel - it's likely that your brain is now on autopilot. You may tell yourself tonight is the night you'll eat nothing after dinner or munch on carrot sticks and hummus only to find your hand seemingly betraying you as it reaches for the chips and ice cream.

Here's the great news: Most of the day, you're not overeating. If someone put chips in front of you at 6 AM, you're probably going to push away the bowl. Do the chips taste any different at that time of day? Nope! But you are simply not in the habit of overeating, binge eating, or emotional eating at that time.

CHECK OUT MY LATEST VIDEO where I dive into this topic even more. Listen out for the 4 questions I mention towards the end that will help you stop your next overeating episode in its track.

This stuff takes practice…and patience, but it is absolutely possible to create new habits that will help you reach your goals.

Oh, and did you know your seasonal allergies may be related to your overeating? I explain that and more in this week's video.

In good health,
Tara

P.S. If you need some help in overcoming a long habit of overeating (or stress eating, emotional eating, binge eating…), let me know. I'd love to schedule a free phone consultation to chat about your goals and how I may be able to help you.

I currently have a beta tester's special going on in which you can receive health coaching, nutrition coaching, AND fitness coaching all for under $100 a month. It's a new program version that's not open to the public yet, so I need some testers for feedback and case studies. Hence, the extra-awesome pricing. ;-) But there are only a couple of spots available and we start very soon! So email me (Tara@TaraAllenHealth.com) and let's get you on a customized, NON-restrictive plan!

The 4 reasons you eat (yup, there are ONLY 4!)

When it comes to losing weight, you MUST treat the cause...or the results will be temporary!
— Tara

Here's the deal...diets are bandaids.  They are NOT getting to the root cause of why you are overweight.  They are NOT teaching you anything except for how to conform to someone else's rules for a set amount of time.  And?  The weight comes right back...and then some.

Boo!

But there's good news too...

There are ONLY 4 reasons why you ever eat.  You may eat for 2 or more of these reasons at a time, but it will ALWAYS fit into at least one of the following reasons:

1) Fuel.  You're physically hungry and want to fuel your body with healthy foods.  Cool!

2) Joy.  You want the pleasure of the way something tastes or the experience (social, usually).  This can be a glass of wine, some dark chocolate, or your favorite cupcake or ice cream.  There is a time and place for this in our lives.  Frequency of the indulgence should depend on your goals.

Goals are dreams with a deadline. Treat them as such.
— Tara

3) Distraction.  You really need a break or to veg out.  You think you deserve _______ (insert junk food here) because you've been working hard all week.  You find yourself at the bottom of a bag of chips and don't remember eating them all!  You will recognize this as feeling out-of-body - like you're in a fog while you're eating.

4) Numbing.  You're avoiding feeling sad, angry, bored, lonely, frustrated, stuck, powerless, etc.  This gets deep.  And, this one means that when you stop overeating, you will HAVE to start to accept feeling your feelings and not resisting them.  It takes us just as much energy to resist our feelings as it does to just feel them and carry on.  Wowza!  You will recognize this category as binge eating...lots of food in a small window of time.  It will feel as though it's out of your control.  But, it's not.  There's that good news I mentioned!

Once you become aware, things can start to change.  Awareness alone can be a powerful change agent.

Check out this live video I did on facebook last week all about this topic.

If you're feeling like you're ready for a change, let's make a change!  Consider me your tour guide.  Check out my customized, all-online (no appointments necessary), one-on-one coaching program - Pioneer Nutrition and Fitness Coaching.  ***This is only for those that are serious about making a change and who are ready to experience the added benefits of boosted energy, healthy emotions, and overall wellness that will come with their weight loss.

In good health,

Tara

P.S. Are you inside of my private facebook group yet?  If so, "see" you there!  If not, why not!? You will get a community of like-minded women, challenges to participate in if you wish, healthy recipes, and weekly workouts...all for FREE!  ;-)  Join us!

Why am I overeating?

What were you like as a child?

This question fascinates me because it tells me about your childhood, your memories, your priorities, but also much more than that.  It gives me a little window into the way you view things. Chances are, if you speak negatively about yourself as a child now, you're probably often speaking negatively to yourself as an adult.

  • Circumstances trigger thoughts. 
  • Thoughts create feelings.
  • Feelings lead to actions (or inaction or reaction).
  • And action (or inaction or reaction) lead to a result.

"Great, Tara, but I thought you were a health coach...not a therapist." (insert eye-roll here).  ;-)

Yup...exactly!  I'm a health coach.  I deal with nutrition and fitness and lifestyle changes.  But really, truly what I deal with is people.  The WHOLE person.  Because becoming healthier, losing weight, gaining confidence, lower your blood sugar...these are require a change in thought to be able to end up with a changed result.  It's not a quick or easy fix, but it IS a permanent fix!

I want you to absorb this.  This is big and it may require you to open your mind and allow yourself to see things differently.  Circumstances are just facts.  They are the things that happen with NO judgements placed on them.  It is our thoughts that follow that label things "good", "bad", "mean", or a "problem".  Those thoughts then trigger a feeling - sad, frustrated, happy, angry.  The feeling makes us take action, NOT take action, or REact.  And THAT action, brings us directly to our results.  

What's empowering about this is that so much of what we think is out of our control is in fact, very much in our control.

I'm overweight. I overeat.  I can't stop overeating.  It just happens.  Why does this have to happen to me?  Why do I have to have this body?  I don't want to be deprived or hungry.  I don't overeat, my metabolism is broken.

Does ANY of that sound familiar?  It's a snippet of the stream of thought I hear from so many women!  When we take on the role of the victim and place the control outside of ourselves, it's easier to check out and not face our emotions.  The only problem food can solve is hunger.  Almost every person I know (including myself) has tried to solve problems other than hunger with food at least once or twice or way more than that.

The good news is that it IS in our control to stop the cycle.  It will mean that we have to feel the things we were trying to avoid feeling by overeating, though.  It won't be easy or totally comfortable.  It WILL get easier as you get curious about yourself and allow yourself to feel the full spectrum of feelings.

Who says we're always supposed to feel happiness, anyway?  We're humans and we have a mixed bag of emotions.

If you are overweight - whether you are currently gaining weight or simply maintaining a weight that is more than you believe to be healthy - it means you're overeating.  Overeating simply means eating more than your body needs to maintain your desired level of health.  Quite often we need FAR less food to maintain our optimal health than we think, so we assume something is wrong with us.  We assume our metabolism is broken.  It's not.

If you eat when you're hungry and stop when you no longer feel that hunger, you'll have eaten enough.  If you still want food after you are no longer feeling hungry, then you are using food as a comfort for something else.  We have ALL done it.  No shame.  No guilt.  Just love and curiosity for yourself and what you might actually need besides the extra food.

Overeating doesn't mean you overeat at every meal, or everyday, or even every week.  It can look like this: You eat like a bird all day or all week and then finish a whole bag of chips and a handful of cookies because your willpower ran out.  Or, you end up ordering lots of food at a restaurant, but only on your "cheat" day (I really dislike that term, by the way!).  It comes in many forms.  But, if you are gaining unwanted weight or maintaining a weight that is more than you'd like for your health, then overeating according to what YOUR body needs is happening at some point. 

This is good.  This is great, actually!  Why?  Well, this means YOU are in control.  You CAN and will be able to improve your health and lose weight once you allow yourself to cure the root cause rather than treat the symptoms (such as going on a "diet").

This might have struck a cord with you.  And I owe it to you to share it with you anyway because I'm here to help, not to hide information from you that might ruffle your feathers a bit.  I hope you can understand that.  :-)

In good health,

Tara

P.S. If you're feeling really lost or confused, please, please, PLEASE send me an email at Tara@TaraAllenHealth.com so we can chat.  You have the ultimate control over your health and life.