Monday, 16 July 2012

Non-hungry eating

I've been doing a lot of non hungry eating lately. I've been busy and stressed and I'd lost my copy of "If not dieting, then what?" so I hadn't had a chance to stop and step back and think about why. Today I went for a walk and devoted the whole time to just thinking about the reasons I've been non-hungry eating lately. I realised that it wasn't just one reason but a combination of things as a result of my lifestyle and social life lately as well as emotional reasons.

Lifestyle factors:
- I've been staying up late most nights, to midnight or later, because of social life
- The late nights mean I struggle to get out of bed early enough in the morning and then I barely have time to get dressed and catch the train let alone stop to have breakfast
- Breakfast then involves a coffee on the way to work and a muesli bar or another snack once I get to work. Then I'll have another snack mid morning usually either when I'm hungry from not having a good enough breakfast or even if I'm not hungry.
- I've had two friends working with me at my office as casuals so we always get lunch together. Because of all my late nights I never have time to pack a lunch so I usually end up buying something with them. Most of the time it's something that makes me feel full or gross later. I think I get influenced with them to buy things I don't really feel like or are just easier. A lot of the time I think "Ill bring my lunch tomorrow, so I can eat something really indulgent today" (On the flip side, my friend and I had begun a regular routine of a 3pm coffee break but one day we decided to go for a walk instead because we didn't want coffee but still wanted a break. Now we've started to go for a short walk round the block instead of the coffee break.)
- A group of friends I see a couple of times a week to watch their basketball games all go to McDonalds after the game so at least two nights a week I am eating McDonalds with them, late at night. Even if I've eaten dinner already. I think seeing all of them eat and smelling it makes me want it too even if I didn't really feel like it in the first place.
- All those factors mean I'm not stopping to check what I really feel like and I'm going through a cycle of just going out a lot and eating for convenience and snacking whilst not hungry along the way.
- I've been sick for the past month and I've done hardly any activity as a result because I've been too sick/tired and didn't want to delay the process of getting better by exerting myself too much
- Not doing activity makes it harder to tell when I'm hungry and full

Emotional factors:
- I eat more when I'm procrastinating and I've been procrastinating a lot lately from looking for a new job
- Work has made me stressed and I think I've been eating to try and make myself feel better (doesn't work obviously)
- Tiredness skews my ability to perceive hunger and fullness properly

Overall it's just been a vicious cycle lately but I'm glad I've had a chance to stop and look at the reasons behind my eating behaviour of late. Now I'm going to think of ways I can go about some behavioural changes to help reduce my non hungry eating.

- Put muesli in a container I can take to work so I can eat it there
- Get up 10 mins earlier so I have time for breakfast
- Put dinner leftovers in containers whenever I can to take to work
- Make a stir fry on the weekend and put in portions to take to work
- When going to McDonalds with friends, have something smaller if I'm not hungry, or just a coffee
- Asking myself if I would really enjoy the food before I eat
- Concentrating on eating slowly and being aware of enjoyment of food

I think that last one will be my goal for tomorrow, to try whenever I eat. I've already got lunch in a container to take to work tomorrow and I'm going to bed early tonight for once! So I should be able to wake up early enough to have some breakfast before work. :-)