Last night I got home and settled at about 7pm. I didn’t have dinner prepared but I did have about 3 lbs of ground beef in the refrigerator that needed to be cooked. Patrick started cooking the ground beef, I started boiling some rice. We found whole peppers that we hadn’t cut up yet so we decided to throw together a last minute meal of stuffed peppers.
They were amazing!
The problem was, they weren’t ready until after 8pm. Uhm, can you say hangry?! I scarfed 2 stuffed peppers down like it was nobody’s business. I ate so much so fast. By the time I went to bed I definitely felt my body telling me that I overdid it. I lay in bed uncomfortably full and trying to fall asleep. It was a rocky night of sleep, to say the least.
You have to find wins in any situation. There is always something you could have done worse, and always something to learn.
1st win: I didn’t get fast food. I did end up cooking. 2nd Win: I learned. Feeling this way, rushing to eat, reinforced the need for what we spoke about yesterday in our blog post – Step 1: Plan, Prioritize and Prepare. You see, I had the food at home, but since I didn’t have it prepped and prepared, I ended up eating dinner at 8pm. Which led to me not being able to regulate my eating behaviors. Which led to me being uncomfortable when trying to sleep. See how it all ties together?
Eat Slowly and Mindfully
The reason I felt disgusting when I went to bed is not that I ate too late at night. It’s that I ate too much, too fast. By the time my brain received the cues that I was full, I had probably eaten 150% of what I should have. If you are looking to gain weight, this is great. For me, not so much.
When you eat slowly and mindfully you give your body time to tell your brain you are full. You walk away from the table satisfied and your body is better equipped to properly digest and use all of that food to build muscles vs build up additional fat.
The best way to do this is to be sure you have food ready to go. This is why we spend so much time on Step 1 with our nutrition clients. You can be great at everything else, but if the food isn’t ready to go by the time you are ready to eat, it all falls apart.
In order to eat slower, there are some tactics you can use. You can set a meal timer – say 15 to 20 minutes – and eat slow enough for it to take that long. Or you can eat as fast as your slowest eater – queue your finicky child, they can actually help you on this one!
Listen to Your Body
You don’t have to eat on a schedule. It’s true. Back in the day they didn’t have breakfast at 7am, lunch at noon and dinner at 6pm. They ate when they were hungry. The way we run ourselves ragged, it’s highly likely that you have lost the ability to notice when you are getting hungry. You know when you are either completely stuffed or starving. We need to learn to live in the grey again.
Take mini hunger checks throughout the day. Close your eyes and pay attention to your body. Are you hungry? Do you notice your stomach growling or are you bored? Do you feel like you might be getting hangry or is it just a normal Tuesday with your boss?
Eat when you are hungry and eat until you are about 80% full.
Try these tactics for a few days and let me know how it works for you. Want more information now? Come meet with us!
Tomorrow we will talk about why so many people count calories and macros and why it might not be right for you.