Snacking and overeating is one of the main reasons people fail to lose weight.

Do you ever feel out of control with food, only wanting a handful, and then before it’s too late you have finished off the bag? You repeat this cycle night after night or weekend after weekend and can’t seem to get a handle on it.

Maybe you’re even one of those people who has a vision of a healthier slimmer self, and ended up setting a goal that you were genuinely excited about! And then… fell short. Why does it become so hard to reach that goal you are genuinely motivated about? Why is it so hard to stay on track?

This article may be helpful if:

  • You’re following a food plan that doesn’t include treats, and suddenly, they became ALL you can think about. You find yourself rummaging through the cupboards every night, and going off the rails every weekend.
  • You’re trying to beat your cravings into submission, and it simply results in feeling completely defeated when you cave in.
  • You know what you have to do but you’re not sure how you’ll finally be successful after so many failed attempts.

When it comes to over-snacking, you may be doing it out of habit, because you’re bored, hungry, or dealing with emotions. Either way, it can seem impossible to get a handle on it when you keep fighting against yourself. I call this : Mindless Munching. The act of eating almost unconsciously, and in a way that isn’t consistent with your how you’d like to eat and live.

 In my experience, I’ve found that three major myths contribute to the cycle of Mindless Munching (overeat, restrict and repeat) that so many people experience. I’m going to debunk those myths for you, and show you how to replace them with truly effective practices that will help you get out of the snacking cycle, and have you reaching your goals more consistently.

Myth #1: You Have No Self Control 

We are taught to fight against ourselves.

To illustrate, some of the really popular fitness quotes out there include shaming sayings like “Being Fit Is Hard. Being Fat Is Hard. Pick Your Hard.” or “Nothing Tastes as Good As Skinny Feels.”

These “No Excuses” messages teach us that we are the problem, and we need more self-control and more willpower to be successful. When in fact, willpower and self-control have very little to do with success. When you’re exerting self-control and willpower, you’re fighting against yourself and your environment.  This is not sustainable. Relying on willpower and self-control is really setting yourself up for failure because most of us have none left by the time nighttime and weekends roll around. Pretty much anyone who’s tired and has a bag of chips in front of them would overeat.

A better strategy involves eliminating the need for willpower by setting up a supportive healthy environment, and learning skills to deal with automatic snacking habits.

The goal will be to slow down, tune in, and listen to your cravings. This can help you create a new pattern in those moments you usually oversnack. When you stop blaming yourself and work with yourself instead,  you gain an opportunity to learn more about yourself and grow.

Set your home up for success by getting rid of any trigger foods if you can. Next time you have a craving, ask yourself why. Write it down on a piece of paper. Then decide what you’ll do next.

Myth # 2: You Need To Be Perfect

True. You may need to improve some habits.

But that doesn’t mean you need to be perfect.

In fact, aiming for “perfect” will hold you back from moving forward. We all consciously know we’re imperfect. However, a perfectionist person tends to:

  • Feel dissatisfied with their efforts. It feels like it’s never quite good enough: “Why can’t you just smarten up and be perfect”
  • Analyze every meal and move causing stress, anxiety and frustration: “That bite of pie I hate yesterday will be the death of me”
  • Reaches for unrealistic body goals or behaviour goals: “I’ll never ever touch cake again if I have to”

And eventually, perfectionism leads to so much frustration and anxiety, the goal is never reached and wouldn’t be enough if reached anyway. 

A few resources I recommend for a perfectionist mindset include Self Compassion website by Dr. Kristin Neff, and The Gift of Imperfection by Brené Brown.

And on a final note, YES, I think it’s great to aim for improvement, and becoming your best self–you just can’t afford to waste your potential trying to be perfect. None of us will ever be. Celebrate all of your efforts, big and small.

Myth #3 You Need To Ignore Your Cravings 

I used to believe that healthy and fit people simply didn’t have cravings or didn’t enjoy junk food.

That’s not true. Instead, They LISTEN to their cravings.

Ignoring your cravings by restricting and depriving is in fact a major predictor for binge eating, overeating and weight gain. Listening to your mind, your body, and working WITH it rather than against it will support you in a massive way. Are you having a craving? Why? Are you actually bored? What could you do instead of automatically reacting and eating?

Even if you’ve been unsuccessful with improving your habits in the past, and you feel that you’ll never be able to free yourself from the control food has over you, you CAN start changing your life, by implementing the strategies proven to work that I’m about to share with you.

I’ve created a free Guide to help you stop Mindless Munching.

My wish for you is to end the yo-yo, and instead learn how to feel your best all week and year round.

I’ve described 3 Steps to help you stay on track, and start making progress on your goals. Click here to download your free copy.