Do you ever feel like once you start snacking, you can’t stop? Like, once your hand goes into the popcorn bag, you’re done for? Or once you eat a cookie, you need to eat 5?! I totally know what that feels like because I used to feel the exact same way. Food had total control over me and I had zero control over food. And it sucked. So if you’re struggling like I was, read on, because my Triple A strategy is gonna rock your world!
The Triple A Method = Anticipate, Acknowledge, Allow.
It’s important to know when the Snack Monster hits. For example, if you’ve made a habit of walking in the door after a long day and know that’s when you normally head straight for the kitchen, start anticipating the urge to snack or eatinstead of wishing and hoping it won’t happen that day.When we anticipate something, we won’t be blindsided by it, which means we can be prepared. So, instead of driving home wishing the cravings won’t happen, crossing our fingers that it won’t hit and using all our willpower to resist the it, simply know that it’s going to happen. Say to yourself “OK, I’m about to get home and I know I usually go straight to the kitchen…What can I do differently today?”
Another important step in breaking the over-snacking habit is knowing why we over-snack in the first place. The moment we begin acknowledging our feelings, especially those which trigger the snack monster to come out (usually stress, anxiety, loneliness, sadness), we can begin to practice hitting pause before opening the bag of chips or tub of ice cream and make a more mindful decision of “Ok, I’m stressed out, that’s why I want to eat this stuff…” or “Will this help me feel less stressed/anxious/lonely, or not?”
Lastly, we need to allow the urge in and allow it to happen instead of fighting it. The more we try to resist it, fight it, and tell ourselves “no,” the stronger the craving will feel and the harder it will be to abstain. So, let’s say the urge comes, you allow it in. Now you have three options:
1) You can give into the urge and eat.
2) You can fight and resist the urge and use willpower, and most likely breakdown and resort to choice #1.
3) You can surf the urge until it passes, because it will, most people just don’t give themselves enough time for it to pass. Get busy doing something and you’ll most likely forget you wanted to eat in the first place.
Remember, you always get to choose whether you want to really eat or not, but having some simple strategies in your tool belt, like the Triple A Method, will help you make the best choice at the time with more ease!