You're tired, you're stressed and you swear your to-do list is never ending. Someone always seems to want something and you still haven't had time to rinse that blouse that's been soaking for longer than a day.
All of these things can lead even those with the best intentions to reach for a pizza or chips, mindlessly eating until they think they feel better. Not surprisingly, overeating often makes people feel worse.
Read on for some ways to conquer your overeating, according to the founder of TIFFXO, Tiffiny Hall:
Don’t confuse hunger with being thirsty
Sometimes when we think we're hungry we're actually lacking some of that H2O goodness - and you need to drink more. Our brains get confused and think we're asking for sugar when really what we need is a tall, handsome glass of water. When you eat sugary things you're stimulating your appetite and dehydration, where as water keeps that appetite regulated and can even suppress it. Don't waste your day on drinking your calories, as they are easy to over do as they don't provide the same sense of feeling full. Stay away from the night time vino, fruit juices and soft drinks and keep them to an occasional treat and keep on with the water. Need a bit more inspiration to drink up on the good stuff? Add in some fruit or cucumber slices and feel a little bit fancy.
Eat the rainbow
Make sure you're eating real, whole, unprocessed foods in your everyday diet. Embrace vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, olive oils and don't be afraid of the good fats like avocado and salmon. Start your day off right with an eggsellent idea rise and shine and get some protein into your morning - I like eggs (like my TIFFXO Breakfast Hash) or some yoghurt. Protein helps keeps you fuller for longer and keeps your blood sugars levels balanced.
Your mind health is super dooper connected to your gut health. You need to be in a relaxed (as possible) state of mind for your gut's nervous system to work properly. When you're stressed you can't digest your food properly and those stress hormones slow down your metabolism. It's time to tune into your body and stop zoning out when you eat (leading to overeating).
Before you start eating your meal or snack, pause and ensure you're actually hungry before you start noshing (remember that ol' confusing hunger for thirst trick). When it is time to eat, make sure you're bringing your full attention to the experience (taste, smell, textures, colours) and be present while eating. You'll start recognising your body's "full" signals and appreciate the impact different foods have on your body.
No more dining el desko either. When you eat when you're distracted with work/ tv/ internet the signal saying "you're full" doesn't get to you properly when you're too busy being distracted with that latest spreadsheet. Turn off the devices around you - you'll be surprised the difference it makes.
Next stop: Sleep City
Make sure you're getting enough shut eye every night. Not getting enough sleep can stimulate those appetite hormones, so you'll find yourself mindless snacking and choosing richer foods for comfort. Allow yourself a regular bedtime letting some fresh air into the room. Have a 'no screens' rule 30 mins before bed, enjoy a cup of chamomile tea and settle in.
Don't let your lack of planning get the better of you. If you know you have a long day ahead, make sure you pack a snack and a piece of fruit so you don't have an excuse to visit old mate Vending Machine. Store veggie sticks and almonds in your office so there isn't a reason to go too far astray.
If you know you're going out and worried about overeating or you know there may not be the healthiest options there, make sure you have a protein-rich snack before you head out so you're already full up on good healthy food.
Change your reward system
Instead of rewarding yourself with a muffin after completing that massive list/ laundry/ something that deserves a reward, find other ways to fill the gap that isn't food related. Find other satisfying activities that make you FEEL good: have a bubble bath, go for a walk, paint your nails, cuddle the dog or even visit the gym for a quick shine.
Keep a food and mood diary
As you begin to be more mindful about your eating habits, it may be a good time to keep a food and mood diary - after all, journaling is good for you. You'll be able to distinguish your triggers and this is the first step in taking back control of your eating. If you find you slip up and sneak towards that packet of chips, take a moment and make a note of the time, what you ate, how you were feeling, if you were actually hungry and how the snack really made you feel before, during and after. You'll be able to pinpoint recurring patterns and help you understand WHY you're reaching for those salt and vinegars. Remember to be kind yourself! This is to be treated as an exercise in curiosity and self-kindness, not judgement!
Always keep it #happyfit
Regular time spent in the Dojang will help with your both your mental and physical health and will help control your appetite. Grab a pal and do a TIFFXO workout together, go and try a new dance class, grab the kids and skip some rope or even embrace your inner kid and jump on a trampoline for a while. Make it fun! Work out as a celebration of what your body can do - it's not a chore.
At the end of the day, you are a person who gets to enjoy life! And you can't be too hard on yourself. Remember my three hour rule and you can reset, recharge and start over.
Tiffiny Hall is the founder of TIFFXO, an author, expert trainer, journalist and television personality, best known for her role as trainer on The Biggest Loser Australia.