Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

How to stop eating after one Tim Tam!

The diet industry is worth millions of dollars but few programs address the biggest issue when it comes to weight control – the ability to say no.

The ability to self-regulate our calorie intake is critical for weight control. If we could all simply eat when we were hungry and stop when we were full, few of us would be overweight. And at this time in particular as we are stuck indoors for long periods of time with easy access to the cupboard and fridge, is it any wonder many of us are struggling? And while some people are naturally good at it, the reality is that self control is also one of the most poorly rated of all human strengths.

So if you know that you are one of the many who cannot stop at one or two Tim Tams, or cannot keep any tempting foods in the house for fear of demolishing the lot, here are some ways you can work towards building your own self-regulation skills while in ISO.

1. Stop eating before you are stuffed

Forget eating until your belt buckle is about to burst, aim to follow the Japanese mantra ‘hara hachi bu’, or learn to eat until we are just 80% full. Admittedly this is easier said than done when lashings of food are on offer but actively cutting back and stopping eating a mouthful or two from fullness will significantly cut your kilojoule intake over time.

2. Practice not eating everything

Self-regulation is a skill that can be built; this means that even though you think that you will eat an entire packet of chocolate biscuits, you can teach yourself not too. Enter the Tim Tam challenge, where you actively purchase foods that tempt you and challenge yourself not to eat them all. It may take time but taking the focus away from foods you psychologically restrict and giving yourself permission to enjoy them, only when you really feel like them is an empowering step to take towards self-managing your intake.

3. Eat mindfully

Overeating often occurs when we are not conscious of what is going into our mouths – the kid’s leftovers; or pre dinner crackers and dip and the work snacks that pack in the extra kilojoules without us even noticing. Make a concerted effort to only eat when you are sitting down, at a meal time and only focused on eating is a key aspect of learning to eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full.

4. Eat when you are really hungry

This may sound like common sense but the truth is that many of us eat out of habit or routine rather than real hunger. And, we are often eating so frequently we never really feel hungry. Start by rating your hunger out of 10 and trying not to eat until you are 8 or higher on the hunger scale. Chances are at least one snack a day will be eliminated this way.

5. Eat only when you really feel like it

Many of us eat the foods that are offered to us as opposed to taking time to really consider what we feel like eating. Once we become a little more discerning with our food choices, calorie control will naturally follow. So next time you are wanting something to eat, or seem to be craving something…..take time out to really consider what you feel like – cheese or nuts; fruit chocolate or dark; ice-cream or a biscuit is a key skill in becoming attune to your appetite and self-regulating your intake based on foods you only really feel like eating.