You’ve been eating healthily, working out regularly, drinking plenty of water, staying within your calorie limit, but still don’t seem to be losing weight. Sound familiar? Terri-Ann Nunns may know the answer…
Here are five scenarios that suggest you are a secret eater. If you find yourself agreeing to more than two or three of these, follow my advice to combat them:
Do you finish your children’s tea and snacks if they don’t?
It can be a little annoying to see food go to waste, but eating leftovers still contains calories and could be adding enough to bump you over your daily calorie limit. If you think about it, the average bag of crisps contains around 200 calories and if your kids decide half way through they no longer want them and you finish them off – that’s an extra 100 calories you’ll be adding and these usually go unaccounted for. If you’re finishing their dinner on top of this – of course it will all add up!
Do you have a stash of snacks just for you that are hidden from your family?
Sometimes we all like to keep a little something to ourselves, but if you find that you’re buying everyday snacks such as biscuits, sweet treats and crisps, and are hiding them from your family without even thinking about it, such as in your car or in your bedside table, or you’re taking a detour on your way home to grab a treat when no one will know – then you could definitely say you’re in the secret eater category!
When you’re by yourself, do you find that your portion sizes or the amount you eat increases?
Portion control is a huge problem for so many people and often the famous saying applies – our eyes are bigger than our bellies. When we’re with others or when serving up a meal that needs to be split, say four ways, we tend to limit our portion sizes because we simply have to so that everyone gets the same amount or because we don’t want to overindulge in front of others. So the temptation to add extra when we’re alone and can’t be held accountable is real.
Do you find yourself sneaking off or hiding from your children to have a snack?
We all sometimes feel like we deserve a treat after a long day at work or a stressful morning with the kids, but if your treat means sneaking off and hiding in the bathroom with the door locked whilst you inhale a biscuit or chocolate bar behind your family’s back, something isn’t quite right. Don’t ever feel guilty for treating yourself, but also don’t keep sneaking off for snacks thinking it doesn’t count if no one knows…
When you’re checking your children’s food is cool enough, do you end up eating a spoonful?
Of course this is something that needs to be done with young children, but do you ever find yourself sneaking a spoonful of their food instead of just testing it with your tongue? If so and you’re doing this a few times throughout each meal – you could be adding additional calories into your own intake.
Serve your children smaller portions to start with at meal times and if they want more top up their plates. Set aside a ‘spare’ 100/200 calories a day in your daily allowance so you can allow for extra calories that would usually go unaccounted for.
If your children don’t finish their evening meal, save it for them for tomorrow or freeze it (if safe to do so) instead of eating it yourself.
Stick to giving your children snacks that are around or under 100 calories, such as a pot of yoghurt or a cereal bar, so that if they don’t finish them you know you’ll be eating a very small amount of calories if you do decide to finish it.
Stock up on super tasty, but healthy, snacks so that you won’t be tempted to stash away your unhealthy ones – better for you and the family!
Simply test young children’s food with your tongue – you can tell it’s too hot or just right from doing that.
Be strict with your portions.
Keep your snacks in a place that everyone has access to so that you can’t get away with eating them on the sly.
Remember that everything has calories, even an extra spoonful, so try to be mindful when you’re eating.
For more information about The Healthy Happy Mum Plan, go to: www.thehealthyhappymumplan.co.uk/