Fighting the Urge To Eat…When You’re TIRED.

Steph Wagner

June 3, 2014

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We all have triggers that make us eat when we aren’t hungry, don’t we?

I’ve posed this question on Facebook before and find the answers fascinating. I asked people to finish the following statement: “I eat poorly when I’m _____”

The answers piled in quickly.

Bored.

Tired.

Awake.

Don’t prepare ahead of time. 

My husband is away.

Procrastinating.

Overly hungry and went too long without eating.

Stressed.

Hurried.

And the list went on and on. We all have moments when we eat for no reason or we make bad choices because we didn’t set ourselves up to succeed.

My biggest trigger by far is when I’m fatigued. And this past weekend I was at a high school church retreat….is there need to say any more?? :)

While I was at the retreat the junk food was everywhere. We are talking teenager food galore. Mr. W would have had a freaking hay day if he had seen the food table! The later into the weekend we got, the less resolve I had to avoid the table. A cookie here. A handful of peanut butter pretzels there. I….was….tired. 

I gave myself some grace and knew the weekend was ending and I’d be back to my normal routine soon. Except….I don’t bounce back from a high school retreat like I used to. Monday and Tuesday (today) I have been draaaaagggggiiiing. Dragging. 

I mentioned yesterday on Facebook that I was so tempted to send Mr. W to go get food so I could remain melted into the couch. Thankfully, I did get myself up and get the grill started for lean steaks and green beans.

I have known this weakness about myself for years. Here are the tools that help me best:

  • See your fatigue coming. I knew I would not feel like grocery shopping when I got home from the weekend trip. So I stocked the house up with good food before I left and had a meal plan awaiting me. If I hadn’t already printed a recipe and had the ingredients in the fridge, I would not have gotten off the couch and made a good meal. No way.
  • Drink plenty of water. Fatigue is worsened with lack of water. When you are dehydrated you feel run down. The temptation is to brew more coffee or tea but this only furthers fatigue because it furthers dehydration. Fight the urger to over-caffeinate and be sure to hydrate.
  • Do “wake up” activities. Turn on all the lights in the house, yes…even if it’s wasteful but only for the moment. Open up the blinds and let sunlight in. Turn on music. Do some stretches. Fight the urge to stay totally melted into your couch. Those moments are awesome and more than okay…but do limit yourself from over-vegging. This is when food is most likely to creep in.
  • Get back to your regular pattern of sleep. I did go to bed a bit early but woke up at my normal time and went to bed close to my normal time. Routine is as important for us as adults as it was when we were babies :)

Identifying your triggers to eat is the first step. Then you find tools and tricks to fight back! The more you win, the more natural it becomes to fight!

What about you? When are you most likely to eat poorly?? 

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