Fri 28 Mar, 2014

Are You a Secret Eater?

If you’ve ever seen the programme on Channel 4, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Secret eating is a genuine concern because when you’re out of control of your eating habits, you’re likely to eat more calories than the recommended 2000 for women and 2500 for men. More than this, you may also be maintaining an unhealthy diet high in salt and sugar too, which can lead to health problems far beyond putting on a few pounds. A diet high in sugars and sweeteners can cause peaks and troughs in your energy throughout the day, leaving you manic one minute and utterly wiped out the next – and it’s all out of your control once that sugary snack has been consumed.

If you’re secret snacking has taken a turn for the worse, here are a few ways to get yourself back in control of your diet and therefore your health, your mood and your waistline!

Prep Your Food

We’re a nation of “eat on the run” people and for that reason we grab the most convenient thing at a point where we realise we want to eat. This often means walking into a shop and buying something pre-packaged that looks filling and tasty or buying fast food. Food such as this is a major culprit in our secret eating culture; we simply don’t know what we’re eating. Packaging standards have come on leaps and bounds in terms of highlighting the contents of the food product, but with all kinds of scientific names floating about on the back, many of us don’t really know what half of the ingredients are.

The night before, prep your food at home for the following day; not only will this mean the most convenient “on the go” food option is already taken care of, it also helps you to control the quality of what you are eating. Prep easy to munch carrot, celery and cucumber sticks with reduced fat hummus dip for a tasty alternative to crisps. Prepare a veg-packed sandwich on wholemeal bread or in pitta instead of grabbing a pre-packed ploughman’s. Pack fresh fruit and a handful of almonds for easy grabs that will keep you from buying chocolate bars during the day.


Choose Slow Release Options

When you’re rushing around at work, hunger often seems like it comes out of nowhere and you can go from feeling fine to feeling completely ravenous very quickly. Our busy lifestyles often mean we are not in tune with our body; we’re not registering the signs that either we need to eat, or that we really don’t need to eat – munching away aimlessly when in actual fact you aren’t hungry. Combat these plummets with slow release options, particularly for breakfast and lunch so that mid-morning and mid-afternoon lulls are banished. Slow release breakfast options include porridge with fruit and wholemeal toast with peanut butter and for lunch, try bulgur wheat or quinoa salads followed by a banana.


Create Meal Plans and Shopping Lists

It’s a fact that the weekly supermarket run is often not thought about until the point where we are wandering down the aisles being tempted by all kinds of junk. Creating a meal plan for the week means you can base your shopping list solely around what you need for those meals. Not only will this cut out bringing junk into the house, it’s also a great way to budget as you are only buying what you really need. Stick your meal plan on the fridge so you know exactly what’s on the menu each day.

With a little prep and understanding of your eating habits, you can quickly step away from secret eating and take control back over your diet.