Ep #216 – Is Snacking and Grazing Hurting Your Weight Loss?

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T-BOSS TAKE #46: Snacking and Grazing

Are you a snacker or a grazer? Some people are and some are not.

Before I lost my weight, I had a fear of being hungry.

I would always make sure that I had snacks available.

In today’s episode, I talk about snacking and how it might be showing up for you and I give you my take on what to do about it.

In this episode…

≫[4:28] Emotional eating is eating outside of physical hunger because you are trying to satisfy some emotional need.

≫[5:04] If you’re not getting enough water or sleep, your body could be sending you signals because it wants sleep or hydration.

≫[6:45] Before this work, I was afraid to feel hungry.

≫[8:22] If I took everything that I had eaten and put it on a plate, it would be a full meal.

≫[9:02] My take on what to do.

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You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women Podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number 216. Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, fortune 100 executive and certified life coach, Shannan Christiansen. Hello my love. So happy to be back with you.

I’m so excited. Here we are. We’re at episode 216, and we are midway through November. Thanksgiving is next week, right? Ooh, I love it. I love Thanksgiving. It’s around my birthday too, and my daughter-in-law’s birthday. I mean, it’s just a fun time, ladies, a fun time. So in today’s episode, I wanna talk about snacking.

I say this because maybe you’re a snacker or a grazer, and so just ask yourself if you are. There are humans, right, who don’t. But I find, especially before I lost my weight, I was eating a lot. And what I mean by that is all the time too, well, a lot and all the time. Oh, I think back to this,

I tell this story ’cause I, this was my, you know, desire. My, I had an over desire for food and snacks. And when I think back to it, it came with this, you know, I had a little fear about being hungry. And so I always think back to this time when I was traveling a lot and traveling to Chicago,

actually a lot for work. And I would just make sure that I always had snacks. And even when I would land and I would get my rental car, I would stop by the grocery store to make sure I had snacks and water and different things in my hotel room, because I had this fear of not having food. Now, some of this came to,

especially when I’m traveling, maybe for you, if you’re around other humans, you don’t want them to see you eating. And so you have the, a little bit of shame, or you are what I like to call a sneak eater. I was that for most of my life. You know, I had a lot of shame around eating and food.

And so because of this, when I think about getting up in the middle of the night and getting a snack before anyone noticed, or going on a trip where I was by myself and then, you know, eating whatever I wanted in my hotel room. So there’s a lot of different, I would say layers to this, depending on who you are,

where you’re at right now in your life, and how this is showing up for you. Snacking, which is, you know, meal outside of your normal meals. What it does is you are, you know, picking at this, taking a bite of this, and it almost doesn’t even register, right? It almost doesn’t even register because it’s these very tiny portions.

And I think about this too, even if you like have scheduled snacks now, I think all of us are different. Our bodies are different. So some of you eat three meals a day and a couple snacks. Some of you eat two meals a day and a couple snacks. And I’m really talking about outside of this. And I also will add in a little bit about when you don’t have meals,

and it just is comprised of snacks. So I’ll give you a little information on that in a minute too. But what I’m talking about is just snacking when you’re not physically hungry and where you’re just kind of picking, you’re just kind of like, you know, taking a little thing here, a little bite here, you’re in the fridge and you grab a cheese stick.

And this is important because a lot of times we have these conditions in our brain of this is healthy food, this is not healthy food. And so that’s not what I teach. So if you’re new to me, I teach more about fuel food and really understanding what makes you feel good. And then non-fuel food. And we’ll link a an episode in the show notes for you about it.

But I eat all of those foods. There’s not an or statement in there. For me, it’s an and statement. If you think a food is healthy, you might have a tendency to keep eating it, but you’re telling your brain like, oh, this is healthy, even if you’re not physically hungry for it. So again, this is just being on to yourself so that you can then make a decision about what you want to eat,

how much you’ve eaten, and is this emotional eating. And when I talk about emotional eating, I wanna describe what that is. It is eating outside of physical hunger. It is because you are trying to satisfy some emotional need. It could be comfort, could be you’re bored, could be that you’re lonely. It could be that maybe you’re feeling pretty good and you just want that dopamine hit.

You wanna feel better. Yes, if you’re not physically hungry, that is emotional eating. And so it’s just good to understand that anything outside of physical hunger mostly is emotional hunger. Now, there’s some other things, you know, like if you’re not getting enough water, enough sleep, your body could be sending you some signals because it wants sleep or it wants hydration.

There are a couple other things, but mostly if you’re listening to this, mostly it’s emotional and it’s because you’re trying to feel comforted. You’re trying to feel more at ease. You’re trying to feel better. Even maybe you’re feeling pretty good, but you wanna feel even better. Remember, our brains are wired. It just is us pleasure seeking. Our brain always wants us to be comfortable,

always wants us to feel pleasure. And dopamine is a part of that. And dopamine hits, right? When we snack, or we eat highly processed, highly sugared food, it gives us a good dose of dopamine. And so our, our brain’s like, yeah, we want more of that. We want more of that emotional eating. Again, it can be many different reasons.

It can be for negative emotions, but it also can be for positive. Just because you want more of that dopamine. You want to even feel better than you already do. You could be at a party. And I think too, like sometimes we can even fool ourselves because you know, we’re like, well, I’m at a party and I’m with my family and I’m feeling so good and I just,

you know, keep eating. But somewhere in the back of your head, you know, you had a falling out a few months ago with Sally Sue, and it’s still on your mind, right? Or you’re trying to make everyone happy and you see, you know, someone said something and you’re irritated. But because you’re trying to be happy, you don’t recognize that you actually have a negative emotion.

You actually have a negative feeling so that you’re just picking your bites. Snacking. Grazing. And so understanding how that plays. When I think about Chicago, before this work, I really was afraid to feel hungry. I had this fear of feeling lightheaded or oh my gosh, what happens if I get too hungry? Or low blood sugar, right? I had those fears and I just had to like get real with myself,

my body. And what was the truth for me that I could, it was okay to feel a little bit of hunger. All of you are different who are listening, and you have to of course, do this for yourself. This work of figuring out what hunger feels, physical hunger feels like in your body. And then of course your point of when you have that physical hunger that you want to eat.

I wanna talk about grazing too. So Paul and I, my husband and I, we don’t have any children that live at home any longer. They’re all out and about. So there are many times where, you know, we don’t have full meals, we don’t cook. And so, you know, we grab some nuts or some cheese or like a little bit of leftover from night,

but it’s not really a full meal. Or we just eat a variety of different, you know, I grab some cottage cheese and some yogurt, or I mean multiple things, right? And so I’m saying this because this is for all of you who, you know, you don’t really eat a meal, but you kind of like grab like a cheese stick.

And then I grab some crackers, and then I’m like, oh, you know, I’m feeling a piece of toast. And then I make a piece of toast, and then suddenly I have this thought, this is important. This is the thought. Oh, I really haven’t had a full meal. I know. I just want you to hear that.

So if I’ve lost you, ’cause this is an important one, I haven’t had a full meal. And so if I took everything that I had eaten and I put it on a plate, it would be a full meal. But because I was kind of grazing, because I was kind of snacking and eating it and not putting it on a plate, and just like eating it because it was quote unquote snack foods,

I would not count that as a meal. And so my brain would be like, oh, you haven’t had a full meal. So now, even though I wasn’t physically hungry, it’s like, oh, but you know, you need to eat a sandwich and some veggies and a potato, right? So just again, this is an awareness of what is going on inside of your brain and how you’re thinking about things.

And so I wanna give you my take on what to do, right? Because snacking and grazing, I don’t think it’s bad. You just wanna know anytime. This work is about figuring out when you are not physically hungry, you know, why are you eating and figuring out what are the stories and the thoughts and the beliefs that are behind that. So number one,

ask yourself, why am I snacking? Right? It could be, I like variety. It could be, I don’t like to cook. It could be habit. Every night I have a bowl of ice cream and popcorn. This is just what I do. This has become a habit. Now, every night after dinner, I have dessert, and then I,

you know, keep going back for seconds before I actually put the leftovers in the fridge, right? And it’s just become a habit. Now, you know, my kids don’t finish their plates, and so I kind of eat all of the leftovers because I have a belief that I don’t wanna throw it in the trash, right? I’m part of the clean plate club.

And so just understanding how is this kind of snacking and grazing showing up for you, number one. And then two, decide if you like it, if you wanna keep it or not, right? Maybe that bowl of ice cream or the popcorn or whatever it is at night, you like it, it’s on your plan, you feel good about it.

Maybe you wanna keep it, maybe you don’t wanna change it. Yes, you get to decide. I think we have a lot of rules about what’s right or what’s wrong. This is just getting curious. If you are in a space where you want to lose more weight, this is just looking at everything that you’re doing and then deciding on purpose what you want to do or not do.

Again, decide if you like it, if you want to keep it or not, right? Maybe you’re trying to lose more weight and you’re like, oh, but I want to kind of look at what I’m doing in my habits and decide where I want to make a change. Number three, if you’re going to keep like snacking or grazing, maybe you’re a person who doesn’t have like full meals.

You just like kind of grazing throughout the day. You like picking at things. This is a tip. This I tell all of my Transform Boss ladies this tip, because this is something that I love to do, actually. It goes into that like variety and abundance that I like with food. And so what I’ll do is at the beginning of the day,

I’ll put a plate and put all the like different things that I’m going to eat. One for the refrigerator and one for the counter. Like, you know, I’ll have my cheese and my nuts or my crackers or whatever it is, my yogurt, whatever it is. And then I’ll have one that I can leave out my crackers and toast or whatever it is on there.

Even if I like have an egg too, I’ll like throw an egg or too, I’ll add like if I have cookies on my plan or whatever it is, I like seeing it and I like seeing it on a plate. So I have one for the fridge and one for the counter. And what it does is it helps me to see like, wow,

like this gets me into abundance too, because sometimes when you’re eating throughout the day, you’re not really conscious of what you’re eating, and so you kind of miss out and you don’t like get the pleasure from it. I know ladies always tell me, Shannan, I love food. I’m like, really? Because you’re not even paying attention. You’re not even enjoying it.

So when you put it on a plate and you like know, like, Ooh, this is what I’m going to eat today. Then you get to visualize it. You get to feel abundant. You don’t feel restricted. You don’t feel like, oh, I barely eat. You’re like, holy moly, like this is good. Ooh, I like it.

And it actually can help in that healing part of the process of healing from diets and restriction to abundance. Mm, I know. I love this tip. I’m giving you a good one. ’cause I love it actually. It really helps with allowance. And then four, this is just a really great way to get into your thinking brain. Before you take a bite,

just ask yourself a question. Am I physically hungry? I know it’s such a great question. Take a breath, ask yourself. And you’ll be amazed at what comes. Sometimes it’s yes, sometimes it’s no. And then again, you get to decide this work is just learning. The overarching goal is this, healing from diets and diet culture and you know,

all the things that we’ve been through with diets. And then getting to a place of abundance, a place of love, a place of food freedom where you can eat with abundance and joy and lose weight. Yes. And get to your natural weight where you feel amazing. That is the process. And if you want to lose weight for the last time you want to feel better,

then there’s a couple ways to do it that you can work with me and learn this work of really, again, the overarching is healing your relationship with food and yourself. And so one, losing that mental weight. My love number one, follow this podcast. So go right now and hit the follow sign so that I’m in your podcast library every Wednesday.

Number two, you can get on my email list. So you can go to bflycoaching.com/email. And then every Wednesday we send out a really beautiful email and a link to this podcast. And then number three, you can take my three day reset course. I just revamped our free boss course and it’s pretty amazing. And so you can go to freebosscourse.com

and you can take that and of course, jointransformboss.com. You can go there when you’re ready to join us in Transform Boss, when you wanna go deeper in this work and really do the work of healing your relationship and getting off the diet rollercoaster for good. I know, right? So many things. We’re gonna put all of those in the show notes for you so you can,

again, wherever you’re at in this journey with me and yourself, you can make a decision on what’s the next step for you. That’s good. All right, my love. Let’s go. Bye for now. Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and wanna learn more, come on over to bflycoaching.com.

That’s bflycoaching.com. See you next week.

 

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