FEAST MODE, not to be confused with BEAST MODE, which is where we go hard at the gym! FEAST MODE is where we go hard at the dinner table, or wherever there is an opportunity to eat!
Lately, I feel like I’ve been in constant Feast Mode. I’ve been thinking about food a lot more and eating and nibbling on food, even when I know that I’m not hungry or need food. But, even though I know I’m not hungry, I’m still EATING! W.T.H., It’s so annoying, right? Can any of you relate? Ever feel like food can become an obsession? It’s like food is everywhere, lurking at every corner, and saying, “EAT ME!” And, I feel like the food WINS more than I do; leaving me feeling powerless and defeated.
I also know that constant Feast Mode can be detrimental to our physique, fat loss, &/or weight loss goals. So on my quest to stop my constant Feast Mode in its tracks and get my POWER back, I’ve identified 6 reasons that cause us to be in Feast Mode, and some tools and insights to overcome it.
6 Reasons we Could be in FEAST MODE
Too Much Cardio or Exercise.
Long bouts of cardio or intense exercise that last longer than 60 minutes will definitely cause us to go on the hunt for food. So unless you are training for something specific, I’d recommend doing Metabolic Resistance Training or Conditioning that lasts around 20 -45 min to keep the appetite in better check.
Using Food to Deal with our Feelings.
If we are avoiding dealing with stress, depression, anxiety, or boredom, we will usually go looking for food as a distraction, to feel better, or forget about whatever is bothering us. However, better distractions would be reading, journaling our feelings, going for a walk, or start organizing or cleaning something.
The Food is just There and the Scarcity Mindset.
Once a week, one of our nice members at Being-Fit, brings my work husband, Todd, a dozen donuts. These sit in the office, and of course, I have to look at them all day. You know what, I don’t even really like donuts, but I find myself nibbling on them and trying bites of the different flavors. It’s pure INSANITY. I’m not hungry, they don’t even taste that good, and I don’t even really like them, but I’m still eating them! Oh….Holy Donuts! How come I can’t STOP?
I believe this comes from our Scarcity Mindset. We feel like we better eat this food now because we don’t know when we’ll have a chance to eat it again. This is so silly. We are not in a shortage of food. We can pretty much have any food at anytime here in America. We have an ABUNDANCE of food around us everywhere! We just have to go to the store and get it or the ingredients to make it. Don’t let this SCARCITY Mindset trap you until there is real danger of a Zombie Apocalypse.
Eating Food just to Appease the Person who Made or Bought it for you.
This happens a lot around the holidays, but at other times, too. Someone brings treats to work, or someone buys you a Mocha Frappa Lotsa Sugar Beverage from Starbucks, and you feel like you are rejecting the person or the gift someone gave you. I give you permission to accept the treat, take a few bites or sips, and when the person leaves, you can share it with someone else, give it away, or throw it away. You could also just say, “No Thank You, I appreciate the gesture, but I don’t want that food or drink right now.”
Peer Pressure: Everyone Else Around me is Eating.
This one gets me every time. We just give ourselves permission to eat whatever we want when other people around us are doing it or we are together in a group. She’s having dessert, so I guess I’ll have dessert, too. This is fine if we really want the dessert, but if we aren’t hungry, we don’t need to shove the food down or eat just because everyone else is. There will be plenty of food later that we can eat (Abundance Mindset). We also don’t have to eat unhealthy just because everyone else around us is doing it, either. We always have a CHOICE in the matter. CHOOSE YOU and Your GOALS!
Depriving Ourselves from Foods that we Consider Off-Limits.
The longer we deprive ourselves from a food that we really want, the bigger the binge on it later, or we will keep eating other food because we are searching for some sort of satisfaction factor that we can’t find. This is a situation where we can eat too much healthy food, in place of the food we really want, and still end up gaining weight. If you want a little bit of chocolate, have a little bit. Go out and buy a single serving, and just have it. I get my ice cream fix by going to Basin Robins and getting a junior scoop of ice cream. It’s just enough for the taste, but not going to get me off track from my lean eating goals.
2 Strategies to Overcome FEAST MODE
Stop eating by 8 PM.
When I really got to thinking about it, why do I really need to eat past 8 PM? If I eat a decent dinner at 7 or 7:30 PM, then I really shouldn’t be hungry by 9 PM. I’m probably just snacking just to snack, I’m bored, or anxious about something, like what to write about in my next blog ;). I call the time between 8:30 – 10:30 PM, the bewitching hour. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we are not going to reach for anything healthy during this time period. This is a time slot where a lot of mindless eating happens for most people. We are not usually eating carrots & celery with hummus, instead we are usually eating popcorn, ice cream, cookies, or chips or crackers, while we are watching TV. Cutting my eating off by 8 or 8:30 PM on most nights, has really helped me stop with the mindless snacking and eating. I just tell myself, “You don’t need it and you aren’t hungry. Go do something else!”
Stop, Notice, Think, and then Distract Yourself if Needed.
I think it’s really important to practice tuning into your hunger signals. When I see food or start thinking about food, I have really been trying to ask myself, “Am I hungry? Do I feel rumbling in my stomach? How hungry am I on a scale of 1-10? Do I really need this food right now, or do I just want it because it is here in front of me?” If I can’t say that I’m really hungry, or it’s the bewitching hour, I distract myself by making some decaffeinated tea, having a scoop of protein powder in water, or some amino acids in water with some lemon. This usually holds me over until it is time for bed, and there is minimal calories involved.
So the next time you find yourself in FEAST MODE, thinking about food or eating when you know you aren’t even hungry, see if one of the above strategies could stop you from mindless eating and sabotaging your physique goals.
I’d love to hear from you! What strategies or tools do you use to stop or avoid FEAST MODE?
Thanks for stopping by,
P.S. Did you know that I give 85% of my tips, tools, and insights to my #fitandfab tribe who are on my email list? If you like what you are reading, you’ll LOVE my emails. Get on the list HERE!