Cereal, My Binge Worthy Food. What is Yours?

keep-calm-and-don-t-over-eat

You know that food, the one for whatever reason makes you lose all self-control? You tell yourself you are only going to have one bite, a handful, or even one bowl. However the moment you start you just can’t resist it. You feel your ability to control your actions all of a sudden out the window and the temptation is too great. The next thing you know you have eaten way more than you were intending or even wanting to.

For myself I am lucky. My binge worthy food is not potato chips, it is not French fries, and it is not even cookies or ice cream, its cereal.  All of these other foods are delicious and I do on occasion eat way too much of them at a party or special occasion. However through my weight loss process I was able to learn how these foods made me feel when I did indulge too much and I have been able to develop a pretty good relationship with them. Now I see them as an occasional indulgence and I am usually satisfied with a bite or two.

For me the one food that makes me lose all of my normal self-control from the moment I start is cereal, which for me is my after dinner indulgence. So this is where I consider myself lucky. Cereal in reality is really not that bad for you, well depending on the kind you buy. Which I have scoured through grocery stores, counting calories, and looking at nutrition labels to find splurge worthy cereal that would not break my “Calorie Bank” so to speak.  I partner my healthy cereal finds with Almond Milk, which I love, to even help lower the overall calorie count.

After finishing a big bowl of cereal I will feel nice and full. However this is where the problem starts. I am full, but I want more. I go back and fill up another bowl. Again after finishing I feel even more full and satisfied, but I still want more. Sometimes I am able to control the urge, but more often than not I keep giving into the craving and the next thing I know I have eaten way more than I wanted.

In order to help reduce the amount of cereal I was eating, I started thinking of ways to help fool myself into thinking I was eating more then I truly was. I learned I always wanted seconds with cereal. Instead of pouring one big bowl and then going back for a second large bowl, I started breaking my first big bowl into two portions. This way I would think I was having seconds when in reality I ended up only having only one bowl. Next I started to eat my cereal out of a smaller bowl so my mind would think it was eating more than it really was. I found it to be much more satisfying to see my bowl filled to the top then just a small portion in a larger bowl. It is interesting how your mind perceives portions. Next I started to add in blueberries or other fruit to help fill up less on the cereal and get in an extra serving of fruit.

Through all of my tricks I found I was able to slowly reduce the amount of binge eating I did with cereal. These small tweaks ended up making a huge difference to my perception. Even though I have been able to reduce the amount I am eating, I still feel like I use cereal to curb something else at the end of the night. I eat it out of habit, not out of hunger or need. Now I am working on trying to slowly wean myself off of my late night treat. It has been officially 3 weeks since I have had a bowl of the great stuff. The first week was hard, trying to find something else to do after dinner to occupy my time. Tea has been a life saver! However now 3 weeks in I feel like I may have taken control of the habit. However time will tell 🙂

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