Hi @ooboo ,
This may not be what you’re looking for, but it’s my own experience with habitual eating and habit changing. I’m not a nutritionalist or evangelist or anything like that. It just taps into my own habits from a few years ago.
I was working alone on the other side of the world with very little social or interaction outside of work. I fell into a habit of eating/coffee. It was the first and last thing of my day, every day! I’d wake thinking about coffee and I’d end the day at midnight munching on jelly snakes out of a family-sized bag. Weight wasn’t really an issue, but the idea that i was CONSTANTLY nibbling or snacking or fridge dipping was driving me crazy, and I knew deep inside that it was both a habit issues and something that might lead to worse issues over time.
For me, the absolute best thing I ever did, possibly in my life (I’ve no wife or kids, so I can say that!), was to quit sugar and caffeine. Something people, including myself, say they ‘could never do’. I’ll admit, it was hard and a little painful, and was a very difficult first month, but it’s changed my life drastically now that crazy cold turkey is over and it’s simply normal, now. Since quitting sugar and caffeine, I have no snacking habits or issues at all, now… none… and I have good focus and energy all day long, and sleep great at night… and most importantly wake happy and fresh without the need for any sort of hit. The only ‘snack’ I have is an apple mid-afternoon.
My basic meals through the day are:
Breakfast: simple, usually bran and wholewheat toast.
Lunch: wholewheat sandwich and/or Huel 3.0 blended with a fresh banana (the Huel is a both nutritional, provides great protein for my workouts and keeps me full, and with a banana tastes insanely good…!)
Dinner: Typically chicken salad, or stir fry, etc.
I also drink water steadily through the day. But there’s no cravings or distractions at all.
I’m done eating by 7pm. I have absolutely no snacking needs outside of that, aside from my apple, and I don’t feel any desire or urge to eat after dinner. The thought of eating at 10pm or later is a bit scary to me, now. I couldn’t imagine trying to sleep with a full stomach, or any sort of food in my system. My sleep pattern would be nuts and I’d wake feeling awful.
So, before I waffle on too much, the link to breaking my own crazy pattern of eating, snacking, munching, fridge-dipping at all hours was to simply (not quite simply) quit sugar… sweets, chocolate, pastries, ice cream, desserts, tinned food, sauces, ready meals… all that stuff! And then also caffeine at the exact same time. I figured go hard or go home. I only drink water, now. I KNOW it all sounds boring, but I’ve a whole new appreciation for real food (I’m not vegan, btw) and eating well, and then I’ve added Huel into my diet as a quick, nutritional and pretty tasty major treat at lunch that properly fills me up til the evening. It’s not boring at all, and I couldn’t be happier for the energy, focus and freedom it’s given me. To be able to watch a movie in the evening without reaching for jellies or ice cream or chips, or even just thinking about the fridge, is a real blessing. My great food indulgence is when I go out for dinner, on those rare occasions, and not just trying to satisfy hunger all day long with snacks.
On the plus side, too, I also lost all the fluffy weight fairly naturally at the same time. If I need to tone-up or add few healthy pounds in the right places, I add some Huel or chicken to my meals in conjunction with the gym 3 times a week.
That’s me, anyway. I’ve no idea what your routine is like. Quitting anything and changing a routine can be very hard, and feel like it’s impossible, but honestly, habits can change super quickly and it’s well worth the effort… and anyone can do it, whatever it is you choose.