I hope that everyone is having a great and fruitful time even in the midst of this hot summer.

In this Episode 22 of Thin Thinking, we explore how to break the afternoon “snacking” syndrome. We created this episode because it was a request from one of our listeners who was challenged by late afternoon cravings on her weight journey.

If you are great with your eating in the morning and at lunch, but after that things just fall apart, this episode of Thin Thinking is also for you.

We are going to explore the five mental steps that will help you break through afternoon over-snacking habits.

AND if you have a topic or question that you would like tackled on Thin Thinking–please click here and let us know–we welcome your ideas!

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Speaker 1: If you are great with your eating in the morning and at lunch, but after that things just fall apart, this episode of Thin Thinking is for you. We are going to explore the five mental steps that will help you break through afternoon over-snacking habits. So stay tuned.

Speaker 2: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right, the key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi there, I'm Rita Black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist, weight loss expert, best-selling author, and the creator of the Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long-term weight mastery, I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict, and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need. Not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long-term and live your best life.

New Speaker: A warm August. Hello to you. And I mean that quite literally, because it is warm here in California. Yeah! August is when it's really heats up. And as you know, it's been a hot summer everywhere, so we're feeling it. The good news is my dahlias are blooming and this is the first year that I've grown them. They are so amazing. I always saw them in the store, in the autumn, dahlias for those of you who don't know, but I I'm assuming most of you guys know what dahlias are, but, dahlias are those big spiky flowers that look like big puff balls. And they come in all different sorts of colors and some of them are spiky and spidery looking and some of them are more, I don't know what you would say, but the ones that I have, I went with sort of like a cream colored and pink colored. And I planted in there, the ugliest tubers, you, you plant them in the ground like a, you know, it's a bulb. And they're very persnickety in the beginning. You can't really water them a lot or they rot. So I had to be old, you know, protective of them and make sure they weren't, but then all of a sudden they started to grow and once they start growing, they're actually quite sturdy and they can withstand the heat here. So, I am really enjoying growing that, you know, and that's something I just love about life, is like learning these new things, like growing dahlias, like I, you know, I've gotten into gardening and just, it really, all these little facts about all these little things is super fun. So, and then you get to cut them and have them in a vase and they look super like, you know what you're doing as a gardener, even though you don't really need to know that much.

New Speaker: And my tomatoes are coming in more and more. I've made lots of good spot show and the zucchini. So something happened with our zucchini. So we planted way too much zucchini. There's a funny story about this really quick cause I'm, I'm sure, you know, you probably might have your own zucchini story if you grow zucchini. But, last year we grew a few zucchini plants and they didn't produce a lot and they were kind of sad. And we were like, well, this year we are going to grow a ton of zucchini. So, we planted all these plants. And I had a friend over who is a real gardener, like whose gardener for years and years. And she kind of looked at all of our plants and she says, how many zucchini thank you need because you are going to have so many zucchini. So, right now we are, we don't have, it isn't as much as she predicted, but as quite a bit. And she was telling us this hilarious story about, she said, well, back in her neighborhood in the olden days, you would go, you know, like if you had too much zucchini, first, you would give it to all of your neighbors. We haven't done that yet, but we probably will be. We gave a lot of, we had this huge apple tree this year that we just literally went and put bags of apples on everybody's doorstep in our neighborhood, you know, bright from the blacks. We did that. So, that was funny, but, she was saying that people would, I have such big zucchini crops that they would go to church and in the church parking lot, you know, in the olden days, people didn't lock their cars and people would literally put bags of zucchini with a note like thought you would like this, in people's cars, in the church parking lot. So just a little side note there on zucchini.

New Speaker: So, I've had a request. Suzanne Calcombe from Michigan has requested something. She says, "Rita, I love your podcast. And I'm learning so much about using my mind better for my weight goals. But one thing that keeps me from success is the afternoon. I get into the snacking mode. And every day I feel like by the time dinner rolls around, I have blown it. Can you give me something thinking around this?" Well, Susanne, absolutely! You are in luck. And I have a lesson that I recorded last year on this very subject. And in this lesson I get into the five mental steps to break afternoon eating. So without any further ado, I am just going to get into it and let's get into the five steps to end afternoon over-snacking.

Speaker 4: The thing when we struggle with our weight and we struggle with a pattern often, the problem is we see ourselves as the problem and that what that does is it creates limiting beliefs, you know, and I'm somebody who really, my, I see my mat, my passion and my mission in life is to help people break through those limiting beliefs and habits that keep them stuck in that sort of on again, off again, dieting cycle or weight loss cycle. It's very frustrating and it's very demoralizing. So we want to come at this. The very first step is we want to take back our power from the idea of who we are, because when we have a problem like eating and snack, over-snacking in the afternoon, we think that we are the problem, but we are not the problem. The problem is the pattern. You see. And when it, I know that's a slim distinction, but it's a powerful distinction because you are fine. You're fine. But it's just that your, your mind has gotten into a pattern that has, is not serving you, but you are not the problem. When we see ourselves as a weight struggler, then that identity, it's an identity, strangles us. And it keeps us from being powerful because any weight loss attempt is going to now be filtered through this idea of I'm a struggler. And I need to control myself versus this idea of like, "Hey, I'm somebody who's perfectly capable of achieving my ideal weight," which is really where you want to come from. You want to create that identity from the get-go. You don't want to wait until you're at your ideal way to say, okay, now I've arrived or I'm, you know, you want to start from the beginning. You want to have a mindset that is set up for your success.

New Speaker: So, step number one is committing to your new identity and your new identity is you are now somebody who I like to use the word apprentice, an apprentice of having a powerful afternoon. That is, you know, a slimming afternoon, right. A new powerful slimming afternoon. And this is what you're creating. Because again, this isn't about deprivation. It is about creation and it is about transformation. Okay? So you want to start from that mindset, like I'm perfect as I am. And I'm now going to build a new afternoon that really, really serves me and me living my life at my ideal way. Because if you're watching this, I'm assuming that the eating pattern is just getting in the way of your long-term weight loss.

New Speaker: Okay. So the second thing is, is that you want to create, you want to look at this as you are creating a new pattern and new reward, because often what a habit is, is it's a, it starts with a trigger, or it starts with a trigger of some sort, an external trigger, an internal trigger, and then it's a pattern and then it's a reward. So, um, when the brain is looking at the reward, because when you're coming home, like from a long day, you're seeing that, that, that food is a portal into relaxing, putting, letting your hair down and the food then becomes everything around that, your relaxing in the afternoon, whether, so the food is sort of your portal into that relaxation mode. And so now the brain has associated food as relaxation, even though it isn't necessarily relaxing us because then we'll eat it and then we'll get stressed out and we'll feel bad about ourselves. Our brain is a little, you know, especially when you think about it, you are so tired at the end of the day, your impulse control is gone, right? You start the day with a lot of willpower, but as you get through, that's why breakfast and lunch for most people, aren't a struggle. But as we get into that four o'clock hour, that five o'clock hour, most of our willpower, it's down, and you are now there without any impulse control in a pattern, that's just sucking you down like a river, sucks, a leaf down, right? That your, your brain is already in that pattern even before you began it. So, and it's looking at that reward. So the time to change a pattern, isn't when you're in it, it's to change it before, which leads us to my next step.

New Speaker: So, right now we've committed to our new identity as a powerful person, who's creating our new afternoon. And, and so what you're doing job here is, is to think of a new reward and to think of a new pattern. So, that might be, and the reward could be the same. Like the reward for eating might be feeling like you're relaxed and you've let your hair down. So maybe for you, your new pattern is coming home, having either, you know, a glass of water or healthy snack or nothing, and putting your shoes on and going out for a walk, and then you come home from the walk and the reward is that you will, the reward of the walk is you're out in nature. You feel the wind on your face, you were listening to music or a podcast or something that, that is relaxing you and letting the day fall away from you. Because exercise is one of the best ways, one of the best ways to process things, right? And when we get home from a long day, even if we've been at home all day and you've been working from home, or have you been with kids, we need to process that. And instead of standing in the kitchen and eating and munching and processing, which is what our brain is doing while we're eating, if you're out walking your brain, your brain processes the best when you're exercising. So think about that as a pattern that you can create, your brain is thinking, oh, the exercise is my way into that end of day reward, which is coming home. Finally from that walk feeling awesome, sitting on the couch, putting your feet up and feeling like, wow, I really just took care of myself. Or, it could be you come home and go lay down and take a nap for 10 minutes. You know, often that's something that also refreshes the brain way better than coming home and eating a bunch of refined carbohydrates. A lot of people will go, well, I shouldn't nap that napping is lazy. Why would I do that? I've got so much to do at home. Well, who cares? Go take a 10 minute nap. You know, the brain actually needs a 10 minute shut down in the afternoon. And I think a lot of people, instead of doing that, eat, and in order to give themselves that boost of energy, when if you lie down and shut your eyes, just for 10 minutes, you don't want to do an hour. You just want to do about 10 minutes. It will change your life. There are chemicals, that are admitted when you're in that nap state, that you'll wake up, you'll feel refreshed. You'll feel refocused. You'll be ready to go and make a healthy dinner and get on with the rest of your day. So, really look at looking at coming home and creating a new pattern to get that reward, which is that like I am done for the day.

New Speaker: Now, the morning meditation. What I mean by that is, you know, I don't know if you are, because it depends on how old you are. And, but I don't know if you know, Steven Covey or the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, but there is a, he had a term called 'begin with the end in mind'. And that is definitely what a morning meditation allows you to do is to reinvent your afternoon in the morning. Why is this so powerful? Why are morning meditations just in general, powerful things to do? I use morning meditations to focus my brain on creating a powerful day before my day begins? Because if I get out of bed in the morning and I just start living my life, guess what? My brain is just going to fall into the patterns that it knows. But if I sit in bed and when I wake up in the morning, I'm in sort of a hypnotic trance, like that, that place that you are, right when you wake up in the morning is sort of this nice little lowly hypnotic trance. So, you don't even need to get into the trance. You are already in the trance. And if you lay in bed in that state, it's sort of like that same feeling when you hit the snooze alarm, that's sort of half awake, half asleep state. If you hit the snooze alarm, it's a perfect time to meditate and to think your day through ahead of time and what you really want to be focusing on is that vulnerable time for yourself. So what you want to do is you want to go through what you usually do. Like, okay, I come home, I grabbed the cheese and crackers. I sit on the couch, I watched the night news, and then I blow through that slip of crackers. Right. And then I feel bad. Okay. Then what you're telling the brain is like, okay, I start here, I'm excited, but then I feel bad. So, you're starting to tell the brain, oh yeah, I go through that whole thing and then I feel bad. So now you want to rewind just like you would a movie and you wanted to play that scene through again, but you want to now think of what you want to do. So I now see myself in my imagination. I'm coming home. I'm putting my tennis shoes on. I'm going out for my walk. I've got my earbuds in. So I'm listening to something wonderful, like my lovely music or my podcast that I like. And I'm coming home and I'm sitting and watching the nightly news and I feel refreshed and energized in my body. I'm drinking a glass of water. I feel fantastic. And this is telling the brain, "Ooh, this is what we want to do. We want to do that old pattern that made us feel bad. We want to do this new pattern. That sounds good." But you want to play that movie through a couple of times in your brain because your brain can't separate fantasy from reality. So when you're presenting it to it, it's sort of like athletes will play out their plays out on the field in their mind before they go and do it. It's the same thing you want to think through those vulnerable times of your day, with the more powerful, alternative pattern that you want, or you are creating. And this may take, you know, it might not just happen overnight. It may take a couple of days if you're doing this, but it's, you're starting and you're starting with the end in mind. So your morning meditation time becomes a powerful way to make that change in the afternoon.

New Speaker: Now, another thing that I share with my clients that I cannot tell you the difference that this makes is like most people under eat and in the beginning of the day, and then they overeat at the end of the day. And, a lot of this under-eating is crashing our blood sugar. And what happens then is we come home and we begin to eat and it takes a long time to signal our body that we're full. And so we can get in a lot of cheese and crackers before our brain will say, "Hey, dude, enough". We might, we might motor through a bunch of cheese and crackers and dinner and still feel hungry after if our blood sugar is too low. So, one thing I would say is if you're somebody who works out of your, like away from home, you definitely want to eat some protein. Protein way better than carbohydrates, because carbohydrates will, elevate your blood sugar and crash it probably before you get home. Protein with amino acids will stabilize your blood sugar insulin levels and actually give you a nice little stable ride. So that by the time you get home, you aren't hungry. You don't need to go to the kitchen for that snack. And it doesn't need to be a lot of calories. If you're counting your calories and wanting to, you know, stay within a range, you know, it could be a hundred, 200 calories worth of, you know, like a hard boiled egg or a Turkey jerky or a deli Turkey, or, you know, vegetarian protein, like a marinated smoked tofu, or, uh, even a protein drink. You know, just something at that four o'clock time. It doesn't have to be big, but it will give you that powerful boost that will, that will sell you through to dinner and keep you from feeling vulnerable in that afternoon time. Especially like if you're somebody who comes home and has to manage kids as well, and, you know, give them snacks and all of that, it's so much easier to, you know, or if you're coming home and pouring a glass of wine or something like that, you know, it, it's just so much easier when you are stabilized with some nourishment before you get home, rather than waiting till you get home. And then you have your whole kitchen to, you know, suck you in.

New Speaker: And the last but not least thing is a final mental walkthrough. So here's my coaching with that. I don't know what form of transportation or if, even if you're at home, if you're at home, if you work from home, you know, maybe you go in your bedroom and lie down on your bed and do this. If you're driving, you can come home and park in your driveway and do this. If you take public transportation, you can do this just before you get off on your stop, wherever you are before you hit home or hit that, you know, afternoon pattern time. You want to think it through again. So you thought it through in the morning, then you want to do a final rethink just like that. You know, the athletes right before they get on the, you know, they're like, okay, what's the play? What are we doing? Okay. Yeah, we're going to do this. Then we're going to do that. Then we're going to do it. Got it. Okay. We're good. You know, that's what you want to do. Okay? So you're starting with this new identity of yourself. You're, you know, now somebody who's creating a new, powerful pattern for themselves, whether it's exercising or napping or meditating, or doing some yoga or running around with your kids out in the yard, but your, you know, thinking it through in the morning, first, you're getting that protein in use so that you're stabilized and nourished and water to, you know, hydrate as well. And then you're doing that final mental walkthrough.

New Speaker: And what you want to also think about, you know, because like I said, this might not happen overnight. You want to think of this as a project and a project you're going to win. So you want to create versus criticized. So, you know, if it doesn't happen the first day, you don't want to be like, okay, it didn't work and this isn't going to happen. Now, you know, like you are rewiring yourself and you've wired to do this pretty deeply. So, it may take a few days. I want you to believe you can start right away and see the value. But if you fall back into that old pattern, just go, oops. I fell back into the old pattern, let's me refocus on the new pattern and really have a bigger, higher level vision in mind of like this pattern by breaking this pattern is going to allow me to release those next two in pounds. By breaking this pattern is going to make me feel awesome about myself cause it's going to give me so much more confidence, right? You want to add value to the pattern change, just not, it's not make it just about the pattern change itself.

New Speaker: And finally, you just keep going, keep going, keep believing in yourself, keep, keep shifting that identity of yourself. And you will see that you will change that pattern. It is an adaptation process. You want to see it as such. This is a great way that you can use your mind more effectively to, to really break up and recreate that new afternoon pattern.

Speaker 1: Well, Suzanne, I hope you, and all you listeners out there found this lesson helpful. Thank you again for listening and tuning in. And if you have anything you would like me to explore, like Suzanne just was bold and said, you know, help me with this. You know, let me know, just email me at [email protected] and I would be happy to create an episode around it. And in the meantime, have a great week stay cool. And if you find some zucchini in your back of your car, if you've left it open, it might've been from me, but have a fantastic week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to long-term success is in you. So keep listening and find it and I will see you next week. Have a fantastic one.

Speaker 2: Do you want to dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release, tips, strategies, and more, and be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking: Unlock Your Mind For Permanent Weight Loss.