Healthy Diet

Habits That Can Sabotage Weight Loss. Do You Have This One? You May Not Even Know it

Habits that keep the weight on. Do you have this one?

FOG eating

Back in the day, while training to become a weight loss coach, I learned that there are 4 kinds of eating:

  • Fuel eating
  • Storm eating
  • Joy eating
  • Fog eating

I’ll discuss each of those types of eating, and my versions of them, in future posts. But for today, I’ll focus on FOG eating. This is the type I find the most fascinating because many of us do it without even noticing.

Thus the name, fog eating.

Fog eating is when we eat while we are distracted because we are doing something else at the same time.

Have you ever:

  • Eaten popcorn at a movie and suddenly snapped out of a haze to realize you’d chowed down the whole bowl without even really tasting it? Ya know, when the only reminder you have is greasy fingers from that yellow “IT’S SOOO NOT BUTTER” stuff and the sudden desire for a gallon of Pepsi? THAT.
  • Been out to a lovely lunch with your gal pals, and after eating a delicious gourmet big-A$$ salad, realized you powered down most of the frites (yes, even with the uppity french title they are still french fries, sistah)
  • Nibbled on your kid’s lunches as you prepare them, and realized you just “nibbled” little Mathews whole meal deal? (gotta make sure they are up to par, riiight?)
  • Sampled your fabulous new Giada recipe while making dinner so that by the time it’s ACTUALLY dinner, you’re pretty much full?
  • Licked the frosting out of the bowl because…well, that shitty spatula did a terrible job. And you’re not one to waste food?
  • Stood at the fridge looking for something to eat when you are not really hungry, just bored or anxious, thinking how did I get here?

If any of these things sound familiar, you are in good company.

Yes, as former big time, “professional level” FOG eater, I know that not-so-sneaky idea that what you eat doesn’t count if you don’t notice it. Yes, I know this one VERY well, my sweet Chica.

But Fog eating is all about not being present, and not noticing, and that can make the pounds add up.

When I ask my clients how they think their extra weight,showed up in the first place, alot of them tell me,

“You know, Lisa, I really don’t eat that much.”

So I ask them to keep food journal to keep track of what they eat for three days on their phone or whatever and send it over to me. They sometimes think I’m going to check it out and give them a food spanking, OH NO!

But it’s not for me, it’s for them. It’s so that they can begin to notice-to see-to understand, how they really eat. It’s not about judging.

 I can often tell how strong their commitment to getting past their weight issues by the response.

“Oh, I’m too busy to do thaaaatttt.”

“Ya, sister, I tried that, and it was a total freakin’ hassle.”

“I prefer to tally up my points, thank you. I’m a weight watchers PRO.”

To which I reply:

“Okay, well what if I told you that 90 percent of my clients who lose the weight are willing to do a food journal? Which percentage do you want to shoot for?”

Yeah…I can be a total hard ass. But a coach whose peeps get results knows when to encourage and inspire and when question belief systems that aren’t serving our clients wellbeing. Jus’ sayin’.

This usually knocks a little sense into them. It also makes them supremely aware of any FOG eating they do.

So what is wrong with FOG eating?

It’s mindless. You aren’t fully present.

You generally don’t get pleasure out of it. AND you don’t THINK you’ve eaten anything, so you don’t feel any satisfaction from it.

When you sit down to eat something and you are just the right amount hungry and you have committed to only eating meals that sound delish to you, and you take the time to chew your food and savor each bite you leave the table feeling satisfied and ready to move on to the next thing in your day.

FOG eating is not like that.  It’s a rip-off.

Why?

Regular fog eating leaves you feeling like you never eat much, even when your body knows you have. And that is a drag.  Food is meant to be enjoyed.  It’s meant to be noticed.

Here’s what to try:

Start writing down everything you eat for three days. Do it as the day progresses, not at the end of the day.

Yes, I know it might seem like a pain in the a$$. 

But it’s not nearly as much as a pain in the ass as obsessing over your A$$ all the time!

Ask yourself: Why am I eating this? And Am I really hungry?

If you are not hungry ask yourself, what am I feeling right now?

Answer those questions in your journal.

Then set your intention on abolishing the FOG eating.  Why would you want to eat anything you don’t get to actually enjoy?

These are KEYS to beginning to unlock the door to get this weight loss drama BEHIND you.

Try this. Stay present with your food and all that you do.

With Love,

Ciao for now.

 Lisa

Think this post might help someone else who’s in the fog? Use the share buttons below!

And by all means, leave a comment.  Let’s chat.

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  1. I am a major fog eater lol. I had taken action against myself and the only snacks in my house are things like unsalted popcorn, celery, frozen peas etc.. so at least I am not being unhealthy with my fog eating. I know ultimately I need to stop, but this was a step in the right direction!

  2. I’m glad you found it helpful! Surely we all do this at times, but it’s helpful to recognize it at least and then decide whether we want to “fog out” or tune in! Thanks for sharing @Lilyjane!

  3. Odd one for you, I find that I wake up from nightmares and FOG eat. And don’t realize I am doing it till I’m awake. I found myself doing it this morning. But I’ve seen this pattern and have put only two snacks (I keep them there for my hypoglycemia) there that are 90 calories. So at least I’m keeping the calories down. But I wonder why I semi-sleep eat/FOG eat?

    1. Hi @Tami….Hmmm, that is an interesting one. How long have you noticed this?
      Are you taking any medications for sleep? Fog/night eating is one side effect of taking some sleep meds. Make sure you get balanced meals during the day with enough healthy fats too!

  4. Oh, I sooo know this type! And as much as I love my kiddos, (bad mom moment here), I’m glad they’re gonna be out of town for a while…..I won’t be snacking as much…..(yep, just blamed the kiddos). But they’re constantly wanting cakes, and brownies, and cookies (I’m a pretty awesome baker!) This next month will be a sort of cleanse for us. 🙂