Greetings. Eric Bakker, naturopath from New Zealand. Thanks for catching up with me on my video again. I’m going to talk about snacking today. I’ve had a few patients I’ve seen in my Skype clinic today and one interesting point I raised with a lady was snacking at night. Many people eat at night. Are you one of those people who has their evening meal and sits down, turns on the TV and then says, “Now, where’s that chocolate? Where are those chips? Where are those cookies? Where is that xyz thing that I like to snack on?”
If you’re one of those people who like to snack habitually on foods, it may be in the afternoon, maybe at night time. It could be at any kind of weird or inappropriate time. Think carefully what you’re doing. Usually people who snack at night don’t do it because they’re hungry. They do it because they’re bored. They’ve had enough of life. People in their 40s and 50s get into routines, they get married, they fall into relationships long term, and then she’ll do her thing, he’ll do his thing, she’ll have her snacks, he’ll have his snacks, she’ll have her friends and drinks and nibbles and he will have his mates and man cave, do his man kind of stuff, whatever it is what you men do. I don’t know. I’m a man, I should know.
But the point I’m making is be careful as you get older. I am now in my mid-50s. I can remember how different my life was when I was in my 20s and 30s and 40s, but now I’m in my 50s. Been in a long term relationship 30 years, you tend to get into rut. You get into routines. Is your life a little bit like that? Have you got a particular type of snack that you like to buy or have in the cupboard all the time? This is a classic way to gain a few pounds over 365 days. After 10 years, you’ve got that muffin top or that spare tire around here. It’s easy to gain weight as you get older.
If you find yourself a late night snacky kind of person or watching television snack kind of person, you need to break up your routine a bit and do things different. Many people associate football with beer or they may have their favorite sitcom they watch and then when they watch that, they might want to have some kind of food with that. I’m not really a TV person. My wife and I sit down once or twice a week to watch our favorite soapy kind of thing. We do that because it’s just something we like to do. We’ve been following a particular soapy for many years and we know the characters. I kind of enjoy that to get the time.
I used to fall into the trap of snacking on crappy foods and also with action movies. You watch Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger. We will annihilate the planet and shoot everybody. Guys like watching guns and people falling down. Women like watching romance and stuff like that. If you’re one of these guys who likes to watch action movies, maybe your mouth is doing a bit too much action. Or maybe you’re watching people on sports, golf or football. Maybe the action is happening here, too, when you’re watching action on the screen. Think carefully. What are you doing when you’re eating? Is it because you’re hungry? It’s probably because you’re bored. It’s probably because it’s become a habit. Break this up.
My mum smoked right up until she almost passed away and I can remember a long time ago when mum used to type letters.
Remember typewriters? If you’re old enough to remember typewriters. She used to have a cigarette, put the cigarette down, pick up the cigarette, put the cigarette down. Okay, so that’s an associated habit. The cigarettes and the typewriter. Many people have associated habits. They’ll do one thing and they’ll have something else they’re doing with it.
I’ve got a very good friend in Australia and every time he’s out there watering the garden, he’s got a glass of wine in his hands, so he’s associated wine drinking with watering the garden. These association habits can be broken. Does it mean he’s got to stop watering the garden? No. It means maybe he should water the garden at another time of the day because he’s less likely to have a glass of chardonnay in your hand at 8 o’clock in the morning than you are at 5 o’clock in the evening.
Think carefully about the snacks you’re having. Why are you having the snack? Are you stressed? Are you bored? Are you frustrated? What’s the purpose of that snack? Are you having snacks every Friday and Saturday night? Are you having snacks every night of the week? Have you been gaining weight? Has the weight gain, fatigue, and gut problem been associated with this snacking habit? Maybe you’re buying a bar of chocolate every week. Maybe you’re snacking on chocolate every night. Many people develop digestive problems around their snacking habits. Makes sense? Makes sense. Think about it.
On the lighter side, I’m going to leave you with this one, “If you can’t be a good example, be a terrible warning to people.” You like that one? Be a good example, especially if you’ve got teenagers like me. If you don’t want teens to smoke and drink, don’t smoke and drink yourself. If you don’t want your teens to use profanity, don’t use profanity yourself. Think about the good example versus the terrible warning. You can’t change people. They have to change themselves. But by being a good example, you’re not going to be a terrible warning to people.
Same if you’re in a personal relationship with somebody. You might have a best friend. She’s drinking too much wine. He’s eating too much fatty chips or something like that. Again, by being a good example, your friend will be positively influenced by that. That’s going to really improve the relationship between you both.
I’ve got a very dear friend in Australia who drinks too much alcohol. He’s a really nice guy. But when I’m with him, I make sure that we don’t drink alcohol and his wife supports that. When he’s with me, he knows that we’re probably going to go for walk. We’re probably not going to drink alcohol. That’s a positive reinforcement. You can do that too in your personal relationships with your friends, with your family, with your partner. Think about that. You can either be a good example or a terrible warning. Think about it.