Simply changing your eating habits is often the key to reaching your weight loss goals. Ask yourself who, what, when, where, and why questions about your eating habits and listen carefully to the answers. See if you can identify clues that will help you make necessary lifestyle changes.
1. Who Are You Eating With?
Do you find that you tend to overeat or make bad food choices when you are around certain people or at social events? Have a strategy. Rehearse in your mind exactly what you will do in these situations. Remind yourself several times a day that you are in charge of your actions. It’s okay to choose not to be around certain people or attend certain social events. It’s okay to say no thank you and decline an invitation. You are in control of you. If someone will not support your efforts then remove yourself from their association for the necessary amount of time you need to reach your goals.
2. Where Are You Eating?
Too often we eat mindlessly, while we are watching television, driving in the car, while we are cooking, talking on the phone etc. It is during these times that we intake calories with no regard or recognition and inevitably put on unwanted weight. Sit down and eat at the table only.
3. When Are You Eating?
Stop eating two to three hours before bedtime. Calories consumed late in the day stay around to be converted to fat because your metabolism decreases later in the day. Your body is preparing for rest, not digestion.
4. How and What Are You Eating?
Don’t eat so fast. Sometimes we eat so fast, ingesting huge amounts of calories in a short period of time, that we have barely tasted the food, let alone enjoyed it. These calories are turned into unwanted body fat. Chew your food slowly, taste it, make it a habit and give yourself a chance to feel full. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to send a message to your brain that you are full. Put your fork down between bites. Take a break. Drink some water.
5. Why Are You Eating?
Sometimes we think we are hungry when we are really just thirsty. Drink some water first. If you are eating out of boredom, find a hobby or an interest that gets you out of the house. To kill a craving or binge, wait 5 to 10 minutes before putting something into your mouth. This may be all you need to get through. If you are eating late in the evening — especially when you are not even hungry, choose to stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime every night. Chew some gum, brush your teeth, turn off the lights and stay out of the kitchen to remind yourself that you are finished eating for the day.
Taking the time to think about who, what, when, where, and why you eat helps you to identify current habits that need to be replaced with better habits in order to reach and maintain your target weight.
Shelly Crawford is Senior Vice President of Weight Loss Partners LLC, a motivational and accountability company pertaining to long term weight management. Shelly is a Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach: Certified Principles of Group Exercise and Advance Resistance Training. Weight Loss Partners stresses a team approach to weight loss with the goal of building a foundation for living a healthy lifestyle for years to come.
Visit Weight Loss Partners at http://www.weightlosspartners.com and subscribe to receive a complimentary tip every week.
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