A food plan creates a structure. If you’re overweight or out of control around food, an eating plan helps you plan, shop and achieve your goals. When unplanned food arrives, you can refuse it knowing it’s just a visual stimuli you weren’t thinking about, until you saw it.
The satisfaction of making a plan and sticking to it surpasses overeating.
If you’re using food to change your mood, it’s not working. You’ll build a tolerance and will always need more and more.
Create a plan and try to follow it. Your dream can become a reality.
First you have to identify the pattern that you keep trying to change but have limted success, if any. If the old patterns come back, so will any lost weight. In order to change an eating-related habit, you need to create an arsenal of thoughts, words, and actions.
A thought might be that you want to weigh ____ pounds. I CAN DO IT!
A word might be “No, thank you” to yourself and others. “No thanks, I’m not hungry.”
An action? When in doubt, get out. Move you, move it. The moment will pass.
A habit is an acquired behavior pattern, regularly followed, until it has become amost involuntary.
When it comes to eating habits you’ve unknowingly created numerous rituals for every sutation. This is how I eat and drink with co-workers. This is how I eat with family members. This is how I eat in a Chinese restaurant, in an Italian restaurant, anywhere and everywhere. Every food encounter has a ritual of its own.
To change your weight, you want to change your habits, not foods. This is called repatterning.
When you continue to eat your “usuals” and “favorites,” your actions and reactions are mindless. You’ll always finish everything on your palte. The “bigger you” makes these decisions. When you order a wider variety of foods including soups and all-vegetable meals, different preparations, interesting seasonings, you’ll most likely leave food on your plate. The “smaller you” makes those decisions.
Are you spearing your food, shoveling things on your plate into your already full mouth, and swallowing without chewing? Yes? You may be a compulsive overeater.
Always use utensils, not fingers. And put utensils down between bites of food and sips of beverages.
Before Eating any food ask: Am I hungry or what?
Are you bored, stressed, angry or eating because you’re lonely, tired, sleepy or grumpy?
Are you eating because of good news? Bad news? Or no news? One man said “during the news.”
There’s only one reason to eat. That is if you’re hungry. Do you even know what that feels like?
“Scripta manent verba volant.” What is written remains. What is spoken vanishes into thin air.
Keep a food log. If it’s not water, it’s food. Write it down. Every scrap of lettuce, the french fry you ate from your daughter’s plate, the grape that fell on the counter, when you were straighening up, every sip of wine from your friend’s glass.
It’s all very sobering.
Don’t want to keep a log? You’re resisting change. You’re in your addiction.
Overeating is usually too many items, the portions are too big and you’re doing the same thing over and over. This is called the frequency pattern. How often do you have a cup of coffee during the day? How often do you eat a salad in a restaurant because it came with the meal? How often do you have drinks with friends because that’s what you always do?
There are good habits like washing the dishes or brushing your teeth where repitition and mindlessness is helpful. But when it comes to eating, you have to know that one overeating episode will turn to two and then three and then four until you’re overeating at every meal every day. What items do you find you’re repeating all the time?
One of the first components of identifying Food Addiction is resistance to change.
You may be comfortable doing everything you’re doing, and feel that if you changed you would be uncomfortable. This is not the truth.
And so you hesitate to keep a food log, to slow down your eating a bit, to plan ahead a little differently . . . this is resistance to change.
Facing these things head on will help you realize how entrenched the old habits are. Each time you repeat the old rituals, you reinforce the old way and keep it chronic.
Each time you do the new way you’re creating new habits that will eventually become comfortable.
Onward and downward,