Habits, Rituals, Traditions

The holidays are coming. From Halloween candy, all the way through New Year’s champagne celebrations, everyone has a memory of specific food and drink that means an enjoyable celebration.

The memory is short. You may forget the day after hangover, or the days after weight gain. You may even have forgtten the week after tight clothes, but the extra weight is still there.

Do you really need to eat that bread? Do you need another version of a stringbean casserole? Plan to feed the smaller person you want to be. You don’t need all the food and drink that is offered. Fill up on ambiance and water instead.

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Food Addict

Are you an all or nothing, black or white, can go days wihtout overeating but once you start you can’t stop sort of person? If yes, you maybe a food addict.

You may try to change your eating habits, but at the first stumble, you think I’ve failed, I blew it, I’m bad or whatever you do to beat yourself up. You stop doing everything that you were doing that was working.

That’s like spraining an ankle and amputating the leg, or having a flat tire and junnking the whole car. Keep on keeping on.

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Frequency and Portion of Food

Two components of weight gain is 1) how frequently are you consuming any one food and 2) is the protion growing?

Frequency patterns of anything you’re consuming daily will eventually increase to twice daily. Salads, coffee, alcohol sweets are only a few samples. The antidote is to skip and scatter. If you’re having an item today skip a day before consuming it agian.

The portion of every item of food is increasing too. A portion, four counces, of any item will always be enough if you eat slowly enough. Are you eating 6-8-10 ounces of every item of food?

Eat when hungry and stop eating when no longer hungry. It takes consistency of actions. Consistency leads to success.

Keep doing the same old things and your habits stay chronic.

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A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Day Dream

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.

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Repatterning Entrenched Habits

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.

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Eating Habits

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.

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Why a variety of food, seasonings, and preparation is helpful to your weight loss goals.

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.

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It’s a meal, not a marathon.

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.

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Ask If You’re Hungry

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?

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Keep a Log

“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.

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