10 Ways To Breaking Habits

August 10, 2011

There are times in our lives where  our eating habits slip (especially around the winter months) and we tend to indulge in a little too much of the foods we should be having occasionally. Whether its because we need the added feeling of instant joy (although short lived) due to weather, stress or just exhaustion or we putting on that extra layer to keep warmer (actually that doesn’t really help either), it is time to pull in the reins and get our summer fit on!  This also applicable if you find yourself regularly eating in response to emotions or just boredom, try to break the habit with some of my strategies below.

  1. Most importantly, NEVER GO TO THE SUPERMARKET HUNGRY. This sets you up for making the wrong choices which leads to having the wrong foods in your pantry.
  2.  Don’t fool yourself – buying the super duper family block of chocolate on sale is not a better buy  and      you wont ration it over the next week/month. The truth is, you’ll eat the lot in one sitting! if your craving  chocolate, buy a freddo frog or better still get a small amount of some good quality dark chocolate, get the  taste and more on.
  3.  Make sure your house, car and bag is stocked with nutrient rich foods for snacks eg variety of fruits, nuts and seeds, healthy dips like hummus, ready to eat carrot strips
  4.  Slow down when you eat! Make sure you chew and pay attention to your food. What happens when you eat quickly, its like the food gets inhaled rather than enjoyed, so you don’t even know that you’ve eaten. You don’t get the sense of satisfaction that comes with eating therefore you feel hungry sooner. Also your brain takes 20 mins to recognise that it’s full so you will continue eating when in fact you are already full therefore you will consumer more and feel stuffed at the end.
  5.  Never eat out of a bag, carton or box. Take a measured portion out and put on a plate. Eat only this. This way, you will know exactly how much you’re eating and you wont get caught up in that food amnesia when you putting food in hand to mouth continuously.
  6.  Get enough sleep – Research shows that sleep deprivation can increase hunger by decreasing leptin levels, the appetite-regulating hormone that signals fullness. Furthermore, with adequate sleep, you’ll be less tired and have more resolve to fight off the urge to grab foods for comfort.
  7.  Exercise regularly – Daily exercise relieves stress and puts you in a positive mindset, which provides greater strength to pass on the unhealthy fare.
  8.  Learn to recognize your hunger – Before you automatically pop something into your mouth.  Rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being ravenous and 5 being full. Make every effort to avoid eating when you’re a 4 or a 5.
  9. Keep a food journal – Logging your food will help to identify your toughest timeframes. It will also make you accountable, so perhaps you’ll be less apt to reach for unnecessary food.
  10.  Find alternatives to eating – Prepare a list of activities that are personally appealing and handy. Perhaps go for a walk, call a friend, listen to nostalgic music (anything that brings you back to a happy time), take a hot shower or bath, clean your house, polish your nails, surf the Internet, schedule outstanding appointments, clean your purse, organize your closet, look through a photo album, etc.

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