Many of the reasons people have more weight on their bodies than they want have to do with the habitual behaviors they developed as they were growing up. Other reasons have to do with the habitual choices they learned to make when they were young adults, perhaps at college or in the military.
Often, those habits — even though they might have been a good idea at the time we learned them — are not helping us so much now. And if you are overweight to the extent that you are online to learn about ways to reduce your weight then it is probably due, in part at least, to the habits you already have.
It’s time for a change.
First rule of thumb is to stop listening to people who say that habits are hard to break. Overeating to the point of gaining excess weight is not in the same category as being hooked on cocaine. It is possible that for a very few people food is actually an addiction in their lives… but in truth, that is not very many people.
Most times, it is a matter of learning to make some new habits.
Habit Change #1
Stop eating in front of the TV. And no, don’t even eat there if the TV is not turned on. Go somewhere else in your house where the television is not. (If you have a television in every room in your house, that might be a different issue, but if that is the case, just keep it turned off.)
There is a second part to habit change number 1. Don’t go online while you are eating your meal. Not the laptop, not the desktop, not your phone, tablet or anything. If anything, the internet is more addictive than the television. As a matter of fact if you are reading this while you are eating, start with that. Go away until you are finished eating and then come back to read the rest of this article.
The goal is to pay attention to what and how you are eating. And it is really difficult to pay attention to your food while your mind is far away in the television or in a funny cat video. The television will be there when you are done and so will the internet. They are not going anywhere. And if you pay attention to what you are eating, you will eat less of it.
Part of the reason is that you are going to be paying attention when your stomach says it is full — and that is a good time to stop eating. It is quite amazing how much less you will eat when you eat meals this way. Just eat, don’t do anything else.
You are important and your health is important and your weight is important. And paying attention counts a lot.
Habit Change #2
Stop drinking your calories.
Choose water as your beverage with your meals. Do not choose diet drinks or energy drinks or even milk. Simply drink water or maybe a cup of tea with nothing in it. There are hundreds of delicious teas in the world. And choosing one of those to drink with your meal is a calorie-free way to add some extra enjoyment to your life at mealtime.
Artificially sweetened drinks are never thirst satisfying and are often seen as a punishment. The thought is something like you really want a soda, but since I am on this awful diet at least I can have a diet soda. Don’t do it. Just drink water.
These habit changes can make a large difference in the amount of calories you consume during the course of a day. And by simply making these small changes in your habits, you will feel better and look better and your body will thank you.