Do you eat the same foods each week?
Do you shop in the same shop each week?
Do you go to order the same meal when you fancy a “takeaway?”
Do you walk or drive the same way to work?
Do you eat everything on your plate even if you are not hungry?
These are all habits: learned behaviours that have been repeated numerous times until they become automatic and relatively unconscious.
It’s interesting that for some people dieting has become a “habit” and yet like some of the one’s above, it is not a habit that is serving them well or getting them the results that they desire in terms of weight loss.
So what bad habits do you have that are making you fat or are stopping you from losing weight? Are you one of those people who not only skip breakfast but also wait until 3 pm to take your first bite of food and when you do, it’s something like a piece of cake? Or are you a constant grazer ie someone who from the moment they are awake are snacking on biscuits, peanuts, crisp, and cakes all day long? Or are you eating 3 meals a day but eating enough to feed an army?
If you identify with any of the above, then you belong to the club of unhealthy eaters. Unfortunately, this club is not exclusive; there are many members and sadly many children are also now becoming members!
The first step to changing your unhealthy eating habits with a view to being healthier and losing weight, is to identify which bad eating habits you have. Below are some of the common one’s that my clients have highlighted as contributing to their obesity and inability to lose weight:
This is the person who eats on the run; who is not in touch with their own hunger triggers; who habitually misses meals, forgets to eat and then grabs anything to satisfy them. The danger with this habit is that it is common then to eat unhealthy foods in desperation or to over eat because you are starving and feeling low in energy, to compensate for the length of time that you haven’t eaten.
This is the person who grazes all day long, who is always munching on something but never really counting the calories or being aware of what she is eating. Well those snacks add up and can often leave you feeling to full when the proper time to eat comes along. It’s a bit like having a toddler who fills up on sweeties and then doesn’t want her dinner! Most snacks that this group tend to snack on are usually high in fat and calories.ou usually put off having a well-balanced meal. This is a lost opportunity to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need from fruits, vegetables and proteins.
This person is a food lover and eats plenty of it. They will load their plate with food, munch through a food mountain and still want pudding. However, too much of a good thing is not good for the waistline! This person has a total lack of awareness around portion control and this habit is guaranteed to pile on the pounds.
Which of the above do you identify with? If you are overweight you may be doing a mixture of the above and you may even have your own “bad” habits that are unique to you.
Now the best way to lose weight it to change your eating habits and behaviour around food. The first step in this is to become more aware of your bad habits that are contributing to your weight gain and inability to shed those extra pounds. So if you are serious about losing weight, and know that you have some bad habits around eating then this week, you may like to do the following:
1) Write down your bad eating habits that you are aware of e.g.” I always have a chocolate biscuit with a cup of tea” or “I always eat a sweet pudding after dinner” or “I always eat crisps in the evening whilst watching television”.
2) Try and ascertain how long you have had this habit? (is it a recent thing or have you done it since childhood, teenage years, was it part of your family culture etc)
3) The think about and write down where your habit came from. e.g. One client shared with me that she “always had to finish everything that was on her plate” when asked why? She said that it was because she was told as a child that she had to “eat up and finish her meal” because as her mother said “You are a lucky girl having this food, think of all the starving children in Africa!” This made her feel guilty and she was carrying this guilt with her as an adult.
So right now, grab a pen and some paper and get scribbling! In my next blog I will show you the quickest and easiest way to transform your “bad” eating habits into more healthy habits. Until then enjoy your spot of navel gazing!