When the desire to get that extra weight off means more than the desire to eat an extra bite or two, than you’re not only ready to lose weight, but you’re ready to keep it off — you are motivated! Congratulations! Since calorie control is a critical factor in successful weigh loss, modifying problem behaviors is essential.
The following principles of Behavior Modification will start you on your way to success:
- Do not skip meals — eat snacks & meals at scheduled times.
- Limit food intake as needed.
- Make a substitution — physical activity for snacking.
- Use smaller utensils & dishes.
- Discourage impulsive eating by storing food out of sight (a freezer is best).
- All food should be eaten in an area designated as “dining.”
- Serving dishes should be kept off the table — especially gravies & sauces.
- Leave food on the plate.
In the middle of a meal, pause.
- Before you take the next bite — chew thoroughly.
- Put your fork down before you take the next mouthful.
- While you are eating, don’t do anything else (reading, working on your computer, watching t.v.).
Parties & Holidays:
- Before parties, plan your eating behavior.
- Drink less alcoholic beverages.
- Before you attend a party, eat a low calorie snack.
- Practice ways to decline food.
- If you have an occasional setback, don’t get discouraged.
- As the basis for rewards, use self-monitoring records.
- Make a “Behavioral Contract” — Plan specific rewards for specific behaviors.
- Ask for help from your family and friends. Make suggestions as to how they can help you.
- Encourage them to give this help in the form of material rewards and praise.
- Document the place and time you eat.
- Write down the type and the amount of food you eat.
- List who is present and what you ate.
- Use your journal to document your problem areas.
- Do your shopping after you eat — focus on nutritious foods.
- Make a list before you shop — this helps you to limit what you buy that may be “problem” foods. What may help first is shopping for fresh foods first from around the perimeter of the store.
- Ready-to-eat foods should be avoided.
- Don’t shop for food until you need to.
Goal-setting, portion control, and energy balance are easier to achieve with these simple adjustments. Lifelong changes to lifestyle will go a long way toward reaching and maintaining your weight loss goals. What changes have you seen work?
(C) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer