Behavior modification can be a very beneficial addition to a weight-management plan. It helps people focus on the behaviors that are connected to their overeating. They become more mindful not just of what they are eating, but how, when, where and why they’re eating.
Many people struggle with their weight despite being knowledgeable about nutrition and food. The following tips can help you better understand your relationship.
Manage the Home Environment
- Keep foods you crave out of sight. The phase “Out of sight, out of mind” works with foods, too!
- Stay out of the kitchen unless you are preparing or eating a meal.
- Plan healthy meals before you go shopping. This will keep you from buying foods that are not part of your meal plan.
- Don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry. It can cause you to make poor choices and bring unhealthy food into your house.
- Reduce your television-viewing time. A recent study found that when adults spent 50% less time watching TV, they significantly increased their energy expenditure.
- Are you bored, tired or stressed? If you’re anything other than hungry, try to substitute a different activity for eating. Go for a walk, call a friend or take a power nap instead.
Take Control of the Work Environment
- Plan your lunches for the week ahead of time instead of waiting to make a decision while you are starving or surrounded by temptations in the cafeteria.
- Working while you eat can lead to mindless eating, and leave you feeling unsatisfied and wanting more.
- Meals may cause overeating at your next meal and can slow down your metabolism.
- Do not keep tempting foods in your desk; try sticking to a “no eating at the desk” rule.
- Instead of snacking, take a short walk during your breaks, even if it’s just around your office or building.
Modify the Mealtime and Food Environment
- Use smaller bowls, plates and cups. Looks can be deceiving; a full plate can make you feel more satisfied after a meal.
- A recent study showed that dieters who drank water (about 16 ounces) before meals lost significantly more weight than those who did not.
- Eat only while sitting at the dining room or kitchen table. Not while watching TV.
- Put down your fork or spoon between bites of food and eat slowly. Enjoy your food!
- Avoid serving food “family style” on the table. You may be more tempted to reach for seconds even if you aren’t physically hungry.
- Plan at least 20 minutes for a meal if you can. It takes your body that long to realize that it is full.
Small Changes, Big Results
It’s OK if some of the ideas above might not fit into your lifestyle. Trying just one or two from each category could help you reach your weight management goals.
Anoop Nain is a health blogger and Internet Strategist at Sama Hospital. He is from Delhi and loves to experiment with his blog to get the best result.