Commitment and behaviour modification around food

Commitment and behaviour modification around food

I posted this onto another forum and thought other members of the Weightloss NHS community might enjoy reading it. I know not everything is relevant, but you may find something pertinent to you....

Commitment to diet/lifestyle change and resistance to temptation doesn't just happen! It has to be worked at.

The only way I have succeeded this time is to change how I approach food and eating it. I have learned to resist temptation! BUT please believe that this has taken a LOT of hard work and practice!

It's about "normalising" or "modifying" behaviour around food... and I think that with enough "practice" it becomes more and more easy until you get to the point where a behaviour is modified to the point of it becoming the only way!

I am sure that even some people who are not over weight do sometimes over indulge - but the fact is they don't do it very often!

Those of us who are over weight have been used to "treating" ourselves, eating portions that are too large, eating the things that we know are calorific because we can!

It's been a combination of changing all of those aspects of how I behave around food that has meant I have been successful this time.

I I have developed a respect for the food I eat. Not everyone has the ability to eat as well as we in the western world eat. We should not abuse the privilege!

I rarely eat "on the hoof" any more, I rarely eat between meals. I take time to sit at a table and present my meals nicely. I take a moment or two to really look at my plate of food before I pick up my knife and fork.

Almost daily I say to hubbie "Aren't we lucky to be able to enjoy such lovely food". I really mean that too, I am not saying it for anyones benefit but his and mine. We should never take for granted having easy access to delicious food stuffs and our ability and love of cooking!

If you log your food - keep track of how many calories some of those "treats" contain, after a while they kind of stay in your head (medium egg = 70 cals, slice of white bread 100 cals, meringue nest 57 cals, 30g (matchbox size) of cheddar, 122 cals)

I do have sweet treats, but I buy my own choice, so things like 2 finger Kitkat, single finger Twix, Club biscuit... these are all around 100 calories. I keep them in a tin and I can have one whenever I want to, but I limit it to no more than one a day and usually with my afternoon cup of tea. That's not to say I eat one on a daily basis (usually about 2-3 times a week). They are always logged into my diary.

If you don't keep a log of what you are eating and the calories foods contain, then it's a bit like trying to travel from one place to another without a map! You might get there eventually BUT it's likely to take you much longer than if you planned the route and used a map PLUS you might take a few wrong turnings and end up going back on yourself!

I have also learned not to plan each trip out of the house to include food. Once upon a time, I'd have included lunch with a trip into town, coffee and cake with a visit to the garden centre.

I now plan or even prepare a meal BEFORE I go out (usually a salad) so that I know exactly what I can eat as soon as I walk into the door... and don't turn to "what I fancy" (usually high calorie carbs that don't keep you full for very long...)

Make a list of the reasons WHY you want to lose weight. Keep it somewhere safe (stuck to the inside of a kitchen cupboard door?) and look at it from time to time, especially when you are raiding the kitchen for treats!

I always ask myself before eating something really calorific "Do I really want to eat this thing more than I want to lose weight this week?". It's called "mindful eating" - being aware of why you are considering eating - real hunger? Boredom? Temptation? Feeling fed up?

Have a glass of water, wait 5 minutes and consider whether you still want the food. Once it's been snaffled down, it's too late and you may end up feeling cross and angry with yourself....

....and that feeling (guilt, failure) lasts for a long time, much longer than the temporary enjoyment of whatever treat you ate....

Oh, and I always remind myself how good the feeling is of seeing a loss on the scales at my weekly weigh in! That wonderful feeling lasts for days! Don't forget how that feels - you need to remind yourself of that feeling next time temptation strikes!


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25 Replies

  • That's a really good post - only one complaint, why didn't I read that prior to eating that pork chop :O

    You are right that we should be grateful for the wonderful food we have - I also like the idea of your tin with a few goodies in there too :)

  • The tin keeps everything hidden - I know what is in there, but I don't HAVE to keep helping myself! I feel quite angelic when hubbie asks me if I want a biscuit with my tea and I reply that I don't!

  • Pineapple, this is a brilliant :) I'm a maintainer but in the past couple of months have started picking up bad habits again. It's purely down to food choices, not lack of exercise or anything. I don't want the weight to creep up on me so I've started making some changes and this week I have felt a difference.

    I'm going to bookmark this :) Thank you!

  • Glad it struck a chord! I often remind myself how badly behaved I used to be around food!! :D :D

  • Lovely post pineapple, I have 'snaffled' a sausage roll today after making them for Mum and Dad. I know I shouldn't have. I haven't written out a plan for today, I know we are having curry tonight with cauliflower rice, but I didn't organise the rest of the day. We went out this morning and had a cheese scone and a cup of tea at the Garden Centre, that was going to be instead of lunch. I know my lack of planning today is my problem. I will know have to reign it in and I am going to go away and plan tomorrow and go and see Tiggerr on the DD post.

    Thank you :)

  • Weekends are a little more difficult aren't they? We're off to a party tonight - so that will be my dinner! Thankfully earned a few exercise calories today in the garden... :D

  • We are having a quiet weekend and I find them the hardest really. When there is lots going on I am more focused.

    Hoping to get Poppydog out for a walk soon, if the rain holds off for log enough.

    Have a lovely evening :)

  • We have just had one helluva hail storm - thunder, lightening, hailstones the size of peanuts! Now, an hour later, the sun is shining - CRAZY BRITISH WEATHER!

  • At the back of the house, big black clouds, at the front, blue sunny sky - no thunder and lightening yet although it was forecast. It has gone very chilly, beginning to feel Autumnal already.

  • I spent a couple of hours sweeping / raking oak leaves and galls (damaged acorns). Think the hail just undid all of my hard work!

  • How annoying is that.

    I can now hear the thunder in the background, not sure Poppydog is going to get out, at the moment she is charging up and down the garden barking at the thunder - poor neighbours, will have to get her in.

    I walked around my garden discussing everything that needs doing with my Husband. Depending on the weather tomorrow, we will try and get out there, there is so much to do.

  • Haha. Not just British :) We get that here in NZ as well.

  • Thanks for this post. I feel that it is my attitude to food (such as 'rewards', social occasions, meals out, holidays) which causes me to regain weight I have lost, many, many times. I was reading some interesting short articles on Food Psychology on Diabetes UK website - she talks about eating when you are not hungry, how to say no to food politely, guilt and denial - they are very readable and sensible advice. She talks about mindful eating.

  • Glad this resonated. This aspect (being mindful) is probably one of the biggest changes I've made this time around which has meant I've been successful whereas before, despite repeated attempts to lose weight Ive failed...

  • Good one for the Daily Diary!

  • I agree with the mindfulness aspect, though there are foods which definitely cause a blood sugar/ insulin response hunger and craving rollercoaster I suspect for most of us the biggest hurdle is getting our heads in the right space.

  • Oh yes! For sure!

    I've found cutting out the processed carbs (bread, rice, pasta and processed food with lots of added sugar) has made a lot of my cravings vanish!

    When I first stopped eating bread, I'd suddenly cave and hanker after a slice of toast with marmalade. I no longer have to deal with that!

  • I cut down my starchy carbs too, I do still have seeded bread and potatoes but smaller portions and ditched rice and pasta completely as I don't like them anyway. Last week on holiday I ended up eating a lot of refined carbs and felt hungry but bloated, glad to say though I usually only weigh once a week I got on the scales this morning and half my holiday gain had already gone, phew!

  • As always, very thoughtful.

    I actually believe that schools should set aside a period for 'life skills' and what you've just set out would be included in the curriculum.

  • The sad thing seems to be that fewer and fewer families sit down around a table to eat once a day. That's such an important thing that everyone should make an effort to do.

    Are we all really too busy to make 20 minutes to sit down together and share the news of the day, engage in conversation and eat a meal together? :(

    Food is often used as a treat or a reward for children too, so the message that food is a reward..... is ingrained in young people from the word go.

    I'm glad I am the age I am, as I don't see things as getting any better... I'm unsure why they've called FB, etc "social media" as it is driving people further and further apart and doing nothing to improve social skills!

  • I agree with you totally, although it puts me in danger of being the grumpy old person that I swore I'd never be :)

    I eventually got into FB after eschewing it for quite a long time. At first I was caught up in it until I came to the same conclusion as you. I'd go so far as to say that it can end up being quite divisive. I only use it now for my dogs', as they have their own page and they're not on it all the time :)

  • Haa haa, I don't mind admitting to being a grumpy old person at almost 55 years old! I think I am quite restrained in my grumpiness at the moment.... give me another 5 years!

  • This is an excellent post I can see that I am going to have to really work at losing weight. I have certainly become far to accustomed with "treating" myself. I love the idea about mindful eating and will try this alongside my goals this week which are to track my calorie intake and drink more water.

  • Glad that my post helped! Please make sure you pop back to the forums and let us know how it's going? There is a weekly weigh in hosted each day - I'm hosting tomorrow (Monday).

    When weighing, if you decide to weigh daily, make a mental note of the variation, but please don't let a daily variation get in the way of positive thinking! I vary as much as 3lb one day to the next. Pick a day for a weekly weigh in and stick to that - same time of day (I weigh in on Friday first think after waking, after a wee!)

    Keep a written note of this figure - there are lots of websites where you can download tools to track weight loss (myfitnesspal... sure there are others). Or perhaps use a more visual way to keep track of weight loss

  • Really powerful words Pineapple27. Lots of food for thought there - although that might be the wrong analogy in this case!

    You are so right it is the daily practices that need to be changed not the one off.

    I shall keep your wise words in mind.

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