Do you tear through your cabinets looking for a snack at midnight? Is dessert a must have after every meal? Do you drive-thru for most of your meals? Do you eat when you’re stressed? In order to make any substantial progress with your weight-loss and fitness goals you will have to take an honest look at your eating habits throughout your daily routine. The truth is that most people are unaware of their sabotaging habits.! It’s important to know your eating personality to know what your challenges might be and to be able to prepare yourself for these particular needs. Try to determine which one of these categories you fit in.
Compulsive eater: Are you tempted by the slightest suggestion of eating? Do you start planning your next meal or dessert fairly soon after you just ate? Are you always looking for a snack? Do you tend to overindulge at most meals? These may be signs that you are a compulsive eater.
Mindless eaters: Do you eat without paying any attention to what you are eating, like eating in front of the TV or night time snacking.? Do you eat when you’re bored ? Lack of engaging activities or social interests can often lead you to eat even when you’re not hungry. Many people begin overeating due to pure boredom.
Social eaters: Would you rather eat with a group of friends than alone? Do you eat at social gatherings even if you have already eaten? Do you share food with others just to fit in? Do you push friends to try your food or eat with with you?
Emotional eaters: Do you eat in response to emotional triggers like if you’re stressed, depressed, upset, or feeling out of control? Some people start and continue to eat emotionally as a way to distract themselves from issues and emotions. If you eat when you’re anxious or depressed but not necessarily hungry, you may be turning to food to suppress your emotions rather than satisfy your appetite.
Maybe you fit into more than one of these categories, or even all of them. What can you do to control these self-sabotaging behaviors?
You can start by creating a healthy relationship with food. Identifying unhealthy eating patterns is the first step in stopping this often self sabotaging behavior. Try keeping track of what you’re eating as well as why you’re eating it. Recording your feelings is important in understanding the motivation to eat. Writing down when you feel hungry, or when you have the urge to eat, what you want to eat,and how much is important in identifying destructive eating patterns . A food journal can help individuals get a more objective grasp of the issues surrounding their food choices and what causes the urge to eat when not physically hungry.
Often stopping before eating and asking yourself whether you are physically hungry, or whether you simply want to eat out of boredom or anxiety is important. Self monitoring is a good way to identify unhealthy eating patterns and stop the vicious self defeating cycle.
Does your environment support your new eating habits? If there’s nothing tempting in the house to eat, chances are you’re going to eat properly. So it would be a good idea to take some time and survey what items you have in your pantry and refrigerator. Instead of turning to food as a coping mechanism try to develop a support system to help manage your stressors. Make sure you surround yourself with supportive people that understand your goals.
In order for you to reach your fitness and weight-loss goals you have to be in control of your eating habits. Try these suggestions for at least one week, you might be surprised what you find out about yourself!