One of the keys to losing weight and keeping it off is being aware of your eating habits and possibly changing eating behaviors. A food journal can be a powerful tool that can help you recognize your eating behaviors. Many eating behaviors are learned in childhood and are deeply ingrained. For emotional eaters it is a knee-jerk reaction that sends them to the kitchen when stress kicks in. Others tend to eat when they are bored. Perhaps your poor sleeping habits are the culprit? While it can be challenging to change these behaviors, given time and with practice you can!
The first step is recognizing what is motivating you to eat. When a craving kicks in, stop and slowly count to twenty. Give your defenses time to kick in. Are you really hungry? Is food going to solve the problem? Can you think of something else to try instead? Try talking yourself out of eating and be sure to take yourself out of the vicinity of food.
If you find that there are things other than hunger that lead you to want to eat, plan a strategy to try next time you are in that situation. If you tend to eat out of boredom, the next time you find yourself getting up off the couch and heading towards the kitchen steer yourself out the door for a quick walk. Moderate exercise can actually help suppress appetite. Exercise is also a great outlet for stress. Other options you could try include meditation, deep breathing, yoga or talking to a friend. Realize that food does not solve the problem and only delays your from reaching your weight loss goal.
Remember to be patient and realistic with yourself. If you have been eating a certain way your entire life it will be easy to slip back into old habits. Don’t expect perfection. Realize that a lapse does not need to become a relapse. Use the lapse as a learning experience and move on. Remain focused and stay positive. Celebrate small victories!