Karen Ensle Ed.D., RD, FADA, CFCS
Family and Community Health Sciences Educator
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County
Food is often connected to our emotions and this can lead to serious weight problems. For instance, many of us eat when we're under stress which triggers patterns of over-eating/under-eating. Often we find ourselves eating “mindlessly” out of frustration, anxiety, loneliness, or boredom. Consider your eating habits during these times and how you feel before, during and after eating. By thinking about what event triggers your eating habits, you can learn ways to disrupt those negative patterns. Try these suggestions:
Separate Eating Meals/Snacks from Other Activities - If you sit in your chair, watch TV, or read the morning paper, you will feel like eating any time you sit in this chair, regardless of physical hunger.
Consider Eating as a Pure Experience - Nothing else should be done while eating and every bite should be enjoyed. Otherwise, you get all the calories, but only part of the pleasure. These are calories wasted, not tasted. Other relevant factors during eating include speed of eating and rate of chewing.
Follow an Eating Schedule - Planning an eating routine or controlling the number of times you eat each day (especially if you tend to skip or delay meals and overeat later) can make a big difference.
Limit the Places Where You Eat - Most people associate places with eating. Some people can eat anywhere. They eat standing up, sitting down, at the kitchen counter, in an easy chair, lying in bed, or driving a car. Instead, select one place in your home where you will eat and eat all your meals there. [I deleted the rest because some people have no choice but to use their kitchen table for other things].
Follow these five behavioral techniques to break the mood/food relationship to lose and maintain your weight.
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