While I’ll be aiming to continue to bear January’s fruit-and veg habit in mind, my new food habit for February is:
Eat as little as emotionally possible
I feel like I really have to address the amounts and reasons for what I’m eating and this goal encompasses a load of sub-goals and habits that I hope will bring me to a healthier place.
- Think about how much I’m eating – portion size. Back when I was suffering from some weird stomach trouble in the middle of 2012, I realised that really all you ever need to eat in one go is a fist full of food. This is particularly true in the afternoon/evening when I find my appetite trails off dramatically. So when I’m making and eating meals, I need to consider this and not fill my plate when I don’t need to; there’s always other stuff to get on with. In particular if I’m singing I need to not be too full anyway.
- Think about when I’m eating, and re-institute eat-free slots of time. This particularly applies to days at work where I can often find myself tempted to graze throughout the day. If I set times to eat and have an idea of what I’ll eat when, I have no need to make decisions on the fly depending on how I feel, and I’ll be keeping my energy levels even. This naturally leads to having slots of time (depending on the day’s schedule) that are “eat-free” and that gets me into the habit of ignoring food and concentrating on getting on with other things. At home I don’t have this problem because the things I have to do are so pleasant that I easily forget about food once I’ve eaten, sadly the same can’t be said about work! But if I institute the habit I know I can get back to where I was – and feeling in control of my “feeding schedule” makes me feel in control in so many other ways.
- Think about why I’m eating, and if it’s to regulate my emotions, try to use other strategies. I’ve noticed (particularly at work) that I’ll get in a certain mood where I’m either stressed or finding it hard to concentrate and can’t settle into doing something productive, and that’s one time in particular that I’ll be tempted to just graze on whatever food is around. If I could knock off that one particular trigger, that alone would get me a long way to reducing my intake during the week.
- Be more conscious about my choices and triggers and post to my weight-loss journal as many days as possible.
Last month I tracked servings of fruit and veg on a daily basis and that worked quite well, so in February I’m going to continue and award myself points each day for each occurrence of the items above – each time I decide not to eat something out of an emotional rather than hunger-driven impulse; each time I observe eat-free time zones; each time I post a journal entry; and each time I limit my portions to a sensible amount. This little collection of habits might take more than a month to build but it would make a massive difference if I can implement them all.