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Behavioral Tools Breaking Those Barriers to Success

The Ten Most Important Behavioral Tools

Your personal eating style is a refill action of your individual preferences that you alone determine. It’s a matter of what naturally appeals to you in two concrete areas: (1) the fl Avro and texture of particular foods, and (2) the times of day and how often you prefer to eat. When you can accept your personal eating style, you’ll be able to develop some good behavioral tools to match what feels natural to you. You can play to your existing strengths and maximize your behavioral changes. Use your combination of preferences to select the best tools for an eating pattern you can live with for the long term. Your goal in this section is to identify the kinds of eating patterns you naturally gravitate toward and then tailor your eating to work with, not against, your natural habits. Trust me, it works! Here ’ s a list of some key factors necessary to identify your own eating style. Choose from among the options on this checklist to describe you. Do you recognize yourself here?

Work with Your Eating Style

Grazer versus Three – Meal – a – Day Eater A grazer enjoys eating many times throughout the day. The concept of mini-meals appeals to the grazer, who achieves a sense of control without deprivation by having a constant stream of calories, in small amounts, seven to eight or more times a day. Pros: Eating frequently provides a continuing sense of satisfaction. Cons: Calorie control can be a problem with such frequent eating. The three-meal-a-day eater likes a routine that is easy and convenient, with a manageable structure and without a major time commitment.

Night eaters are often busy during the day and do not have much time for or interest in daytime meals and snacks. Night eaters particularly enjoy after-dinner snacking, which they often associate with relaxation and freedom from stress. Night eaters always choose after dinner as the time for their daily snack intervals. Pros: Caloric bartering, and saving 200 calories a day for the evening, provide a lot of satisfaction and contentment. Cons: This style can lead to meal skipping during the day in the hope of saving calories for the evening and then being vulnerable to overeating at night. Home Cook versus Restaurant Eater The home cook fails to find the appeal of restaurant eating and eats most meals at home. The home cook shops and prepares food regularly and has reasonably tight control of both food ingredients and portion size.

Learn to Change a Habit

We all have eating behaviors we’d like to change. You might be surprised to know that creating a new habit takes at least three to four weeks. The first step is the recognition that something has to be changed. That’s where a bit of self – refl action always helps. It does ’ t just fly out of thin air because you want to make a change. You need to identify a single behavior you want to change and tackle it one day at a time. Only when you become aware of your eating patterns are you able to change them. That’s why writing down what you eat is an important first step, so any trouble spots become clearer. It’s the main reason for keeping your food records. Sometimes it’s not so easy to do on your own. You might need a trusted friend, a support group, or a private therapist as an added tool to help you identify your habit and support positive behavior change.

The best part of making this new habit, though, was that it set a structure to her day. Ellen began her day on a positive, healthful note, a reminder that she was connected to her plan at the start of the day. After about six weeks, Ellen expanded her breakfast options to include a 200-calorie protein bar and a large black coffee (she loved her coffee house) on days when she felt more like biting into something. This solution was perfect for her.

Identify Reasons for Emotional Eating

“ Emotional eating ” is a catch-all term that includes so many things, you’ve first got to sort out what kind of emotional eater you are before you can find the tools to address the particulars. Here are five of the most common triggers for emotional eating. There are many variations on these themes, so see if this helps you identify your own emotional issues c03.indd 28 10/22/09 10:13:35 AM Behavioral Tools 29 with food. When you can identify the problem behavior, you can make a plan to change it that works for you.

Last word

Diane made a list of the ways she could delegate her present tasks. First, she learned to say no to a variety of requests, ranging from school volunteerism to selected household activities. Her response became, “Sorry, not this time,” to leave the option open to say yes some other time in the future. She would purchase cookies from a bakery for school bake sales, instead of baking at ten o’clock at night, her first free moment of the day. She turned to meal replacements for breakfast (a bar) and for lunch (a shake), and added a fruit with each, to provide structured eating during her busy workday. She carved out thirty minutes in the late afternoon just for herself. It was up to her whether she would use it for a power walk, a stroll in the bookstore, a phone call with a friend, putting her feet up with a cup of herbal tea, or some other activity that was pleasurable for her. She agreed it was not a waste of time, but was important to recharge her personal batteries. Find professional business plan writers for your start-up business.

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