This lies outside the concern of what kind of foods you are going to eat, how you are going to exercise and what your other health concerns may be.
Because no matter where you are in your journey chances are very good you are eating too much food, too quickly, in the wrong environments and so on.
Getting a handle on how you eat is the kind of baseline behavior that will carry you on through life – long past your current weight loss goals.
- Plan your meals ahead of time – Before you go to bed at night, you should have a good idea of what the next day’s meals are going to be, in the same way you know what clothes you are going to wear or what your to-do list looks like.
- Shop for your food with meal planning in mind – When you make your shopping list, physically or mentally, you should do so after taking a good look at the contents of your refrigerator and pantry. What do you need for the next couple days in order to prepare12-15 meals?
- Prepare your food ahead of time – We currently favor making large batches of soup and vegetables and storing them in the fridge. This gives us the ingredients to ladle out per-prepared food into containers to either eat at work or quickly heat them up at home.
- Portion control – Have you ever seen an 8-ounce coffee cup? Compared to what we are chugging today, it looks like a shot glass. Same goes for bowls – an old-fashioned soup bowl is half the size of the chunky ones being sold today. We eat too much, and part of the reason is we have grown accustomed to being served food and beverages in over sized containers. If you don’t want to purchase new items just yet, put your food on salad dishes instead of something as big as the lid to a garbage can. You can comfortably cut your consumption by one-third simply by taking care of portion control.
- Eat sitting down at a table – Everyone has a dining room or kitchen table that is supposed to be for eating, but is often used to store the mail, folded laundry and so on – and is often walked past with a steaming plate of food on the way to sit down at the computer chair or in front of the television. Clear the table off of everything not related to eating and sit down to eat your meal – re-create this table as the oasis where you nourish your body.
- Do not bring your phone, tablet, laptop or any other electronic device with you to your table – This includes the television, radio or other electronic stimuli which might be blaring from a few feet away or another room.
- Before you eat, say grace or an equivalent – Clear your mind of anything else that is going on and concentrate on what you are about to do – nourish your body. You can enter this time by either saying a religious note of thanks for your meal or something of your own design, such as “This delicious food nourishes my body and I am thankful.”
- Taste and chew your food thoroughly – Food really should be enjoyed. And when you taste and chew your food, it really is a delight.
- Put your fork or spoon down between bites – We have learned the habit of using utensils as a steam-shovel. By putting your utensil down, you will find that it is easier to taste your food, chew it properly, enjoy your meal and actually feel full as you are eating less overall.
- Drink water with your meal – A small glass is fine. Liquid does help you eat, cleaning and refreshing the mouth and filling your stomach. It’s good for you.
- Breathe – as you eat and between bites. Breathing helps you be present as you are eating, prolongs the process and again, helps you to feel nourished on less food.
- Eat until you feel full, then stop – Being more conscious while you are eating allows you to notice when you become full and can stop eating. It’s an amazing concept.
- Clear the dishes, wash them and put them away – This has a subtle effect – by tidying up after each meal, you are signalling to yourself that eating is not a round-the-clock activity. If there are always dishes and food laying about, it’s a signal that you can always be eating. Which you can, of course, until you die prematurely.
- Brush your teeth when you are done eating – This is similar to the previous notion. If you always have the remnants of the last thing you ate hanging around in your mouth, that is a not-so-subtle signal that you should always be eating, because you are always having food in your mouth.
- Notice how you feel after you eat – if you are tired or sleepy, you ate too much and can continue to cut down on your portions in your meals.
These are all common sense ideas that can help you slow down when you are eating, enjoy your food more and eat less – the goal of any long term weight maintenance program. And yes, they are different than the way many people currently eat and will take some practice. For example, I had written some notes for this post before making my lunch today – and deliberately made a meal smaller than the one I had at the same time yesterday – because I felt tired afterward. Despite the smaller portion, I was still listless after today’s lunch – which is okay, I will adjust again. The point isn’t being perfect, it’s to eat as healthfully as possible.
How Hypnosis Can Help You
Modify Your Eating Behavior
As of this writing, I have lost 40 pounds using hypnosis as a means to help me achieve my goal. And as you can see from the list above, there is a lot more to achieving a health goal than a few relaxing sessions loaded with helpful behavioral suggestions.
Hypnosis, however, does provide the foundation for this kind of behavioral change – it helped me start thinking about the food I was eating, and how much of it, how that made me feel, etc. And led me to come up with ideas on how to consciously modify my behavior to continue achieving this particular goal.
It also helped me believe I could achieve my weight loss goal – by bringing back memories of when I felt and looked better, and how I made that happen and so on. So hypnosis is a wonderful adjunct to any weight loss program, because it works with your subconscious mind to get you moving in the right direction, and creates a new basis for conscious thinking about food, fitness and health.
Did you know you can easily learn self-hypnosis – and even write your own weight loss programs? When you become a member of The Brain Garage, not only do you get instant access to all our 500 MP3s, you also get our 30-day Self-Hypnosis training program, Ultimate Self-Hypnosis.
So if you are interested n taking control of the story in your own mind (especially around fod and weight loss), become a member today!