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Use Your Journal

When people are asked what prompts them to eat, hunger usually comes down near the bottom of their lists. Some people struggle to remember or appreciate what true hunger feels like. We are lucky that we have plenty of food to eat in our society. But its constant presence makes it harder to control what we eat, especially if it brings us comfort or joy.

If you ever find yourself in the fridge, even though you’ve recently eaten, then you know hunger isn’t the reason. More than likely some negative emotion – feeling angry, lonely, sad, stressed, anxious, or bored - has triggered a habit of using food to feel better.

Identifying when these urges strike is a really important strategy when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. When you find yourself at the fridge when you aren’t hungry, ask yourself ‘why do I want to eat? What am I feeling?’

If you aren’t sure, think back to what was happening before you felt the urge. Then ask yourself if there is another way you can feel better without food. Or you could chat to your urge to eat, telling it that you aren’t actually hungry and it’s merely a learned response. Whatever strategy you choose, the more often you break the ‘eating when you’re not hungry’ habit, the weaker its hold becomes.

The Task:

Use your journal in your food diary to write about any times like those described above. Write about what happened and how you felt, read back over yesterday’s journal each day.  If you haven’t had any specific times like this, try to write a few lines anyway about how your day has been with regard to sticking to your calorie quota, how you’re feeling about your weight loss generally or even non weight related stuff about your day.

Being able to get these things down, recognising when you struggle and then tying them in with the other information in your food diary will be a powerful tool - it will help you to pick up on where some of your particular hurdles with weight loss might be and will help you to formulate strategies to cope with these times or circumstances.

If you're having trouble losing weight, ask yourself these 'how are you feeling about losing weight' questions.

Be totally honest with yourself; write your thoughts and feelings down. Have a long, hard think. It will be time well spent as it can make all the difference to your weight loss success.

How are you feeling about losing weight?

  • Hopeful... (maybe this time)?
  • Daunted... (can I really keep this up)?
  • Enthusiastic... (I'm enjoying this and feeling great)?
  • Deprived... (I can't stand not eating what I want)?
  • Excited... (I can't wait to go shopping)?
  • Fearful... (what if I try and it doesn't work)?
  • Positive... (I'm doing well, I'm going to look great on holiday)?
  • Doomed... (I always do ok for the first few weeks then it all starts to fall apart)?
  • Something else... ?

Simply exploring these questions will help you identify and understand your trouble losing weight, anticipate problems and identify solutions.

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