Friday, 23 March 2012

Changing Eating Behaviours to Promote Weight Loss

You can have all the information at your fingertips about weight loss but unless you are aware of you eating habits and behaviours, weight loss is just NOT going to happen! It is critical and essential to implement lifestyle and behavioural change to not only achieve your weight loss goals but MOST importantly….maintain it. 
For many people recognising their eating habits is the first step and also the hardest and don’t worry you are not alone in this! When you feel the urge to overeat, or go for that block of chocolate, stop and think to yourself, what has just happened in my day to make me do this?

If you’ve tried to change your eating habits before or if you’re about to embark on a weight loss journey that involves a change towards healthier eating, the tips in this article may help you succeed.

Step 1
Change your portion size: often you won’t actually realise how big your bowl of cereal is & how much you are really putting on your dinner plate. Once you recognise and are aware of your portion size & make changes accordingly you can go to step 2. Here are some tips
  • Use smaller plates than usual to serve your meals.
  • Eat out of a bowl.
  • Measure your food & have the recommended serve on the label
  • When eating out, buy entrĂ©e sized meals or share a full sized meal with your partner or friend.
  • Increase your water intake
  • Have good quality protein snacks in between main meals.
  • Eat slowly & chew thoroughly
  • If you cook too much, portion out the left overs into single serves in the fridge or freezer
Here are some ideas…..Obviously this is all dependant on many different factors, weight, height, gender, goals, health concerns, family history etc. etc. But here are a few examples
Changed to….
2 x cups of pasta with dinner
1 x cup of pasta with dinner
4 x pieces of toast
1 x piece of toast
6 x serves of fruit
1 x serve of fruit
500g red meat
150g red meat
Soft drink daily
Soft drink 1 x a week
4 x coffees
2 x coffees and 2 green teas
100g nuts
40g nuts
Step 2
Change what foods you are eating.
There are really simple ways to change what you are eating.  One of the reasons most people fail to stick to this step is because they are dramatic & try to change the types of foods they are eating & their portion sizes all at once in all aspects of their food intake.

Both step 1 and 2 are critical in order to achieve weight loss & maintenance in the long term but 1 part at a time! Which option you choose to take first is ultimately up to you. So, changing what you’re eating, it’s simple! Let’s start with a few basic swaps…
Changed to….
Baked or grilled
Juice/Soft drink
Side of chips
Side of Salad
Full fat dairy
Fat reduced dairy
White bread/rice etc.
Wholegrain bread/brown rice etc.
Salted, roasted nuts
Raw, unsalted nuts
Fruit in Syrup
Fresh whole fruit
These are just a few examples to get you started.

Here are some other helpful hints to help you change & recognise eating behaviours & help you achieve your weight loss goal
  • Set goals, track your progress, and reward yourself to stay motivated.
  • Change your reward system so that it is not based on food and reward behaviour modifications, not weight loss results, ie: a massage, shopping, favourite tv show etc.
  • Understand your personal barriers to change so you can avoid excuses.
·         Be ready for change & have a positive attitude.
·  If you are ready to change your eating behaviours and achieve your goal contact Sinead at