Overcoming habitual comfort eating
One of my friends wished me ‘Happy chocolate day!’ on Easter Sunday.
I’ve heard it said that there are 3 days of the year that you can have chocolate for breakfast; Christmas, your Birthday, and Easter Sunday.
How difficult is it to resist that social norm?!
This pervasive attitude is just one of the MYRIAD of things that make it difficult for us to stop eating, and to lose weight.
In this newsletter I’m going to show you one way to start thinking about your eating differently. Practice this for a couple of months and your eating behaviour will change.
Today I’m going to tell you something about the habit process
(developed from the work of C. Duhigg)
The idea is that there is a cue which triggers off a habit.
So, for example, after dinner you may be in the habit of eating a few sweets, or going to the cupboard and bingeing on biscuits.
Or, if you pass a petrol station, you may have the routine behaviour of popping in to buy some chocolate.
There is the cue, and the automatic unchallenged action that habitually follows the cue.
Duhigg quotes research suggesting that 40% of our activity is habitual.
To begin to combat overeating, the idea is that we need to alter our cue or our response. So, do something different.
For example, go for a walk or phone a friend after dinner, or drive a different route that does not pass that same petrol station.
Can you think of a cue or routine that you have that you could change? No matter how small, as a first step?
The third part of changing this cue-routine behaviour is reward. Duhigg stresses that it will help to keep the idea of a reward in mind:
…”I will lose weight”
…”I will feel proud of myself”
…”I won’t feel shame later”
…”It would be nice to talk to my Sister about what’s been going on today”
…”I can go past that tree that’s blossoming on the next street!”
Commit to practicing this change of habit for a couple of months, and your behaviour will start to change.
We are currently in the middle of the Introductory programme in Bristol.
Assessments for the next Introductory programme are being conducted now.
Also coming soon: online introductory programme!
Register your interest here.