When wanting to make changes to your eating habits, the best advice I can give is to start with “The Regular Eating Method.” This is the most significant change you can make when it comes to tackling the unhelpful eating habits you want to kick to the curb.
Over 30 years of research in the field of food psychology concludes that introducing patterns of regular eating will help diminish unwanted eating habits. To get started on “The Regular Eating Method” follow the guidelines below:
At the beginning of each day (or the night before) plan in advance when you are going to eat your meals and snacks. If you are working with a CBT-Fitness Health Coach you can use our monitoring worksheet.
At all points in the day you should be aware of when you are going to have your meals and snacks. There will be times where your day will be unpredictable. When this happens, plan ahead as far as you can.
Adopt The “No Choice” Phrase
No Choice, eat each of your planned meals and snacks and nothing in between.
Do your best not to skip any of your meals and snacks or add in extra nibbles when not planned. Try to break long periods of time into more manageable chunks of no longer than 3 to 4 hours. This will help with reducing unplanned eating or giving into those pesky cravings.
Make Your Plan Should Be More Flexible Than Rigid
It’s important that you adjust times of your meals and snacks to suit your day to day schedule. However, do try to establish as regular a pattern as possible.
Do Not Leave More Than 4 Hours Between Meals and Snacks
Long gaps between mealtimes create psychological and physiological pressure to eat that can eventually throw you right off track. Therefore, it would be wise to eat at regular intervals, with a 4-hour gap being the maximum.
Now that we have the guidelines set, how can we monitor progress with implementation of The Regular Eating Method?
Each week ask yourself the following questions:
- Each day, am I planning regular meals and snacks?
- Am I trying to stick to the set plan?
- Am I skipping any of the meals and snacks?
- Are there gaps between my meals and snacks longer than 4 hours?
- Am I eating between my meals and snacks?
- Am I getting back on track when things don’t go to plan?
- Am I adjusting the timing of my meals and snacks to accommodate events and circumstances?
Most people that start The Regular Eating Method will spend quite a few weeks following the guide and using the reflection questions before moving onto what to eat. This method will help you prepare for upcoming dietary changes, that will help you think gain control over food. The added bonus? Your body will change, and you will be able to maintain the fit, healthy physique you are desperately wanting!
Since you may have had unwated eating habits for quite a while it is really important that you make the most of this opportunity to change, otherwise the problem is likely to persist. Making changes will be hard work but it will be worth it. The more you put in, the more you will get out.