Food Habits That Make You Fat

Julia Denham


Weight loss can be challenging because we have a whole series of habits which we’ve build up around food and dieting. If you can identify some of your bad food habits, and get into the habit of challenging them, weight loss will become much easier.

One of the reasons diet programs work so well is that they help you to create new food habits. If you are not in a program however, you’ll have to develop your own new good food habits.

Let’s look at five food habits which make you fat and what to do about them.

1. Thinking of food as a reward

A whole culture has grown up around the concept of food as a reward — when we want to reward ourselves for a job well done, we have a night out at a restaurant. If we have a celebration we
give a party to which we invite all our friends.

We buy chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Love is associated with food, and we can’t imagine a celebration without food.

Many parents develop this food habit in their children, by rewarding children with special treats.

Combat this bad habit by developing a new system of rewards. Reward yourself with a CD, a trip to a spa, or a night at the movies. Make a list of rewards you could give yourself which are not food-related.

If you usually go out to eat several nights a week, start cooking at home. When you cook at home, you have control of the method of cooking and the portions you serve to yourself.

2. Eating when you’re stressed

Food can be an anesthetic. It dulls emotional pain. If you know that you eat when you become upset or angry, take part in a relaxation program, and learn how to manage your stress.

You can buy relaxation CDs and DVDs, or enroll in a stress-management program.

3. Social eating – birthdays and other celebrations

You can’t turn into a hermit when you’re on a diet. However you can stop gatherings from becoming a dieting disaster. If you know that a party won’t provide any diet-friendly food, take some food with you.

Alternatively you could eat before you attend the party. Make sure that you drink plenty of water.

4. Eating by the clock, even when you’re not hungry

Tick tock it’s 12 o’clock. Are you hungry? Perhaps you are not hungry at all. Think about how you are feeling at the moment – is that a feeling of hunger?

If you are truly hungry, then by all means have your lunch. However if you’re not hungry, then go for a walk instead of eating.

5. Eating when you have nothing else to do

Often you eat because you’re looking for something to do. If you feel that food has become an entertainment for you then make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to surf. You could go fishing or take up knitting. There are dozens of pastimes and hobbies you could do, none of which include food.

Because they’ve developed over time, food habits are difficult to break because we’re not aware of them. Once you know what to watch for, you can replace a food habit which makes you fat with another habit – a good one.

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