Most of us know we should have a better relationship with food and our body image. But where do we start?

Sophie Morris, seasoned Lifestyle and Wellbeing coach, explains that in order to make positive lifestyle changes and lose weight for good, we need to increase our awareness of our habits and explore the why, where, when and how we eat.

” Only once you have the full picture” says Sophie, can you start to change your mindset and behaviour.”

Here is Sophie’s seasoned advice on understanding and then changing our behaviour to help us enjoy our food without guilt, lose some pounds and love our bodies.

Why?

Many people eat for all sorts reasons such as boredom, anger, loneliness and not simply because they are hungry. There are two different types of hunger: your body’s actual physical hunger, and a sensory hunger, which is when you eat for any reason other than a physical requirement for calories. You need to learn to distinguish between the two. Next time you are going to eat, take a moment and ask yourself if you are physically hungry, or if you are eating for another reason.

Where?

Research show that people eat less when they sit at the table and eat using a plate, knife and fork. Where do you eat most frequently? At a table, in the car or on the train, while you’re on the move, in secret, in front of the TV? Keeping a food diary that tracks more than simply what you eat, but also where you were, what time of day it was and how you were feeling when you ate, can be a great way to recognise habits that you want to change. Minimising distractions while you eat will also help you tune into your hunger levels and recognise when to stop.

When?

Consider when you eat. Many of us get into a habit of eating or snacking at certain times whether we are hungry or not. Do you plan when you are going to eat, to is it something that ‘just happens’ as you rush from one task to another? The ideal time to eat is when you are relatively hungry, but before becoming over-hungry as that is when you’re likely to overeat. Tuning into your body and recognising the hunger cues can revolutionise your eating patterns.

How?

How do you eat? Do you eat quickly, slowly, greedily, on autopilot? Many people spend hours planning what they are going to eat each day, but at the moment of actually eating, the food is wolfed down and scarcely tasted. Explore whether there is a connection between how you eat and how it makes you feel afterwards, either physically or emotionally. Slow down and take your time over each mouthful, which helps you really taste your food and distinguish between being hungry and full.

Behaviours around food build up over years and it will take time to change those habits and beliefs. Dealing with lapses is inevitable, in fact dealing with those moments when things don’t go to plan is one of the most important things. Remember it is not the end of the world, all you need to do is keep going.

And finally, 95% of diets to lose weight do not work in the long-term. Most people not only regain the weight they lost, but also put on additional weight. Changing your mindset will help you manage your weight by amending your behaviour around food in a sustainable, lasting way.

Changing your mindset can be hard, but just like with any new habit, practice will make it easier and soon it will feel automatic.  If you want further help on creating change and amending your behaviour around food then give Sophie a call at Essential Focus Coaching.