Take Control of Food and Eating Behaviors!

Whether you want to lose a little weight or a lot of weight you need to take control of your food and your eating.

The formula for weight loss is simple – eat fewer calories than your body burns for fuel. Yes, that’s the formula rendered down to its most simple form. The actual application of the formula is much more complex.

Weight loss, gain, or maintenance is a matter of calories in versus calories out, but nutrition, satisfaction and the power to stick to the weight loss formula is about more than calories. It’s important that the source of the calories both nourishes and satisfies. When we are used to eating without regards to calories and nutrition it can be very challenging to take control of our food and our eating behaviors.

Food is everywhere and it continues to show up in places where it didn’t used to be before. Why, for example, does Home Depot, a store that sells tools, lumber, appliances, hardware, paint, and basically everything you need to build or remodel your home or landscape your yard sell candy bars?

We have come to expect walking past an extensive array of candy bars at the checkout areas of the supermarket but doesn't it seems a bit out of place at Home Depot?

We have come to expect walking past an extensive array of candy bars at the checkout areas of the supermarket but doesn’t it seems a bit out of place at Home Depot?

They’re at the checkouts as an “impulse item.” For those of us who struggle with our weight, fighting the impulse is hard. We see food and we eat it and we tell ourselves, “I’ll make up for this indiscretion later,” but later never comes – just more indiscretions!

The impulse to eat isn’t just triggered by the sight of food. Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 7.03.05 AMScreen Shot 2014-04-14 at 7.02.52 AMScreen Shot 2014-04-14 at 7.02.33 AMThe thought of food can result in an overwhelming feeling of needing to eat. We eat as a way to handle emotions, fatigue, boredom, and entertainment. Strangely, for some of us just the thought of reducing our calories drives us to eat more of them!

I have a method I use to control my eating. Some call it “Anchoring.” My watch is my anchor. It reminds me of times when I felt most powerful and in charge. I use it to remind me that I have inner resources I can call on when I’m challenged. My watch is a symbol of my intelligence, creativity, perseverance, tenacity, determination, and power to do what I want to do.

If you are reading this blog you have inner resources too. You have the same inner resources I have. I’m not special or better than anybody else. The only difference between you and me might be that I acknowledged my resources and you need to do the same. Think about your accomplishments. Don’t discount them – your skills, your graduations, your children, (if you have them) – you used your resources to get where you are. Now you can use them to manage your weight.Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 7.03.56 AM

Fruits and vegetables are a nutritious, low-calorie way to avoid getting too hungry. We have more power over food and eating when our bellies are satisfied. Don't t try to run on empty and expect to be powerful!

Fruits and vegetables are a nutritious, low-calorie way to avoid getting too hungry. We have more power over food and eating when our bellies are satisfied. Don’t t try to run on empty and expect to be powerful!

Make an object that you always have with you into your anchor. When you detect an impulse to stray from your eating plan by eating too many calories touch your anchor. Let it remind you of your goals and your inner resources to achieve them. Use your anchor to unleash your powers of determination, creativity, tenacity, etc. Believe in your ability! You are in charge, not the food! You make the choices! Food cannot make the choices for you! If you want to eat a single serving of (whatever you want it to be) you can stop at that serving. Speak to yourself in terms of “I can” and use your anchor to remind you that “you have called on your inner resources successfully to achieve success in other important ways and it can help you with the challenge at hand!

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is the general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine. She is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her experience with her own weight management journey and raising girls has given her insight into the struggles families face with weight, healthy body image, food and physical activity. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news for more than ten years and appears monthly as a guest on FOX network morning program Good Day Maine.