Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Another way to deal with eating compulsion

If you've read past posts, you know that one reason for being overweight is a compulsion to eat. I discussed this in my post, "Reason 2 for being overweight."

There I listed some ways to deal with a compulsion and in "How to deal with a compulsion to eat," I talked about one of the ways.

Now I want to talk about the first method on the list, "Rules."

If you have a compulsion to eat, when you're in front of food, your mind goes all gooey and your reason disappears out the window. Usually, the sight of the food initiates the compulsion (it could be a smell), which is why my earlier post (linked to above) talked about removing yourself from temptation.

But sometimes, you just can't. After all, you need to see food sometimes!

Creating rules helps you to avoid having to make a decision on the spot. "Should I eat that piece of cake? Maybe just a little piece. And maybe that cookie there." And so on.

Rules may rise out of a medical condition. If you have diabetes, you may not be allowed to eat sugar. That rule helps you make the decision. "No, I'm not allowed to eat sugar." Then you go find something else to eat, but it's probably something better for you.

If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, your doctor may have told you that you should eat a low-fat diet. Maybe you even got some literature about how to eat. But it's all so complicated and sometimes vague. Simple rules can help. "No cream, no butter" for example. Then you can't eat the cake or the cookies. You just know that you're not allowed. Again, you find something else, something healthier, to eat.

You can even create temporary rules, but they're probably not going to be as effective in the long run. For example, if you're going to a party, you can say, "No sugar or fat for me tonight." Then you know what to do and don't have to make any decisions at the party, while you're staring at the food. That's not the time to decide!

Before going to any place where you'll be tempted, make a decision about what you won't eat. Set if firmly in your mind and see if this helps you.

A cute bit of advice I once read (for women, although men might be able to find an alternative): take a clutch purse with you and immediately get something to drink. Then both your hands will be full and you won't be able to eat as much!

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