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Why do you eat what you eat?

Most of our eating behaviours are driven through habit. These conditioned responses can influence the way we eat, times we eat, how much we eat as well as the types of foods we consume. Do you salt your food before you even taste it? The salt is just on the table, so you grab it without thinking, out of habit. Are you even at a table? Maybe you like to sit and watch tv when you eat, or you're used to having wraps now for lunch because you don't have time between meetings to sit and eat. What about breakfast? Do you just wake up and eat because it's "the most important meal of the day"? Have you been having the same breakfast since you were a kid? Do you always have a glass of wine with dinner or a night cap before bed? The hardest part about creating a new habit is understanding why you have that habit in the first place.

Take some time to answer these 5 questions :

1) What is your relationship with food? Do you often think of certain foods as rewards? Are you constantly labelling foods 'good' and 'bad'?

2) What factors are influencing your eating habits? Stress eating is something that people are very aware of, but what about social influences? Do you have to eat those cookies that your neighbour brought over just to be polite? Money, time, mood, work, location, seasons, morals/beliefs, relationships, media, holidays, culture, allergies and aversions can all be influencing factors.

3) Do you eat only when hungry? Are you waiting until you're really hungry and then you just eat what is around? Are you snacking just because there are snacks in the house? You need to understand hunger versus habit. Sometimes we wait until we're so hungry that we eat anything in reach and other times we just eat things because they are in the house.

4) What are your health goals? Lowering your blood pressure, managing your blood sugar levels better if you're diabetic, losing a bit of weight, etc.

5) What foods do you like or dislike? This is the most important thing, knowing what you like is basically writing out a list of ways that you can adhere to any future diet plans. You're always on a diet. A diet is the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eat. Don't do a 28 - day plan crash diet, where you have to eliminate all the foods you like. You will never stick to that long term. Instead, look at your list of likes, notice that there are only a couple vegetables, and then go to the store and try some new vegetables! Maybe you'll add something new to your list.

There are a lot of questions in this post. I really encourage you to sit with yourself and answer them honestly. You might learn something about yourself.


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