Learning and maintaining desired eating behavior

Many people are concerned with losing weight these days. The most difficult part is usually the change in behavior and maintaining the changed eating pattern. Here are some tips to help with this difficult step

Write down for yourself what the disadvantages of being fat are for you

Make yourself a list of the disadvantages of being overweight and of course the advantages of a healthy weight. Hang this list in a visible place, for example on the refrigerator.

Make a food report or food diary

Write down exactly what you eat and drink for a week. Note the time, what you eat or drink and, often importantly, why you eat or drink. This is often logical, such as with dinner, but it can help you understand your own eating behavior and tackle the possible reason for eating extra sweets.

Tips for shopping

Make sure you are not hungry when you go shopping, this makes it easier to take bad things home with you. Also make a list and stick to it, this will prevent extra groceries that you don’t actually need. Finally, it is wise to use a basket instead of a cart if you don’t have a lot of groceries, as they tend to fill up more quickly.

When you have visitors (a big reason to bring candy or chips into the house)

Ask your visitors if they would like something with their coffee or tea and otherwise don’t put it down. Bring things into your home that you don’t like and make sure you don’t sit too close to them.

Before you eat, decide how much you are going to eat

If you agree in advance with yourself how much you are going to eat, you have a reason to stick to it.

Plan your snacks

Snacks are an important part of your diet. However, it is tempting to eat too much or something fattening. Agree with yourself what time you can have your snack, what you can eat and how much.

Reduce the number of snacks

Try not to eat throughout the day. The normal number of snacks is 3, try to stick to that.

Eat sweets wisely

Try replacing sweets and chips with healthy snacks such as fruit, raw vegetables or a fiber-rich cracker. You can eat sweets, you have to live, but limit the addictive fattening foods such as chips and chocolate to a small amount once or twice a week.

Refuse compliments

It is often difficult to refuse when something is offered to you and you may not feel like telling everyone that you are dieting. Be clear, but say, for example, that you want to wait a while or have just eaten. Or compliment it, that you find it very annoying to refuse because it looks so good, etc.

Eating on special occasions

It is always difficult at parties and receptions, lots of tasty snacks and everyone around you is eating. Ways to control it:

  • Agree with yourself what you can eat and drink (e.g. 2 glasses of wine and 3 pieces of toast).
  • For example, choose a pastry, but no toast with drinks.
  • Decide not to take anything after 11:00 PM (or any other time of course).
  • Resolve yourself to only eat healthy things.
  • Resolve to only have a drink, but no snacks.
  • Go to the party with a full stomach.


Eating with others

Agree with yourself how much you will eat and drink. If you know someone well, you can also ask them to cook healthy food.

Plan regular meal times

Try to eat regularly and at the same times as much as possible. Then your body adjusts to it and over time you will feel less and less hungry outside of meals.

Reward yourself if, for example, you have stuck to your plan for a week or have lost a certain number of kilos:

Of course you should reward yourself when you have done something well, because this provides motivation. Agree with yourself moments when you can reward yourself (for example, after a few kilos have been lost or a week without snacking). Try not to reward yourself with food (you don’t want to focus on the food anymore). For example, think of an evening at the cinema, a bouquet of flowers, a good book or a beautiful candle.

Choose a fixed place where you will eat for both the main meal and snacks:

Make sure you only eat there and that there are no distractions there such as the TV or computer. This way you can concentrate entirely on the food and discourage snacking because you then have to go to that place.

No other activities while eating

Make sure that you only focus on the food while eating and do not watch TV or use the computer.

Pausing while eating (temporary exercise)

Several times while eating, put down your cutlery for 2-3 minutes and ask yourself how hungry you still are, whether you really need to eat the entire plate and whether it will be difficult for you not to help yourself again. This way you eat consciously and become the boss of your own food.

The end of the meal

Clean everything up neatly after eating and do not leave the table with leftovers or tasty things on the table.

Always put food away

As much as possible in a fixed place that is not too close to hand.

Involving the immediate environment

It can help enormously if those around you know about your diet so that they can support you and take it into account.

Counting bites

Count the number of bites you take for a few minutes so you can adjust your eating pace to a slower pace.

Eat one bite at a time

After every bite you take, put your cutlery down and chew your food calmly and only pick it up again when you have swallowed your food.

Stretch the meal

During the last quarter of your meal, ask yourself every bite. Have I had enough yet?

The cutlery and crockery

Use cutlery at every meal and take smaller cutlery so that you cannot take very large bites. Also take a smaller plate.


Weigh only once a week and especially not every day, always at the same time. This gives the most realistic possible picture of your weight. Keep in mind that your weight can fluctuate quite a bit. Be sure to look in the mirror, weight doesn’t say everything.

Make a list of which steps apply to you

Not all of the above steps appeal to everyone. Don’t try to enter everything at once, give yourself time. Make a list of the steps you want to take.

Find activities that distract from eating

When you’re hungry it’s terrible not to do anything. Find distractions so that you take the focus off the food. For example, if you feel hungry, go for a long walk or do something fun.

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