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3 steps to finding the self control to eat less

It’s no secret that the unhealthiest foods are the most addictive, which can make it hard for anyone to find the self-control to give up the snacks and lose weight. Eating too much and mental health are closely linked, as people will often overeat due to emotional problems, a lack of self-confidence or a variety of other mental health issues. The key to finding the self-control to stop is to focus on both the mental and physical improvements which will be made when you start to eat less and to have a proper strategy for cutting down.

Step 1 – make a plan

The first step to gaining some self-control is to make a thorough plan of how you are going to cut down on food. You might want to include within this plan a list of healthy snacks which can replace the unhealthy ones you might be currently eating throughout the day. Examples can include: 

  • Unsalted nuts
  • Dried fruits
  • Rice cakes
  • Yoghurt
  • Small amounts of dark chocolate

This will allow you to feel like you have more control over your eating habits, as you will always have a plan to refer to and some backup snacks to eat just in case you are really struggling. 

Step 2 – be realistic

Don’t set your expectations too high to start with if you want a better chance of success. It’s hard to motivate yourself when the bar has been set too high, so make realistic goals to start with. Perhaps start by cutting down portion sizes slightly, then move on to replacing unhealthy snacks with healthy ones until you reach a point where you are eating healthily all the time.

Step 3 – be your own healthy eating coach

No one is going to be able to motivate you to eat more healthily more than yourself, so get into ‘healthy eating coach’ mode. You might want to start by making a food diary, which tracks what you eat, how much you eat and when, so that you can analyse when and where you need to start cutting out food. You can also create ‘prompts’, whether that be notes you stick up around the home, reminders on your phone or getting friends and family involved to give you that extra push. These prompts can remind you what healthy eating is, what your goals are and why you are trying to eat healthier.

The main thing to remember about self-control is that it will be much easier if you have some structure to your eating, so getting organised will make it much easier. You should also list out the reasons why you are trying to cut down on food, which will hopefully act as a motivator to give you that self-control when you are craving something to eat. If you want advice on gaining self-control, get in touch with our friendly team today.

We’re here to help! Get in touch with a member of our team today and discuss what we can do to support you.

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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