How many times have you heard this saying?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
That’s how I think about dieting. Even if you try different diets, you’re still restricting what foods you eat, not listening to your body, and trying to lose weight by doing something unsustainable.
Diets are designed to be temporary, so even if you lose some weight on one, you ultimately go off it. Because you haven’t changed your eating habits, you’ve got at least a 95% chance of gaining it back.
So many people have difficulty reaching their weight goals (and any other goal for that matter) because they’re caught in a pattern of doing the same thing, or a not-so-different version of it, that doesn’t work, over and over again.
Maybe you snack after dinner while watching TV every night.
Maybe you eat at your desk at work and don’t really pay attention to how much you’re eating or whether you’re hungry.
Maybe you try to skip meals and then end up overeating.
These are all habits that move you away from your goal of being a healthier, more comfortable weight.
The thing is that every time you repeat a habit that moves you in the opposite direction from your goals, you’re reinforcing that pattern in your brain, and making it a little harder to break the habit.
But you can turn that around.
Stay tuned to learn a pretty simple technique to break those patterns and establish better habits that move you TOWARDS your weight and health goals.
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[00:00:00] How many times have you heard this saying, "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." So why even think about trying another diet? I've got a much better way stay tuned.
Wouldn't it feel amazing to stop obsessing about everything you eat by ditching dieting and dropping that extra weight in a sane and sustainable way. Well, you can do it. And I can't wait to show you how I'm Shari Broder and welcome to the Weight Loss for Foodies podcast, episode 175. How to reach your goals with baby steps. Before we dive into today's topic, I wanted to thank those of you who have been sending me the kindest emails, telling me how much you enjoy this podcast and how much you're [00:01:00] getting out of it.
Things like this from Vicky, "I like your style. And I understand for the first time in my life, what I need to do to walk the journey of normal eating, I can't thank you enough. You have made such a difference in my life."
Or from Julie, " I have a whole new mindset now, thanks to you. I'm two pounds from my target weight." I love hearing your feedback. Also. I'd love any suggestions you have for topics that I might not have covered, or that you'd like me to revisit. You can email me@email@example.com. And I'd also like to thank today's sponsor Betterhelp, Betterhelp offers professional counseling done securely online, better. They will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. Get started today at better help. And that's one word [00:02:00] betterhelp.com/shari and receive a 10% discount off your first month.
Now I mentioned at the beginning that quote, that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different. That's how I think about dieting. Even if you try different diets, they still all have something in common. And that is that you're restricting what foods you eat. You're not listening to your body and you're trying to lose weight by doing something unsustainable, something that you can't, or certainly don't want to continue to do for the rest of your life.
So even if you lose some weight on a diet, you ultimately go off it. And because you haven't changed your eating habit, you've got at least a 95%--that's 95%--chance of gaining it back. It's just not worth even trying!
So many people have difficulty reaching their weight goals and any other goal for that matter, [00:03:00] because they're caught in this repetitive pattern of doing the same thing or a not so different version of it that doesn't work over and over.
Maybe you snack after dinner while watching TV every night, or maybe you eat at your desk at work and don't really pay attention to how much you're eating or whether you're hungry. Maybe you try to skip meals and then end up overeating. All of these habits will move you away from your goal of being a healthier, more comfortable weight.
And the thing is that every time you repeat a habit that moves you away from your goals, you're reinforcing that pattern in your brain and making it a little harder to break the habit . The good news is. you can turn that around and I'm going to teach you a pretty simple technique to break those patterns and establish better habits that move you towards your weight and health goals. [00:04:00] And that involves taking baby steps by changing one habit at a time.
If you're a regular listener to this podcast, you know that I believe there are two ways people overeat and we need to talk about this before we get into the details here. The first one is what most people think of as overeating and that's continuing to eat when your body's had enough food. In other words, let's say you've been eating lunch and you're feeling comfortable and no longer hungry, but you keep eating for whatever reason, because it tastes good,it's there or because you were taught to clean your plate as a kid. And by the way, if you're still cleaning your plate because you told it was the right thing to do because of hungry children in China or Africa or Appalachia or wherever, it's time to listen to episode 29 of this podcast and stop that ridiculous habit right now!
The other way you overeat is when you [00:05:00] start eating but you aren't hungry. And I consider both of these overeating because you're giving your body food it doesn't need, and it stores that energy as fat. If you're listening to this podcast, that probably isn't the result you want. So the first thing to do to change your eating habits is to notice when you tend to overeat. There's a good chance there are certain times of the day when you're more likely to do. Maybe you do it at meals either by eating because it's a certain time of day and you're not hungry or by continuing to eat after your body's had enough, or maybe you only do it at certain meals. You might not eat too much at breakfast or lunch, but you walk away from the dinner table stuffed every night like I used to do. You eat candy out of the candy bowls at work. Snack in front of the TV or eat in the car maybe thinking that it doesn't count if you eat it in there.[00:06:00]
Your first step is that you have to pay attention to the times or situations when you eat, but you aren't hungry. And the way to do this is every time you feel the urge to eat or about to eat, ask yourself the simple question. Am I hungry? Meaning are you physically hungry? Do you have hunger pangs, or are you sufficiently hungry that you're distracted by your hunger? Or do you just feel like eating. While it's important to figure out why you want to eat when you aren't hungry for now and for the purpose of this podcast, I just want you to notice whether you're hungry when you want to eat. Notice how often you do this. Is there a pattern. Where does it happen? Is it something you do only at work or in a particular room in the house or when you're in a particular mood [00:07:00] or based on the time of day. Is there a particular event that prompts you to start eating? Like when you're reading a book or checking your email or playing an app game on your phone? Is there a particular person who you get involved with this habit? Because once you notice when you're most likely to eat, but aren't hungry, you can then take one baby step to change that habit. So let's start with an easy example of eating in the car.
If you're a car eater, all you need to do is stop keeping food in your car or bringing food with you. Unless you regularly travel long distances through places with no place to get food, you don't need to keep food in your car. Take that one step and you'll stop mindlessly eating in the car. Now I get it. Long drives can be boring depending upon where you are, but [00:08:00] eating when you aren't hungry isn't moving you towards your weight goal.
And it can be dangerous. If you do need to keep food in the car for legitimate reasons like that, you might not be able to otherwise eat when you're hungry, keep it someplace out of reach so that you have to ask yourself whether you're hungry before eating and make a special effort to pull the car over, to get the food, instead of just reaching for whatever it is and eating it mine.
So let's say you work at home and you find yourself going to the snack cabinet in the kitchen, a little too often, just to break up the monotony of the workday. Perhaps you can put a sticky note on the cabinet that has the snacks that says, am I hungry? That's a baby step. It makes you aware of what you're about to do before you do it. And if you aren't hungry, then wait until you are. And then you can eat. [00:09:00]
Are you someone who watches TV after dinner, chomping down snack foods or sweets while you're distracted by the TV? Now this is a situation I hear about regularly from my students and I know I use it as an example often. There are so many reasons to kick this habit. If you're someone who wants to weigh less, it will definitely pack on the pounds if you give your body food it doesn't need every night or, or even almost every night. Are you just stuffing food in your mouth while barely noticing it or tasting it because you're distracted by the TV. Think about that. Have you ever thought about what is the point of such behavior?
I mean, if you're going to blast through a bag of chips, don't you want to really taste and enjoy them? Not only that, but when you eat in the evening, you reduce your body's opportunity to burn fat for energy while you sleep. When you eat, your body produces [00:10:00] insulin, a hormone which keeps the glucose in your blood within a normal range and your cells use the glucose for energy. And then they store the excess in your liver and muscles and fat tissue, which is what's going to happen if you're eating after dinner and you're not hungry. It's going to get stored as fat. It's much better for you for a variety of reasons, including your digestion, weight loss, and even better sleep to have a natural period of fasting from the time you finish dinner in the evening until you eat your breakfast --break the fast-- in the morning.
So what's one thing you can do to disrupt this pattern of eating after dinner in front of the TV. Let's think about some ideas. One, how about enacting "no eating in the family room or living room or den" or wherever it is that you're doing this as a [00:11:00] policy that you're just not going to eat in that room. I think that's a great idea. I'm all for eating in the kitchen or the dining room at a table. I can promise you that if you commit to doing that for one week, every time you eat, you'll notice a different eating experience. And maybe even a small difference in your weight without giving up any foods that you love.
And if you eat without distractions, that could be seriously life-changing. I can pretty much guarantee that if you ate without distractions for an entire week, had to choose between eating and doing something else, you would lose some weight. I know that sounds radical to some people, but I hope you would consider obviously consider it.
And there are smaller steps you can take. Like you can temporarily stop watching TV after dinner, like start a [00:12:00] book you've been meaning to read or play that instrument that's been gathering dust somewhere, FaceTime with friends you might not have seen for a while, or even ones you have, do a jigsaw puzzle, start a new computer game or a creative process.
There's so many options, or you can also choose to watch TV in a different room that you don't associate with the munching and watching habit. The important thing is to do one thing to break the connection with the time place or manner of your pattern of overeating. If you eat lunch mindlessly in front of the computer while working, change where you eat, at least get away from the computer and eat lunch somewhere else. If you read books in the den while snacking, read somewhere else in the house. You see, your brain in its effort to be efficient expects you to do certain things consistently because that makes your brain's job easier. [00:13:00] If you munch out in front of the TV, in the living room, your brain expects you to keep doing that. So let's say you decide to read a book instead, your brain is less likely to say, "wait, you forgot the peanut butter cups. Go get them!" Because your brain doesn't associate reading with eating. So by simply disrupting this pattern, it will be easier to stop the undesirable habit.
And if you disrupt the pattern for a few weeks or a month, Your brain will stop expecting you to do the same behavior. And you'll eventually be able to return to watching TV without the urge to eat. At the same time, you will have reaped the rewards of not eating at night through feeling better, sleeping better and losing weight.
And you won't want to go back to that habit. Or if the urge does come back, it'll be easier to let it pass, [00:14:00] especially if you remember the effort you put into breaking this connection and knowing that it's just not worth undoing all that.
You can use this approach to disrupt your brain patterns for all kinds of habits, not just your eating habits. One step at a time can be a really great approach. It's not overwhelming. It's simple. So it's easy to remember. It's easy to keep that one thing front and center in your mind and make it a priority. And then when you master it, choose to make another change and build on it. And over time you will have changed your eating habits, which means that you will drop down to your naturally healthy weight and will stay that way.
If you have been enjoying these podcasts and finding them useful, I hope you'll consider supporting my work so that I can continue to help people ditch dieting, eat in tune with their bodies, and [00:15:00] be comfortable in their own skin and lose weight. You can click on "support this podcast" on my website, sharibroder.com and put something in my virtual tip jar, either a one-time contribution of any amount or sign up for a monthly subscription. Whatever you can do will be much appreciated.
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