Behavioral modification is one of the most popular weight loss techniques today. Dieting and working out can certainly help you shed off the extra pounds. However, the trouble with these traditional weight loss methods is that there is a big chance that you might gain back the pounds once you resume your normal lifestyle. Behavioral modification primarily seeks to change and improve your eating habits so you can lose weight and keep it off.
How Eating Habits are Formed
Eating habits can greatly contribute to your weight gain. For instance, eating a bag of chips in front of the television once in a while will probably do no harm. However, if you cannot watch the tube without snacking on some fatty foods then you have acquired an eating habit – one that is unhealthy and can potentially make you gain weight. Eating habits are not only formed when you associate eating with certain activities. Certain moods and emotions can also drive you to eat even though you’re not hungry. For instance, you might find that you tend to start eating when you are feeling stressed or bored. If you wish to lose 10 to 20 pounds with behavior modification then you’re going to have to study your behavioral pattern first before you can change it.
Study Your Behavior
For at least two weeks, list everything you eat in a journal. Along with the foods you eat, you might also want to include additional nutritional information such as the number of calories you’re consuming. It’s also important that you include other details such as why you ate, where you were at the time and how you felt while eating. If you exercise regularly, you should also include this in your journal. You can also conclude by writing down a short paragraph that briefly describes your day. This information will help you determine the pattern of your eating habits.
Modify Your Behavior
Once you are aware of your eating behavior, it’s time to start modifying your habits so you can successfully lose weight. It’s helpful if you can take note of both your negative and positive eating habits. For instance, if you habitually eat in the living room or in other parts of the house, you can make the firm decision to eat only at the kitchen table from now on. If you find that you are more motivated to exercise when you are with a friend, then you might make a habit of working out with a buddy. To help you keep track of your progress, make sure that you also list your new habits in a journal. To keep yourself motivated, set up rewards each time you successfully develop a new positive eating habits. However, make sure that the rewards are not related to food. A pampering trip to the spa or a shopping spree are good reward ideas.