Stimulus-Control Techniques For Effective Weight Control

A study conducted by Michael Mahoney of Pennsylvania State University and Stanford University have concluded a stimulus-control technique that is proven to control weight problems.

Limit the cues you associate with eating. Eat in one specific room and preferably at one place in that room. This means that eating should become a “pure experience” – that it must be separated from other activities. When you eat, avoid other simultaneous activities such as watching T.V., reading a book, talking on the phone.

Do not eat to avoid waste. With the onset of childhood training, numerous parents can’t stand seeing food being thrown out. A mother who consumes her children’s unfinished meals is one example. Get the habit of leaving a small portion of food on your plate so that the cue to finish every meal you see will not result to an empty bowl and extra calories.

Restrict your food intake ahead of time. A bountiful meal on the table cues for overeating. Arrange food portions to make them look larger by spreading them out on the plate.

Make fattening foods less available and nonfattening foods more available. You are more likely to eat fattening food stuffs such as the tasty junk food if they are stored in your kitchen. Don’t buy high-calorie snacks. It’s easier to avoid them if you always shop for groceries after a full meal.

Alter the eating process. Eating slowly reduces the quantity of food consumed. Swallow one bit before putting the next bit on your spoon. Before ending your meal, make it a habit to interrupt your eating for two to five minutes to control the behavior of overeating.

Modify the physiological cues for eating. Many people eat with response to their biological feedbacks of “hunger pangs”. Eat high-bulk, low-calorie foods such as carrot sticks and pop corn or drink a large amount of water before or during the meal to produce a sensation of “fullness.” 

Arrange social cues that encourage appropriate eating. Many people find the presence of certain other people a cue for more moderate and adaptive eating patterns. If this is the case, then arrange to eat only in the presence of those people.

Develop nonfattening responses to emotional upset. Many people report very strong eating temptations when they are anxious, frustrated, happy, or depressed. To modify the association between emotions and food, develop alternative reactions that are incompatible with eating such as playing tennis, basketball or even through sleep. 

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