Food Habits

Posted: November 21, 2009 in Healthy Eating by

Habits are an interesting part of weight loss.  Most of our good and bad habits have been developed over a lifetime of eating.  To establish a habit, we first have to consider 3 aspects: the antecedents, the stimulus and the response.  Antecedents are all the things that have to be in place for a food to be on our plate and then eat it.  Eating it is the stimulus and the feelings we get from it are the response.  Basically, if the response is positive it leads to more eating.  If the result is negative, we eat less of it.

Our greatest success in changing our food related habits will be to break the chain of antecedents.  For example, to eat ice cream there is a full set of events.  One has to have extra money, then have a car, drive the car to the store, walk into the store, choose ice cream, buy the ice cream, drive it home, place it in the freezer, and then later remember the ice cream, scoop out a bit to a bowl, then finally eat it.

At any point in the chain this set of events could be broken.  You may have a list that says what you were exactly going to buy and ice cream was not on it.  You may have not been home when the ice cream craving hit.  You may have had an apple instead for your hunger.  Someone else may have eaten it first.  You may have followed your rule for not eating in front of the TV, or after 9pm.  You may have gone for a walk to decrease your stress instead of eating.  This is just a simple example to illustrate that many things that led to eating ice cream.

Where would it have made sense for YOU to break the chain of events?