How To Break Your Bad Eating Habits


Ask someone close to you what he or she truly feels about your exercise behaviors. Try to stay receptive andjust listen without interrupting or getting defensive. Then, come up with one goal for this week that involves stopping, reducing, or changing an exercise habit. If you have already heard a lot from the people around you and you know you need to change, you can make a goal now. Ask someone for support to help you, e.g., perhaps they can go for a walk with you to prevent you from running, or someone can go to the beach with you on a rest day you need to give yourself.

My exercise goal:

Who or what can help me accomplish this:

Counting Calories, Fat Grams, Carbohydrates, etc.

Counting calories, fat grams, or anything else may start out making you feel safe or in control, but over time it can become an obsession that you can’t stop. Most people admit that they wish they could

stop but think it is impossible. We both remember having those same concerns, yet neither of us counts up calories or anything else today, automatically or otherwise.


Write down any counting behavior you have, and then pick one small goal that you could work on to start making a change in this area.

My counting behaviors:

One small step I will take in this area:

Who or what can help you with this change?

Tips for Change:

1. Do not write any numbers down!

2. Stop looking at labels, calories, or fat grams in the foods you are eating.

3. Take a Sharpie marker and black out all the information on the food you buy, or ask someone else to do it for you.

4. Eat a food that you don’t know the calories of.

If you eat even one new food and don’t know how many calories it has, you won’t know your total daily calories, and the system that is holding your brain hostage will start to break down. Of course there will be foods for which you already know the calorie count, but there are always new foods to try that give you the opportunity to free yourself.


Food rituals are behaviors you engage in routinely that make you feel safer while eating food. They can include: eating the exact same food prepared the same way, eating at the same time every day, cutting up food into tiny bites, eating food only in a certain order, or always eating in the same or a certain size dish.


Write any current food rituals.

Select one food ritual to work on.

Who or what can help you with this change?

Tips for Change: Your brain will be resistant to changing, but as soon as you start to break the ritual, even a tiny bit, it will start to loosen up, and each subsequent mealtime or snack will be easier.

Expect it to feel scary and create a lot of anxiety at first. While working on letting go of food rituals, make the commitment not to create new ones.

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