The eating behavior of humans is a stable, over many years learned behavior. Precisely because it has established itself over decades due to experiences and learning processes, it is not easy to change it again. But it is possible! Changing one's eating habits means learning new behaviors related to eating and replacing existing "old" habits with others. This process requires a constant practice of the new behaviors and thus also time and patience with oneself.
What influences the eating behavior?
How and what food you eat is influenced by four different areas. These all have different effects on the individual eating habits of humans. They influence the motives of behavior as well as the choice of food. These areas of influence are:
- biological factors (genetic factors)
- Emotional factors (eg eating during stress, eating in case of unpleasant or even pleasant feelings)
- cognitive factors (thoughts, evaluations, interpretations, knowledge, attitudes, socio-cultural norms)
- individual learning processes (habits, handling of food since childhood, socio-cultural norms)
How can I control the eating behavior?
The following tips will help you control your eating habits, not just habit but conscious eating:
- Do not do anything else while you eat! If you do other activities at the same time as eating or watching TV, such activities are combined with eating and trivializing the food. And you can not focus on two things equally. Do something different while eating, so you can eat calories that you do not even consciously enjoy.
- Always eat in the same place! Many people have the habit of eating in a variety of places, such as standing, walking, on the desk, in the living room in front of the TV, cooking, etc. Through this behavior, all the different locations can become potential triggers for psychic desire. At the same time, eating does not get the attention due to this behavior. So at home, choose a place that suits you, where you eat regularly. Combine this strategy with the previous one by always eating at home in the future and doing nothing else in the meantime.
- Plan your meal times! Create a meal plan that suits you, specifying your meal times. Regular, distributed food throughout the day helps keep you in mind about what and when you eat.
- Do not eat the whole plate empty! This behavior learned by many increases the likelihood that one eats too much, because an external hint (empty plate) instead of the inner indication of hunger and satiety serves as a signal to eat.