Each time you encounter a food cue or temptation, you eventually decide whether to eat or not eat.
But in most cases, you have only a split second to make this decision. The faster you say “No!” and turn away from the food, the more likely you’ll be able to avoid giving in.
This concept, called “stimulus narrowing,” works because it completely eliminates the possibility of changing your mind.
Think about some of the food cues you typically encounter during your day. As you face each one of them, immediately decide that you will NOT eat, and then stick with your decision.
Don’t let thoughts about eating weaken your resolve. Whenever you’re tempted by a certain food, tell yourself, “No, I won’t eat it!”
Then immediately get away from the situation and don’t allow your thoughts to go back to it.
You’ll find that as you gain strength against your unplanned eating, you’ll also decrease the mental anguish of fighting to maintain control.
1. Watch for food cues that have the potential to hook you into overeating. Like a parent speaking to their child, firmly tell yourself “no” on the spot. Write down any food triggers you encounter today.
Thought of buying ice cream at grocery store
Snacks at my book club group
Seeing cookies at the coffee shop in the afternoon
2. Immediately walk away, get busy with something else, and affirm that you won’t go back to the food. In the space below, record how this experience felt.
This always feels so empowering! It’s like a sense of control, and that I’m in charge.
3. Stay strong in your resolve. Don’t keep whining until you wear down your resistance and give in. Write down any thoughts on how you’ll stay strong.
Remind myself about the feeling of power. Strive to stay in that place of being in charge.
Note: I’ve always loved the concept of stimulus narrowing because it works almost every time. I just have to be willing to say NO.