We’re all about healthy habits and awareness. The habit we want to discuss today is very common and often one that people aren’t aware of – picking! 

A great example of this habit came from one of our private clients who had been following our protocol doing and well, but then hit a plateau.

So we had her track her eating for 3 days, noting EVERY little bite she put in her mouth.

What she observed was that she had recently fallen back into an old habit of ‘a pick of food here and a pick of food there,’ which became many little “picks” throughout the day. In the end, this added up to an entire extra meal.

Simply noticing this trend helped her to turn it around, and she able to break through her plateau using the strategies we’re sharing with you today. As we tell our clients all the time, unless you are fully aware of what your obstacles are, there is no way to fix them.

We know unconscious picking is an issue both for ourselves and many of our clients. Let’s be honest – how often have you found yourself grabbing a handful of chips, pretzels, “just a few” crackers, or a cookie or two from your cookie stash?

If you are finding this habit derailing your good efforts, here are 5 strategies that can help.

JOURNAL: Keep a journal for two straight days, jotting down everything you put in your mouth. We are NOT interested in calories here. Have three columns total – 1. time of day 2. how much and what type of food 3. a hunger column. For the hunger column, put a Y or an N to signal whether or not you ate due to true physical hunger or not. Notice how many “N’s” show up – these are the ones we are trying to avoid.

OBSERVE: Take note of what you eat at your meals. If there is not enough protein and/or fat, the meal may be spiking your blood sugars unknowingly, causing a hunger surge that can be avoided by keeping your meals more balanced. This may mean adding protein to your morning smoothie, nuts or seeds to your oatmeal, some beans or chicken to your salad at lunch, guacamole or hummus with your afternoon veggies. 

BREATHE: Take 3 deep breaths before you put anything in your mouth. Walk away for a minute and see if that can break the “trance.”

INDUCE PAIN: Ok nothing too serious here, but try putting a rubber band on your wrist and every time you pick, snap it.  This will not only bring awareness to your grazing, but also associate an unpleasant feeling with it.

DRINK: When in doubt drink water.  Often we snack when we are actually thirsty. The act of drinking may distract you long enough to keep you on track.

For more guidance, check out our video HERE on 3 critical strategies for staying on track with weight loss.