Weight-Loss Strategies: Social Support & Stimulus Control

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

Social support: Include family and friends in your plan. Ask others to join you—not with the purpose of recruiting them to eating healthy, but so they will support and understand why you are changing your diet. If they are truly your friends, they will support you in your desire to improve your health and will try to have the right food choices available when you are around. Maybe they will even join you on your quest. It is extremely helpful to find at least one friend to join you or support you on your road back to superior health.

Stimulus control: Implement strategies to prevent temptation and exposure to sedentary activities or social eating. The most important stimulus-control technique is structuring your environment. This means removing temptation from your home and stocking your boards and refrigerators with the proper foods. Eat only at the kitchen table, not while watching television. When you finish dinner, clean up and leave the kitchen area, then brush your teeth, so you are not tempted to return and snack again. Lay out your exercise clothes for the morning so you are reminded to begin your day with your exercise program.

When going out to social situations, eat first or bring your own food if you cannot arrange in advance to have food that meets your needs. Volunteer to bring food for the other guests, too; then you have something you can eat with distress. Try not to make food the center of your life. Keep active with interests that keep you from thinking about eating.
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