Prepare your plate with the accurate amounts; don't put out bowls
of food. Keep fattening food out of the house or, at least, in a
inconvenient form or in a hidden place or perhaps frozen so it can't be
Ask your friends to help you change--at least not encourage you to
keep on harming yourself. Friends supporting and praising your self-
control are powerful. Someone nagging you, however, will probably
harm, not help.
Note: don't forget to look up the detailed instructions for each of these methods
in chapter 11.
2. Develop new behavior: Set up an exercise program (for
weight loss or smoking--and maybe drinking). You are 54% less likely
to have a heart attack if you walk 21 miles a week. Develop a set of
self-instructions that will control your eating: Before eating--"I will
record the calories." While eating--"I'll notice how good and filling each
bite is." Forget about "clean up your plate," in fact tell yourself--"Leave
some every time." When one stops eating as planned--"I'll
immediately put the money I saved in a jar for my foster child in
Mexico." When tempted to snack--"I feel so good and look so much
better when I don't overeat. I won't eat; I'll (walk?) instead."
Develop competing, incompatible responses to hunger, e.g. talk to
a friend on the phone, exercise, write in your diary, drink water or a
large glass of high fiber, low calorie drink for regularity (see #11).
Overindulging can be prevented (and a new response learned) by
calling on friends when tempted, such as done by members of AA or
Overeaters Anonymous. You could have someone with you constantly
to guard against cigarettes or eating or drinking (see compulsions in
3. Controlled or conditioned responses: A "controlled"
response is one early in the chain and easier to control (such as
deciding not to buy a cake in the store) than a response later in the
eating-sweets chain (when you have already accepted a piece of cake
at a party and asked for a big scoop of ice cream on it, it is too late). If
you limited eating to one chair and only sat there while eating
moderately (No TV! No talking! No reading!), good eating habits would
become conditioned to that one place. Urges to eat other places would
gradually extinguish. It is an especially good idea to work or study in
one place and only study there.