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Self Control Tips
Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat and anything else you feel might be helpful to know. This will allow you to measure progress and track patterns over time.

Set yourself rules regarding food. Pick ones that you know you can follow and stick with them. Then, keeping these, gradually add on more rules until your eating is entirely under control. It is hard to restrict yourself all the way at once, and more effective to do it in increments. The idea here is to sort of sneak up on yourself in tiny little stages, adapting to each new rule before making another.

Reward yourself, do not punish. Punishment is not effective and will do more emotional harm than physical good. Calculate how much money you are saving by not eating and add this up until you have enough to buy something you like (but not food). Or, put a penny (dollar, marble) in a jar for every small goal you keep and treat yourself with something (not food) once you reach a certain amount. Remember that these rewards will last longer and give more pleasure than food you would just eat, process, and discard.

Eat slowly, in small bites. Cut your food up into small pieces. Pause while eating to drink water or whatever other liquid you enjoy. It takes a while for "full" signals to get from our stomach to our brain. Also, if you eat over a longer period of time and add more liquids, it can trick your mind into thinking you have eaten more.

Take out only the amount of food you plan on eating. Wrap everything securely up before you start eating and put it away. Do not go back for seconds. Do not nibble while preparing food, either. Those bites and crumbles add up staggeringly fast.

Think about food before and while you eat it. Think about where it came from and exactly what happened to it before it reached you. This works particularly well with meat, dairy, and egg products.

Food associations. Find something that makes you feel vaguely ill or unpleasant, get a picture of it, and put the picture beside your food. Switch pictures frequently and make sure to look at the pictures while you eat. After a while you may began to associate food itself with unpleasantness, which will make you less inclined to eat.

Give yourself permission before eating. Stop and think about it, consider if you really want to eat whatever-it-is. If your answer is yes, then say (or think) something like "I am allowed to eat this" or "I have permission to eat this".

Plan your meals in advance, for the day or week or whatever. Decide what you are allowed to eat each day. If you know that you will be eating, it may help you avoid eating other things.

If you feel yourself starting to lose control while you are eating, stop. Set your food down, take a long drink of water or some other cool liquid, and take a deep breath before resuming eating. This can help interrupt a slide into binge-mode. Remember to remind yourself that you are still going to finish your food and that you are not stopping, just pausing for a moment.

Sabotage your food. Make it with too much water, too little sugar, an ingredient you do not care for. Add too much salt or pepper before you eat. You will eat less of it if it tastes bad.

Pick apart your food cravings. If you eat food in separate parts instead of all mixed into one, it feels like you have eaten more and you do not get extra stuff you do not really need. For example, if you are really craving pizza, think about what it contains. Bread, tomato sauce, cheese. Drink a can of V8 or eat a tomato. If you still want pizza, have a rice cake or a few crackers or some other starch. If you still want pizza, have a piece of cheese. Or if you are craving peanut butter, have a handful of peanuts and avoid the added sugar and oil contained in most commercial peanut butter. If that does not work, eat a spoonful of honey for the sweetness overload. Same net effect, fewer total calories, no wasted empty added crap.


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