Behavioural Change Approaches to Eliminating Dietary Harm &/or Overconsumption that Work a Treat! 

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Why do we do dietary harm & overconsumption?


Most humans all over the planet consume all kinds of things that aren't necessarily good for their bodies, including overconsuming more of some things than what their metabolic needs are, yet no two people are likely to have exactly the same set of circumstances.

 

For most who do dietary harm and overconsumption, it might never get to the point when there's a need to resolve it; it happens here and there but for the most part eating is a pretty typical affair and there seems no sense to need to change anything.


Often we hit a threshold of what's tolerable for us, and we either resolve it ourselves or we seek help from family, friends or professionals to help us.


Our thoughts and emotions more generally are influenced by our beliefs, values, cultural upbringing, and the environmental context in which they happen, and they influence our behaviours, which become automated and often seemingly difficult to budge.  

 

Eating behaviour is¬†also highly influenced by the ‚Äėgatekeeper‚Äô who buys and cooks¬†food¬†and also¬†social regulation (e.g. norms, group pressure) in actually transforming intentions into practice.¬†Lewin (1947), for example, found, in particular, that it was easier to change the behaviour of a group or family unit as a whole than individual behaviours, precisely because of the power of social norms.

 

If we stay in our same familiar and habitual surroundings, everything can and will tick along as usual, we'll just go about our day as we always have and things will typically continue to work as they always have for us. 

 

However, when a change happens, e.g., moving to university, illness or being diagnosed with a health concern, losing a loved one, starting a family,  changing jobs or work schedules, travelling, or having a desire to change to a healthier diet, etc., it often means things that worked before aren't as smooth as they were, and this can be made more complex depending on who we live and eat with and whether they are onboard with the change.

 

The behavioural and psychological responses associated with dietary harm and overconsuming typically revolves around the type of food we eat, when we eat, where we eat, how we eat, with whom we eat, and our reasons for overeating. 

 

Circumstances around our consumption can change over time. So our dietary needs as a child or adolescent, compared with pregnancy, convalescing, managing a chronic or acute illness, or older age, can be vastly different.

Feeling out of control with our dietary consumption from time to time isn't uncommon. There's usually some underlying reason that's happening e.g., stress or anxiety. But it's when it persists and cycles around and around and our go to strategies stop working and we're feeling unable to cope, dietary harm & overconsumption can become a problem.  

 

In reality, we overconsume when we're we're happy, sad, bored, stressed, tired, busy, nervous, ravenous, celebrating, on vacation, drinking alcohol, at home, eating out, during and after pregnancy,  menstruation or menopause, or when we're just simply not being mindful about our eating! 

What are the consequences of dietary Harm & overconsumption?

 
The effects of persistent dietary harm & overconsumption are different for different people. Each person will have their own reasons for why eliminating overconsumption is important and even essential for them. 


For some it's about a single type of something they obsess about and feel compelled to consume much more regularly than they would like such as chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, bananas, cheese, ice cream, soda pop, beer, pizza, cakes, nuts, or crisps.

For some it's about the amount of overall consumption that's happening on a daily basis, and feeling out of control with lots of things and not knowing how to get back in control of it all. 

 

And for others, it's about a type of consumption they do e.g., eating meat and dairy when they want to be plant based, or being plant based and wanting to eat a whole food plant based diet instead of processed foods. 

 

Many have chronic conditions which are triggered by inflammation and they  might, for example, want to reduce or eliminate all inflammatory dietary consumption. Triggers may be known or unknown but by using elimination it's possible to manage disease symptoms albiet in association with essential and appropriate medical attention. 

This is especially so with conditions such as metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disease, cardivascular disease,  cancer, skin conditions, or inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohne's disease or ulcerative colitis.

 

With between two thirds to three quarters of people now overweight or obese in the developed world, eliminating dietary overconsumption is a very common reason to reduce weight, feel healthier and eliminate disease risk. We know obesity and being excessively overweight for example, carries some serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, and some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon), so there are some life threatening and mitigating potentially life ending reasons to eliminate dietary harm & overconsumption. 

 

Many more people are wanting to  eliminate dieatary harm & overconsumption in the current climate for planetary health concerns. Doing our bit for the planet and all that lives in it, is becoming a way of life for those who have eco-anxiety and concerns about the future of our planet for the next generation of humans, plants and other animals. Taking individual action gives us back some level of control that we are doing our bit without relying on others' inaction.  

Why can't we put on the breaks to dietary harm & overconsumption?

 
When we realise, or delierately chose, to overconsume, consumed something that we know isn't good for us, or indeed eliminate something we should be consuming for enhancing our health and well-being, it's often too difficult to overide, and we often don't like what we've done, but we've done it anyway! 

 

We often have good intentions to not do dietary harm & overconsume, especially after a regretful experience, and we may even prep ourselves ahead of time for it happening again given we know it happens so often. However, unfortunately our conscious intentions have a limited time span and before long the ability to resist temptation creeps in and we either mindlessly find ourselves there again being impulsively driven by our unconscious and automated habits, or we lose the strength of our convictions in the moment to maintain our committment,  which overides our motivation and cognitive intentions. 

 

Why? Maybe because we haven't really understood the problem enough, maybe our resolve to stop ourselves isn't fully there yet, our goals are not realistic or clearly defined, we don't have clear objectives to help meet our goals, we don't persist for long enough to implement our new behaviours and disrupt our well-ingrained habits, or other priorities creep in and we tell ourselves "sod it! This is too difficult", or "The time isn't right", or "I'll think about it again tomorrow", or "I'll try to not let it happen again in future!".  

 

Unfortunately, what's often missing are the nuts and bolts i.e., solid understanding of the problem, what our goals and objectives are, have implementable plans, and the dedication, support and committment to follow through to actual behavioural change.  Once we've found and practiced the right strategy a few times, and it works, it will work for good if we want it to! Unfortunately, we often don't pesist for long enough for this to become the new habit and we go back to our old ways because it seems easier somehow. 


There's no doubt many obstacles can get in the way even despite setting our mind on a plan, and we can end up back at square one. The key change that has to happen is that you'll have the necessary resources and support at hand to help you to persist with your motivation and intentions through to behavioural change, and keep to plan without having to start all over again some other time. 

What will be different this time?

 
You will be engaged and supported in structured processes and activities that will help you to understand your dietary harm & overconsumption. What's going on for you is unique, and trying to apply a generic plan or protocol that might work for someone else  is not likely to be sustainable for your specific set of cicumstances.


Imagine what it would feel like if you didn't have to worry about overconsuming, or the effects of harmful eating. How much of your energy, time and money could be spent on doing much better, healthier, enjoyable, and less boring things instead?!

  

It doesn't have to be complicated resolving dietary harm & overconsumption, even if its been going on for some time. You'll learn some effective, natural and easy going strategies that will soon get you on your way to eliminating... deprivation, excessively exercising, calorie counting, obsessing about portion sizes, battling cravings, yo-yo dieting, surgery, or becoming addicted or reliant on unneccesary pills or potions to manage your dietary harm & overconsumption.  

 

Anyone can do this program; it requires no qualifications, knowledge or expertise, you don't have to be physically active, and what's more, you can do this in your own time, on your own or with a buddy, and from the comfort of your own home or worksplace.

There are some important side effects to be aware of though. By engaging in this program you might...

 Find yourself...

1. Feeling happier

2. Losing weight

3. Saving money

4. Feeling healthier 

5. Lovin' being in control

Proven strategy with lasting results! 

 

The program is hosted by Karen Bartle, a behavioural change & resilience health coach, lifestyle medicine practitioner, advanced cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapist, whole food plant based health coach. Learn more about Karen


You will have
 access to some amazing resources and support tools to keep you motivated, on track and committed to having control over your behaviour. 

You'll be supported all the way and help will be on hand to keep you motivated and on track with your progress, and to provide feedback and clarity on anything you need help with. 


All in all, a no brainer; go at your own pace and in your own time, effective strategies to help you make and maintain some essential behavioural changes.

A simple four step process to eliminating dietary overconsumption

What's the problem?

Step one is to identify the behaviour(s)/situations associated with your overconsumption.

What's the goal?

Identifying personal goals is an essential second step to making those important changes.

How do you get there?

Here you'll identify & refine what's keeping it going, and what's going to make it stop!

It's time to party!

The last step is to implement and practice new behavioural changes for sustainable and lasting change!

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