Session 8

Taking Charge of What’s Around You

Session 8-2

How to Deal With Problem Cues
We can avoid the problem cues, we can change the cues or we can modify the way we react to them.

Add helpful cues

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Serve healthy foods at home. Bring healthy foods to share at gatherings.

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Plan things to do that are active and don’t involve food.

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Keep the items listed below where you can see them most of the time:

  • Exercise equipment: shoes, gym bag, mat, bike
  • Reminders and motivators: calendar of planned activities, fitness videos and magazines, photos and posters of the outdoors or people being active
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Set up a regular activity date with a friend or family member. most of the time:

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Set a timer or alarm to remind you when it’s time to be active.

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Ask a friend or family member for support (split dessert with you, take a walk together, offer you healthy food choices).

Here are some social cues that are helpful for staying on track:

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Decide ahead of time what the healthiest choice is for you and be the first to order when you eat out at a restaurant, so you are not tempted by other’s choices.

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Be social by doing something active. Take a walk and talk.

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Spend time with people who are already active and make healthy food choices.

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Put yourself in places where people are active.

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Ask others to encourage you, in positive ways, to make healthy choices.

Stay away from the cue, if you can

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For example, move to a different room when someone is eating a tempting food.

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Be mindful at special events like parties

  • Stand as far away as you can from the table with the food.
  • Keep your hands busy with a glass of water, coffee, tea, or diet soda.
  • Watch the alcohol. It lowers your willpower and makes you hungry.
  • Clear the table as soon as possible after a meal, and put the food away.
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When you eat, try not do anything else.

  • For example, do not eat while watching TV, reading the newspaper, or working on the computer that will distract you from noticing how much you are eating.
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Keep high-fat and high-calorie foods out of your house and workplace. Or, if you can’t keep them out altogether, keep them out of sight. Out of sight is out of mind.

Change the cue, if you can

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Keep healthy, low fat and low calorie choices easy to reach and in sight.

  • Keep fresh fruits, raw vegetables (already washed and ready to eat), nonfat dips, pretzels, low-fat popcorn, diet drinks, sugar-free gelatin, sugar-free popsicles easily available.
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Discuss the problem with those involved.

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Tell the other person about the program and your efforts to lose weight and be more active.

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Ask others for support. Ask them to praise you for your efforts and to ignore your slips.

Practice responding in healthier ways

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Practice a polite but firm, “No, thank you,” when offered seconds or foods you are trying to limit/avoid.

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Reduce TV watching, or be active while you watch TV.

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Rather than pile things at the bottom of the stairs, climb the stairs each time something needs to be taken up.

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Be mindful to eat slowly and enjoy your food. Pay attention to how you feel; use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when you’ve had enough.

Plan ahead

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Eat something before going to an event, so you won’t be hungry.

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Plan your meal in advance.

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Budget your calories ahead of time. Plan to eat the best (in small portions) and leave the rest.

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Bring a tasty, low-fat dish to share.

Create A Positive Action Plan

During the next week, I will:
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Identify the cues that affect my lifestyle and begin making one food and one activity change at a time.

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Remove one problem food cue

  • What problem food cue will I remove?
  • What will I need to do to make sure I remove it?
  • What road block might I come across?
  • What will I do to solve it?
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Add one helpful cue for being more active

  • What activity cue will I add?
  • What will I need to do to make sure I get it done?
  • What road block might I have?
  • What will I do to solve it?
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Make a plan for a social event

  • What special event do I have in the near future (wedding, holiday, football game)?
  • What problem social cue will I have at the event?
  • What road block might I have?
  • What will I do to solve them?
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Identify a person in my life and the things they could do to support my healthy lifestyle.

  • Serve low-cal foods when I’m present and not offer me second helpings
  • Encourage and help me to cook new and healthy foods.
  • Encourage and/or join me in being more active.
  • Praise my efforts to make healthy changes.
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Keep track of my weight, calories, and physical activity