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How to stop comfort eating and reduce your risks from coronavirus.

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Evidence is growing that people who are overweight are at greater risk from coronavirus. So now more than ever, its time to stop comfort eating and lose a few pounds.

Like many other people during the recent lockdown I was eating more unhealthy snacks than normal.

I know that many of my friends and clients have also been comfort eating and drinking more alcohol during this worrying coronavirus time.

It’s not surprising because longer-term stress raises our cortisol levels and boosts our cravings for high sugar and high fat foods. When cortisol levels are too high for too long it also increases the amount of fat we store in our belly.

So If you’ve been using food to soothe your emotions and you’ve put on some extra pounds, here is a 10 step plan to help you get back to better health.

1. Tell someone that you're going to get healthier.

You’re more likely to stick to your goal if you’ve shared it with someone else, so tell your family or friends or post on facebook.

2. Ask someone else to join you.

It can be helpful to be accountable to someone else and have someone share the journey with you.

3. Identify and write down all the benefits.

Think about all the important ways that your life will be better when you’ve achieved your goal. For instance, you’ll be at less risk from coronavirus, you’ll feel healthier, you’ll have more energy and you’ll look fitter etc.

4. Identify and write down all your abilities, qualities and skills that will enable you to achieve your goal.

What have been your biggest achievements so far? What innate abilities did you draw on, were you determined, organised or committed? What big challenges have you overcome and how did you do it, were you strong, adaptable, consistent etc?

5. Identify and write down any barriers.

What are the things that could stop you from achieving your goal. How will you use your abilities from above to overcome those potential barriers?

6. Identify and write down your specific long-term goal.

Do you want to drop a dress size, lose 10 kg etc?

7. Break down your long-term goal into a number of weekly chunks.

Each weekly chunk should be realistic and measurable. Set yourself a time limit, the NHS Recommends 0.5kg to 1kg per week.

8. Create a chart.

Insert a column into your chart for every day of each week. At the end of every week add a column and write in a suitable reward. ie a new book, special dinner, a small chocolate treat, new outfit, candlelit bath etc

9. Create a daily plan.

In each daily column commit and write down a list of how you’ll achieve your weekly goal. You might choose to do a daily youtube yoga class or Joe wicks session. You could download the popular couch to 5k app or do a brisk daily walk. Consider replacing unhealthy snacks with a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or a glass of water etc.

10. Display your chart.

Put your chart up on the fridge or kitchen cupboard where you’ll see it often. Give yourself a very big satisfying tick as you complete each daily plan.

You can do it!

If you'd like to learn more about how I help people change their habits to live a healthier lifestyle using cognitive hypnotherapy, follow this link:

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