This will probably be the last in the series unless I figure out what to write for Training.

Figure out the reasons behind your eating habits.

I’m sure many of you have resolved to “correct” their diets this year, either by cutting down on some types of food or by eating more of “healthy” food. Unfortunately, unless you have an unusually high degree of discipline, you’ll find out that these diet resolutions are impossible to follow.

The key point here is that one’s eating habits, like talents, are rooted to our past. Our experiences in our childhood subconsciously affects what and how we eat. Unless we learn the reasons behind our eating habits, we’ll eventually revert back to them a few weeks or months into a new diet plan.

For example, I was born into a poor family so I had been trained from a young age not to waste any food on the dinner table. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), our family became less and less poor as the years went by and the food on the dinner table also increased. My problem of eating more than I need became worse when I started working because of the free dinners and Frappuccinos the company gave us whenever we went on OTs.

After some thinking, I figured out a simple way of dealing with this problem: avoid free food. Having little free food means I don’t gorge a lot. When I did my fitness regimen four years ago, I didn’t eat at home except on Sundays. I also limited myself to salt crackers when passing by the company pantry (which is stocked with free snacks). Limiting myself to paid food also allowed me to limit the portions of food that I eat every meal, as opposed to the virtual all-you-can-eat meals at the dinner table.

Another aspect of my poor past allowed me to pull this off with relative ease: I can get sated regardless of how little I eat as long as I clean up my plate. It’s psychological, yes, but if I didn’t have this, I probably would have had to use other tricks to make me feel full easier on every meal.

So before you decide to change your eating habits, take time to look back and see what are the things that influenced how you eat today. You might be surprised that some of your worst eating habits could easily be turned off (e.g. you eat ice cream often because as a kid you thought it was the greatest thing ever, but nowadays it’s just meh) and that you could steer yourself to a healthier lifestyle with just a few changes (like my example above).

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