Do you remember that we wrote a blog post recently about habits and talked about the cue, the routine and the reward?
A habit is what happens every morning when you grab a cup of coffee at your office. The coffee is your cue to pick up a donut, too. The donut becomes a routine part of your morning ritual. Your reward is a few minutes to savor the donut’s sweetness while you switch gears before you begin work.
I’ve been thinking about cues. My daughter and my husband both had birthdays recently. Those happy occasions were cues for me to eat a big dinner and a big piece of birthday cake. Then, I spent the day at the State Fair of Texas, which always is a cue for me to indulge in corny dogs and a huge cinnamon roll drowning in warm icing. And, finally, my husband and I spent the weekend visiting good friends who entertained us with scrumptious homemade meals. For breakfast, we ate eggs, bacon and biscuits with homemade champagne jelly.
For many of us, good times with family and friends are cues for overeating. We are rewarded with tasty treats—and with extra pounds, too.
It’s impossible to get rid of the cues for overeating. I just attended a wedding, and we’re expecting company. Plus, tomorrow is Halloween.
What’s the solution? If I can’t get rid of the cues, I’m going to have to change my routine. As a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, I know what routine works best for me when I want to lose a few pounds. I’m now writing down everything that I eat. I’ve done it before, and it works for me.
Whenever I’m tempted by a cue to enjoy something delicious, I remember that I am going to have to list those extra calories in my food log. Usually, that helps me stick to a healthier routine.