OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Changing Eating Patterns

As you begin to listen to your internal messages, feel emotions, and handle stress in other ways, you also need to find healthy eating patterns that work for you. If you have eaten for emotional reasons in the past, it may be hard, at first, to break old patterns. You will probably make mistakes and feel discouraged at times.

This is all part of the process. It is okay. You must lovingly take yourself by the hand and gently moved forward. One small change at a time is enough.

There are helpful guidelines for eating that make sense for most people. The most important thing to know is that when you skip meals and/or reduce calories to dieting levels, you are actually helping your body to gain weight. This may seem unfair, but it is true. Many people have been on repeated diets. They eat less than other people and still gain weight. There is a reason.

The rate at which the body burns calories (the metabolism) slows down every time you diet. Then you need fewer calories to function.When you begin to eat normally, your body is still operating at this low metabolic rate, so you put on weight. Every time you diet, weight comes off more slowly and goes back on more quickly because the metabolism is slower.

By eating normally over time, the metabolic rate will adjust back, but this period is scary for most people because they may put on a few pounds and do not know if the weight gain will stop. They go back on a diet not realizing they are actually making it worse.

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