Do you have weight problems or console yourself with food?

Are you aware of your inner food programming and just how easily those buttons are pushed?

Discover how they got there and how to "re-program" your food responses.

As babies and children we were "trained" by reward and punishment to produce boys and girls that did what they were told and got an ice-cream or who didn't and got a smack!

Unintentionally perhaps, children learn an association between certain foods and treats - "eat up your greens and you can have an ice-cream", "lollies are only for good children". Or maybe a grazed knee prompts "Don't cry - here's a sweetie to make you feel better".

Babies and children soon grow to be able to reach the cookie jar for themselves, or have their own money to decide when they "deserve" a treat or not. Perhaps a poor maths grade got consoled with a bar of chocolate. Maybe, if I'm feeling down I'll cuddle up in front of the TV with a tub of ice-cream or chips. Or I treat myself to a "slap up meal" because I won the big contract.

We use food as a reward or substitute. And all these habits, these "buttons", are put in place as we grow up from the earliest age.

Well, what do we do about it?

First, be aware that something just pushed your buttons and then respond with a better choice. It will take some time and effort - but stick with it!

Here are 10 ways to help re-program:

1. Reduce exposure to adverts - sales people know exactly how to push your buttons!
2. Don't buy foods that you can't resist - if you don't see it, it can't push your button.
3. Stop reinforcing old programming - avoid words like "treat", "reward", "indulge" in the same sentence as anything relating to food. Especially for your children.
4. Eat balanced meals when you are hungry - listen to your body and respond to it's signals rather than external stimulus.
5. Avoid snacks - if you are hungry your body is telling you that you are ready for your next meal.
6. Find a different "reward" instead of "food" - be careful that you don't reinforce another habit - such as shopping, cigarettes, alcohol. How about a "time" reward - time to do something you enjoy doing.
7. Start a "Scrapbook of Achievements" - record anything you did well or won and then in "low" moments you can read it and remind yourself. No need to indulge in a food treat to "feel good".
8. If you're feeling low, give someone a hug - what you give out, you'll get back! And, there are no calories in hugs.
9. Don't deny yourself food you enjoy, but keep it in perspective of everything else you eat. Don't consider any food as special - it's all food, you decide what is appropriate for YOUR body.
10. Recognise patterns and associations relating to food - do snacks come out when you watch TV? do you need popcorn to enjoy a cinema movie? Try activities without food additives for a while and see if you still enjoy them just the same!

Being aware is the only way to make our best choices.

If we respond to something from habit, then we are not making our own choices, we are acting out someone else's.

So who decides for you - you or your habits?

Author's Bio: 

Julie Hargreaves is a psychic reader and webmaster for Authentic Online Readers Psychics Network at - guidance and self-help.