The next time the cookie jar calls out your name, remember to HALT!
Besides knowing that “HALT” means “Stop it!”, you can also ask yourself four questions before giving in and taking that first compulsive bite. Using the “HALT” procedure has me, as well as many other compulsive overeaters reframe from taking first bite that usually leads to binging.
“H” is for Hungry.
First, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry? I know many times when I’m drawn to more food, it’s right after I’ve had a good meal. If I’m honest, I’ll have to say that my stomach is full, but it’s something else that needs filled up inside of me. As a Christian, it’s a good time to run to God’s Word and feed my inner man with some good soul food from the Bible.
“A” is for anxious.
I don’t know about you, but stress and anxiety seem me toward gravitate to the refrigerator, as well as into the cracker boxes and cookie jars. A good example is the time about a year ago when my husband announced he was going on top of our roof to clean out the gutters. Our house was getting ready to be put on the market and he was gung-ho on making sure it was a “perfect” as possible before calling a realtor. But all I saw was an almost 60-year-old man on the roof who could possibly fall. I was going through enough stress at the time because of another crisis. When he stubbornly insisted he was going up on the roof, I remember grabbing a box of Ritz crackers, not caring about my diet. Thankfully, he did make it safely down from the roof, but I got into trouble that day, setting myself up for another binge after I’d worked hard to take off about 20 pounds through my Weight Watchers’ program. If only I had stopped at the “A” for HALT and realized I was anxious and needed a better diversion than munching on crackers.
“L” is for lonely.
Do you overeat when you’re feeling lonely? If so, you’re not alone as that’s something most of us overeaters habitually do. I think of when we moved from Florida to Connecticut and I missed my friends back in the sunshine state. I’d lost 70 pounds just before we moved. However, unfortunately, I gave in loneliness and managed to get back into my old eating patterns. Next time you’re tempted to make food your best friend, pick up the telephone and reach out and touch someone. You’ll both be better off for making this choice.
“T” is for tired.
How many times have you found yourself grabbing something loaded with calories because you were too tired to fix something better for your dinner? Before reaching for those red light foods that get your in trouble, stop, take and deep breath and ask youself, “Am I more tired than hungry?” Usually this is the case. Instead of filling up on empty calories, eat something that will give you renewed energy, such as an apple.
Learning to HALT can make the difference between success and failure in your weight loss program. After you’ve asked yourself, “Am I really hungry or am I anxious, lonely, or tired?” you’ll probably be less likely to take that first compulsive bite, leading down the road to another binge.