1.1 EXPLORING MOTIVATION – questions for you to answer


We will begin with a look at the changes you want to make, so it will be good for you to give some thought to this before we start.

I suggest you make a list of examples of where and when you could aim to eat less. You could ask yourself: if this course is successful, in what ways would my eating be different?

Make a list as in the examples below by considering the quality, quantity and/or frequency of the food you eat, aiming to be as specific as possible.

There’s no need to make these lists complete or final – you can add to them from time to time and you might even change your mind about some of them. It will be helpful, though, to begin to identify as much as possible what you want to achieve and why.

And, please don’t expect to be making these changes right away. We’ll be going through quite a bit more material before we’ve covered how to do this.

Pick three examples and post them in the Comments box right at the bottom of this page. It might be helpful for you to watch the videos in this Section first, and return to this page afterwards with three things you might change.

PLEASE BE PATIENT with the Comments as they won’t be visible right away. 

This is an example of what might go in the Comments box below: “WHAT” is something about your eating you want to change. And “WHY” is how this could be a benefit to you.

WHAT: to eat smaller meals  WHY: I’ll lose weight, have more energy later on in the day
WHAT: not to eat after my evening meal  WHY: I’ll feel more in control, maybe sleep better
WHAT: not to eat so many sugary snacks at work  WHY: I’ll have more energy later on, feel better about myself.

25 thoughts on “1.1 EXPLORING MOTIVATION – questions for you to answer”

  1. “WHAT” is something about your eating you want to change. And “WHY” is how this could be a benefit to you.
    WHAT? Less sugar WHY? I will protect my liver and avoid diabetes
    WHAT? No snacks after dinner WHY? I know I will sleep better
    WHAT? More vegetables and fruits WHY? It will improve my digestion

  2. WHAT: to eat less at lunchtime WHY? So I don’t feel tired and slugglish, have heartburn and then not be hungry for my evening meal.
    WHAT: Stop eating after my evening meal (pudding, snacks) WHY? To feel less uncomfortable, be able to sleep and not feel ill in the night.
    WHAT: Eat less sugar and wheat. WHY? Sugar is bad for my diabetes, makes my skin itchy, I can’t sleep. Wheat dulls my brain and gives me heartburn and makes me feel so full.

  3. WHAT: To not always clean my plate WHY: I won’t feel so stuffed
    WHAT: To look at the size of my portions WHY: My stomach is only the size of an apple, don’t stuff it.
    WHAT: Ask myself if I am feeling actual hunger WHY: I may find I am a little hungry but I won’t die to wait an hour to eat dinner and will enjoy the dinner more by not having a snack.

  4. What: To stick to the meals I’ve planned & shopped for
    Why: to save money & stop wasting healthy food

    What: stop eating in the evenings
    Why: it’s rarely for hunger, usually it’s a distraction from feeling lonely & sad

    What: stop binging on bread & sugar
    Why: to improve sleep & energy levels

    1. Really love your list as I have exact same reasons as you. Thank you for posting this. It’s good to know someone else feels the same way but can take steps to deal with it rather than feel powerless

  5. what: eat more vegetables why: I want to avoid disease and have the best quality of life as I get older
    what: stop eating when i’m upset emotionally Why: binge eating stops me dealing with the feelings properly and creates a cycle of added shame which makes me feel worse.
    what: eat less at dinner time Why: overeating makes me feel sluggish and impacts my relationship with partner
    what: stop eating in secret why: move the focus to caring for myself rather than hiding/pretending I’m not overeating.

  6. (Hello)
    WHAT I want to stop being / feeling out of control regarding what I eat.
    WHY Because this is the cause chronic low self worth and anxiety.
    WHAT I want to have less fat around my lower torso.
    WHY This excess weight limits my range of motion for activities I like to do.
    WHAT I want to fit into my smaller clothes from 2019. I want to reduce the current closet clutter from essentially having two wardrobes in different sizes.

  7. WHAT? I will spend a lot less time thinking about food, and will have a sense of peace around food. WHY? To feel free and not obsessed and anxious about food, to free up lots of time in my head for the important and interesting things
    WHAT? I will rarely snack in the evenings or between meals. WHY? So I don’t feel overly full all the time, so I actually feel hungry for and enjoy my next meal.
    WHAT? I will rarely eat refined carbohydrates. WHY? So the inflammation in my body will reduce, therefore my joint pain, brain fog, fatigue and asthma will all reduce.
    WHAT? I will eat alot less food, and will enjoy the food I eat, while having a sense of calm and peace. WHY? So I dont feel physically ill from overeating, so all my inflammation symptoms reduce,, so I can live pain free for as long as possible

  8. What? to eat a lot less unhealthy snacks in the evening and between meals. Why? so I can reduce binge eating as these foods are a trigger. I will feel in control, at peace with myself, have a great sense of achievement.
    What? to choose healthy meal options? Why? to improve digestion, cut down medication, reduce inflammation and pain and lose weight.
    What? Not to eat after evening meal. Why? to give my body a chance to recover, rest and wake up more alert.

  9. WHAT: I choose to eat less in volume and more balanced out regarding calorie density.WHY: I will feel less stuffed ,energetic and more satisfied at the same time.

    WHAT: I choose to eat structured meals according to „times/plans“
    WHY : I will have a sense of a productive control which will help me focus on life instead of obsessing around food.

    WHAT: I choose not to binge overeat or stuff myself anymore.
    WHY :because I want to be healthy physically and mentally and slow down aging.

  10. I want to be able to make sensible choices about what I eat and how much Why? to have peace around food, to feel less of a failure
    I want to eat when I am hungry and not snack all day. Why: to feel I have control and can make sensible decisions around food

  11. What? Overcome my disordered eating.
    Why? To reduce anxiety around food and the headspace it takes up.
    What? Giving in to the addictive desire to eat.
    Why? To rewire my brain by accepting the desire but not acting on it. To build self-esteem.
    What? Not finish my son’s food.
    Why? To be a better role model, to weaken the urge to self-sabotage and to focus on appreciating food and not picking at leftovers.
    What? Snacking if I am not hungry.
    Why? To have an appetite for my meals, to eat more mindfully, to improve how I feel about my eating habits.

  12. What : Cut down on eating junk while watching TV in the evening.
    Why : I think I will actually enjoy the programme more without the voice in my head telling me to go and get something more to eat, feel much better going to bed.
    What : To be able to enjoy a treat without feeling all is lost and I may as well eat the whole cupboard of food now.
    Why : Because that is how “normal” people are around food.
    What : Taking the time to prepare different vegetables.
    Why : There’s more out there than sweet corn and tomatoes and because they’re filling but not calorie dense.

  13. WHAT: To eat less food. WHY: To be more “in control” of my eating and feel more empowered. To have better digestion.
    WHAT: To practice more intermittent fasting. WHY: Because of it’s proven health benefits.
    WHAT: To cut down on sugars. WHY: To help reduce inflammation in my body.

  14. I want to be able choose to eat a piece of cake, eat it then carry on as if nothing has happened.
    Why – because I want to break my ‘all or nothing’ mindset. When it’s ‘all’, and I’m loading up, it never tastes that good anyway.

  15. What: during the day when I take breaks from work
    Why: less distracted by foraging

    What: when I come home late after class
    Why: sleep better on an empty stomach, faster recovery in sleep cycle

    What: when we get takeout and I portions are large
    Why: feel more peace around food, feel better in my brain

  16. WHAT: Eat smaller meals
    WHY: So I don’t feel so full afterwards

    WHAT: Eat less sugar
    WHY: I will feel better and avoid sugar rushes that make me feel weird and wobbly

    WHAT: Cut out snacking between meals
    WHY: It is unnecessary and unhealthy and I enjoy my meals more if I am hungry

  17. 1. WHAT: To eat full meals, 3-4 / day and do not snack.
    – to be free of food obsession,
    – to manage energy and hypoglycemia symptoms,
    – to avoid emotional eating and overeating,
    – to avoid the self-criticize and discouragement
    – to stop postponing (or avoiding altogether) the task I want to do.
    2. WHAT: to stop eating after the evening meal
    – to give my digestive system time to rest,
    – to feel healthier, balanced, and happier
    3. WHAT: to eat more of what I like
    – To enjoy what I eat
    – To feel more satisfied, therefore stop eating to compensate for lack of enjoyment (ex: eat sourdough instead of Ezekiel bread)

  18. WHAT: on most days stick to a routine of two main meals with fruit for snacks. WHY: feel calmer and less anxious, more ‘me-centred’ (rather than a slave to food addiction), save time and money, less bloated/stuffed
    WHAT: plan some healthy meals and do two main shops a week so I rely less on processed/junk food and eat more veg. WHY: feel calmer and less anxious, more ‘me-centred’ (rather than a slave to food addiction), better digestion, save time and money
    WHAT: eat sugary snacks only occasionally (e.g. donuts, chocolate, sweet puddings) WHY: feel calmer and less anxious, comfier digestive system, more alert/energetic

  19. “WHAT” is something about your eating you want to change. And “WHY” is how this could be a benefit to you.
    WHAT – eat a smaller dinner, smaller portions – WHY – I won’t feel bloated and full
    WHAT – not eat the piece of dark chocolate I always have after my meals – WHY – I won’t feel stomach ache
    WHAT – not eat my regular milk and business before bed – WHY – I’ll sleep better

  20. “WHAT” is something about your eating you want to change.
    Stop overeating and stop increasing my body weight.

    “WHY” is how this could be a benefit to you.
    To stop self-loathing and stop getting larger (hating my body and having to buy bigger clothes – fear of getting larger and larger and larger, not being able to stop).

  21. What- Stop kidding myself that I can enjoy overeating ‘this one last time’ and then turn over a new leaf tomorrow for the rest of my life
    Why- Because I’m ashamed of being so repeatedly dishonest with myself, and exhausted by repetition of the same old cycle
    What- Stop overeating in secret
    Why- Continual fear of being found out
    What- Eat less food of poor nutritional value when I’m looking for comfort/distraction
    Why- Avoid resultant sluggishness/bloating/poor sleep/anxiety

  22. What: Stop overeating in secret Why: To have integrity around my food choices. To be able to eat
    What: Eat a plant centered diet with clean protein and healthy fats Why: To lower my risk of inflammation, diabetes and alzheimers
    What: To live my life where I have free choice around food Why: To end the rebellous eating that stems from thinking of foods as good/bad, allowed/restricted, on plan/off plan, etc.

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