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Behavior modification

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:33 pm
Behavior modification is the adoption of new habits in order to reach a certain goal, such as weight loss. Some behavioral techniques focus on helping you become more aware of what you eat. These include keeping a daily food diary; eating without a TV, book, or other distraction present; and learning to eat more slowly. Other strategies may involve changing the availability of food. For example, you may be advised not to keep junk food at home nor to leave food out on the counter. Instead, make sure you have healthy, low-calorie snacks on hand to satisfy your cravings. Store food out of sight in the fridge or in opaque (oh-PAYK) containers. You may also find it helpful to establish a mealtime routine. For example, eat at regular intervals, dine only in the kitchen or other designated room, and allow for planned snacks. To reduce your portions, try eating off a smaller plate and leaving serving dishes on the stove or counter instead of bringing them to the table. Rewards are another tool: if you lose a pound or stick to an exercise program, treat yourself to a movie, book, or something new to wear.

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