Many dysregulated eaters insist on weighing themselves because they say they need a way to measure their progress. Too often, weight is still the determinant of success even when you don’t want to believe it is. Whatever your bias, here are 21 great ways to assess your progress. Ask yourself these questions and note your progress with food.
- How often do I eat without being hungry and how often do I wait to eat until I’m hungry enough?
- Do I seek food when I’m emotionally upset as often as I used to?
- Do I often wait until I’m moderately hungry to eat?
- Do I deprive myself of food when I’m hungry to “save calories” for later?
- Do I seek food when I’m bored as often as I used to?
- Do I seek food when I’m stressed as often as I used to?
- Compared to previously, do I still weigh myself often or do I do it less?
- How frequently do I think about calories or fat grams before, during or after eating?
- Do I regularly consider portion size and how hungry I am before I eat?
- How likely am I to choose foods that feel good in my body?
- How likely am I to choose foods that are healthy for my body?
- Do I eat more slowly than in the past?
- Do I chew my food thoroughly and let food sit on my tongue more than previously?
- Do I pause between bites to assess my hunger more often?
- Do I keep asking myself, “Am I hungry or satisfied?” while I’m eating?
- Do I stop eating when I’m no longer hungry?
- Do I stop eating when I’m pleasantly satisfied?
- Am I able to leave food uneaten on my plate or toss it out when I’m full or satisfied?
- Is my self-talk after I eat mindlessly, overeat or binge more kind than previously?
- Am I taking better care of myself emotionally and physically?
- Am I more proud of my eating behaviors than I used to be?
For you list makers and people who enjoy charting your progress, use these questions to assess changes in your attitude and behavior. Alternately, check in with yourself daily to see how you’re doing. If you’re serious about moving away from a weight focus, you’ll also need to avoid using how clothes fit to assess your progress (as in trying on the same pair of jeans often to see how they fit). This behavior only reinforces a preoccupation with your size, when the problem is really with your eating. And be sure to ask yourself other questions that I didn’t list that help you measure improvement.