By now we all know that a nutritious diet and a regular workout are the only sure shot ways to lose weight in a sustainable manner. But not many of us know that there are some behavioural principles, which when followed, can take us a long way in losing weight and maintaining it.

What are behavioural techniques for weight loss?Do you eat in between cooking meals, finish the leftovers from your kid’s plate, eat when you are bored, upset or angry? If you are nodding your head in affirmation, this article is for you. What you eat is definitely important but how, when and where you eat is of equal importance.
Behavioural modification techniques can improve your eating habits, thus aiding in weight loss. Though changing your habits takes time, efforts and discipline, but the rewards can last a lifetime. Eating right and exercising regularly should be seen as a lifelong pursuit and not just a temporary habit.
Below are some of the best behavioural tips that will help you meet your weight loss goals: - Journal your food intake regularly. Also, do not forget to write your thoughts, feelings and emotions. - Write down your goals (losing weight, being healthy, playing cricket) and desires on a big sheet of paper and refer to the sheet often. - When the urge to eat strikes, divert yourself. Watch your favourite show, go for a walk with your dog or call your friend. - Plan your meals one or two days ahead, so that you don’t binge or eat unhealthy later just because your healthy meal isn’t prepared or available. - Make your food more interesting. Find new ways online or if you have time, join a cooking class. - Stay away from buffets and eating out as much as you can. Though it’s okay to eat outside occasionally. - Eat slowly and chew your food properly by savouring each bite. Before you reach out for another bite, make sure you have finished the one already in your mouth. - Eat only at the dining table. Avoid eating while standing up, in the car, at work desk and while talking on the phone. Eating in one place helps control the amount of food consumed. - Use bigger plates for meals, so that you feel you have consumed plentiful. - Weigh only once in a week. Weighing yourself every day can be emotionally defeating.

- Record your physical activity every day and keep a track of the number of steps. Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day.

- If you have cravings, just have a few bites.

- Chew gum while you watch television or cook food so that you don’t eat unnecessarily.

Reward yourselfYou need to reward yourself for your progress and success. Treat yourself with your favourite foods. Your reward can be anything you like from a new pair of clothes to watching a movie or having a cheat meal.

We all are great at taking care of others but it’s time to recognise the importance of taking care of ourselves and do it.