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Healthy Living

What triggers your eating?

A quiz to put you in control

 Very
Unlikely
PossiblyVery
Likely
Social:
1.Arguing or having conflict with someone.12345678910
2.Being with others when they are eating.12345678910
3.Being urged to eat by someone else.12345678910
4.Feeling inadequate around others.12345678910
Emotional:
5.Feeling bad, such as being anxious or depressed.12345678910
6.Feeling good, happy or relaxed.12345678910
7.Feeling bored or having time on my hands.12345678910
8.Feeling stressed or excited.12345678910
Situational:
9.Seeing an advertisement for enticement to eat12345678910
10.Passing by a bakery, cookie store, etc.12345678910
11.Being involved in a party, celebration or special occasion12345678910
12.Eating out.12345678910
Thinking:
13.Making excuses to myself about why it's okay to eat.12345678910
14.Berating myself for being so fat or unable to control my eating.12345678910
15.Worrying about others or about difficulties I am having.12345678910
16.Thinking about how things should or shouldn't be.12345678910
Physiological:
17.Experiencing pain or physical discomfort.12345678910
18.Experiencing trembling, headache or lightheadedness associated with not eating or too much caffeine.12345678910
19.Experiencing fatigue or feeling overtired.12345678910
20.Experiencing hunger pangs or urges to eat, though I've eaten recently.12345678910

To Score:

Add your rating scores for each of the items and enter the total score for each set of items as indicated. Then rank the scores by marking the highest score as "1", the next highest as "2", and so forth.

Then look at your individual scores in each area. More than 24 in any area is a high score, and indicates you need to work on this particular area. For instance, if you scored 25 in Social, and this was your number-one ranking score, you need to begin by focusing on handling social influences better.

 TotalRank Order
Items 1 - 4:Social Total Score  
Items 5 - 8:Emotional Total Score  
Items 9 - 12:Situational Total Score  
Items 13 - 16:Thinking Total Score  
Items 17 - 20:Physiological Total Score  

Score Interpretation:

Social -- A high score here means you are especially susceptible to influence from other people. You need to develop skills in communicating more assertively, handling conflict and managing anger. You also need to examine and challenge your beliefs about the need to be polite, and the obligations you feel you must fulfill.

Emotional -- Emotions, both negative and positive, are important triggers for inappropriate eating habits for many people. A high score here means you need to develop skills in coping more effectively with emotions. You need to learn to avoid situations that produce emotions and to react differently to upsetting events that do happen. You need to learn new ways to respond to old situations. Developing skills in time management, stress management, communication and thinking will help.

Situational -- A high score here means you are especially susceptible to external influences. Perhaps you are creating this susceptibility by worrying too much about food, weight and dieting. In any event, you need to learn whenever possible to avoid cues to eat and to respond differently to those you cannot avoid. You need to rearrange your environment so that inappropriate eating is less likely. This involves changing the way you buy, store, cook and serve food -- and the way you clean up afterward. It involves anticipating potential problems and planning ahead how to handle them effectively.

Thinking -- An important factor in inappropriate eating is the way you think; including how you talk to yourself, the pictures in your head, the beliefs you hold and your memories and expectations. You need to learn to be less self-critical, less of a perfectionist and more flexible in your beliefs about the way things ought to be. You need to recognize when you are making excuses or rationalizations that allow you to eat, and to focus your thoughts on the benefits to be gained from persisting in your weight- management efforts, as well as the costs you will pay if you don't.

Physiological -- Often, the way you eat, what you eat, or medications you are taking, will affect your eating behavior. A high score here means you may be skipping meals, which can cause trembling or headache. Or, you may be eating to reduce physical arousal or to deal with physical discomfort. Some medications affect hormones that cause you to feel hungrier. Too much caffeine can cause your body to produce more insulin, which can produce low blood sugar and accompanying trembling and other physical symptoms.

You need to eat three regular meals a day and, perhaps, plan regular snacks in order to keep your blood sugar and your insulin at fairly even levels throughout the day. You may need to learn more effective ways to cope with pain. You should examine the medications you are taking to determine if they contain caffeine or some other ingredient that produces adverse physical reactions for you -- and switch to an alternative, if necessary. If your medications could be affecting your hormones, discuss possible alternatives with your doctor.

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