Habit 4

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Sunday 22nd October 2017

Tomorrow, I begin working on habit number 4

Let's see how I get on with this, because I have decided this is a point where I need to reward myself a teensy bit

OK so how does this sound?

At 2.30 - 3.30 I am allowed one snack.  This snack must only be a few nibbles but is allowed to be very naughty and totally unbalanced if I feel that way inclined.  So something like a small cake, a two fingered KitKat, half of an indulgent chocolate bar such as a Mars bar or a whole milky way (because they are small) or a pack of crisps (you get the gist)  or, depending how I feel, something healthier like a banana or a bunch of grapes or a cracker with a slice of cheese.

After that (this has taken much thought)  I can eat nothing until 6pm or later.  With one exception on Tuesdays.  I have guitar lessons on Tuesday 6pm to 8pm So on Tuesdays I can eat earlier.

Now, I know I got a bit excited with the last habit change, because my weight started stabilising at around 15st 3lb. I thought this would mean that on this habit change might weight will start dropping a little.  Now I am not so sure because I don't think there is going to be much of a change.  I am already doing this a lot of the time anyway.

So let's see how I get on - it should only take a 2 to three weeks for this one if there are no hiccups

Monday 23rd October

Here we go again

Tuesday 24th October 2017

Every time I still feel hungry after I eat, instead of asking myself "what can I have next, I'm sure it won't matter"  I ask myself "was anything missing?"  Usually it is that I have forgotten to have a good drink of water

Friday 27th October 2017

This is hard

I think I've said that every time I start working on a new habit.  I look back now to the first habit which was just to halve the amount I have for breakfast and then eat nothing until 10am.  It was hard, but now I can't understand why it was so hard because it is so easy now.  The same with habit 2

My weight hasn't dropped at all, but time will tell, it's only been a few days.

The problem is that by afternoon break time I am feeling too hungry to be satisfied by just one small item, so I have decided to allow myself a little more.  As I've said before, I can always change the habit to eating even less (or even totally missing the mid morning and mid afternoon snacks) at a later time.

Remember keep it slow - have patience

Remember the tortoise and the hare

Wednesday 1st August 2017

So I thought this was going to be easy this time? Because I was already doing it some of the tie anyway?


It just shows how fooled we are about how much we eat.  This is why people say they can't understand why they aren't  losing weight - because they are blind to how much they are actually eating.  Maybe they don't even remember eating.


Well that's the case with me.  I really thought I was only having a tiny snack in the afternoon and then nothing until 6 for any of the days during my last habit change.  Well obviously not because this is a struggle.  By the time three o'clock arrives I just want to stuff my face and about three to four times  out of these last seven days I have failed - but not drastically

My weight is still staying steady at about 15stone 3 pounds.  Well that much I predicted correctly (so far)

Saturday 4th November 2017

No this isn't going well.  I've put on a pound or so.  My ankles are more swollen than usual so it could possibly be water retention.  I a eating a little more than I intended and am getting hungry by 5pm.  But I'm not giving up yet. I can do this!

Sunday 5th November 2017

This one just isn't happening.  I just can't get myself to keep to the new habit.  Today was a bit of a disaster and I think I know why - I stayed up last night until silly o'clock in the morning then was awake by 7am.  Probably got about 5 hours sleep.  So when it came to 3pm when I should have been having a simple snack then nothing until 6p, I stuffed my face instead - I was tired from last night and from doing gardening today.  I was filthy so had a soak in the bath and kept falling asleep in there, waking up to luke warm water, topping it up again and falling back asleep.  Must have been in there for a good hour and a half.  Then got out and had a plateful of lamb casserole at 5pm and ive been nibbling ever since.

This is not good so I am forgetting about this habit for now and concentrating instead on y sleeping habits which I am sure are not helping at all.

So this is how it stands now.  Up until 3pm I have succeeded in changing y eating habits to eat less than I did before.  After 3pm I keep to y old ways of eating for now.

My new habit now to try to establish is to get to bed no later than 11pm.  That means, in bed with the light off by 11pm.  That means organising myself earlier - getting the next days lunch, bag, clothes, breakfast prepared long before 11pm.  If anything else isn't done tough s**t. and the same tough doodoo if a good film isn't finished.

So hey-ho, here we go, from tonight onwards.  And let's see if that helps with my hunger issues.

Hopefully this will only take until the beginning of December to become a habit


Friday 10th November 2017

Ha! well! I think I think too much.  I am trying - trying really hard to get to bed by 11pm.  I think 11.50 has been the earliest I have managed.  I have so much to do and there is too much in my head and I don't know where to start so it gets to about 10.30 before I begin and then I take stuff up to bed with me.  I write lists, but the lists get lost so I make new lists and then Ifind the old list and sometimes I end up with 3 or four lists, all almost the same.

Doing overtime at work  doesn't particularly help, but I rather need a bit of extra cash at the moment.  But heyho - keep trying.  I now think it's going to go beyond December before I sort this one out

Monday 13th November 2017

3 nights ago, I collapsed and fell asleep on the sofa at about 9pm for about 2 hours.  Then I went to bed at silly o clock in the morning.  But I suppose you could say I had a decent amount of sleep.  The next night I was asleep by 11.30 and last night too.  I'm getting there slowly

It's 23.06 right now - so goodnight - I should be in bed with the light out in 15 minutes

Saturday 18th November 2017

This has been the hardest stage.  First I fail with the afternoon break new habit. So I ditched it temporarily to try to change y sleep habits.  Well I haven't managed to reach y target of being asleep by 11pm.  I am however getting more sleep than I used to, and it seems to be helping and I am now eating less in the afternoon.  Maybe I could try again with the afternoon snack thing.  I'll decide over the next 24 hours

Sunday 19th November 2017

This is how disheartened I have been at this stage.  I have been too ashamed to say how my weight has been going because it has been creeping back up again and I had been worried that this experiment which I was so positive about at the beginning, is not working.  It crept back up to 15 stone 5.5 pounds and stayed there.  But over the last few days it has crept down again.  Pheew!  This morning I weighed in at 15stone 3.5 pounds.  I have been getting 7 to 8 hours sleep instead of my normal 6 to 7 hours (or less!)  and I think it is helping enormously at keeping my appetite down.

I am still desperate to lose weight.  I am still heavier than when I started this plan, but no longer disheartened.  Surely to goodness it has got to start dropping at the next stage

Also I have decided for sure to get back on track with the afternoon snack habit again.  My new sleep habit is not yet ingrained I know, but I feel confident now that I have managed to get a decent amount of sleep over the past few nights that I can continue to do so.  This will mean I won't be so tired and hungry in the afternoons so I can better cope with the new 3pm snack habit.

So it's back to trying to establish just one small snack such as a biscuit or a kitkat or a piece of fruit at around about 3pm and then nothing until about 5 to 6 pm

Friday 1st December 2017

I am toying with the idea of going on to the next stage despite the fact I made a bit of a hash of this one.  I am kind of getting used to having just one small snack at about 3pm, but often it turns to two.  Sometimes I have an extra biscuit or two at lunch time too.  But nevertheless I am confident that I am eating less than I used to and that if I had carried on like before my weight would still be snailing its way upwards.

Throughout all this period my weight has been going up and down between 15 stone 3 pounds and 15 stone 6 pounds.

So next habit I need to deal with is to do with my main meal in the early evening.  I usually eat anytime between 5pm and 8pm depending on circumstances, but the changes are going to be a bit wishy washy, firstly because it is impossible to give asset time or even hour of the evening.  Secondly, unlike daytime meals and snacks which can all be roughly the same  sort of things with a few variations, the evening meals can be vastly different from a bowl of soup and a bread roll or beans on toast, to a full blown roast dinner or a Chinese banquet.

This will need some thought

Sunday 3rd December 2017

So, I think I have a plan, and it is all to do with portion size.  This is it:

The usual rules apply, that is to make sure all nutrients are covered and catered for in the meal. That is fats, carbohydrates, proteins, micronutrients, fibre and water.

Eat any meal as long as the above applies, just watch the portion size.  Also have a dessert/ pudding or something else special after the meal - make sure it is immediately after the meal, and none of this eat pudding while the main meal is cooking any more - it has to be after.  The pudding also needs to be portion controlled.

And the whole meal has to be eaten in one sitting - not spread out and no gap between the meal and the dessert

The problem is, how to you measure portion control?  At the moment I don't particularly wan to be bothered with ratios.  I've got enough to think about without fretting over whether there is too much fat in relation to the quantity of carbohydrates and stuff like there - just be concerned that everything is present in the meal even if there is too much of it.  Just make sure there is not too little of it.  That can come at a later date for either health reasons, or if I am still not losing weight.

I think the answer lies in plate and bowl size and to prove it I have taken pictures of some of my crockery.

Below is a photo of a modern dinner plate next to a vintage dinner plate.  You can see how our expectations have changed in regard to the size of our meal over the years.

Portion control - the size of a modern plate in relation to a vintage platePortion control - the size of a modern plate in relation to a vintage plate

Now see the vintage dinner plate in relation to a modern side plate - they are very much the same size.

Portion control - the size of a modern side plate in relation to a vintage dinner platePortion control - the size of a modern side plate in relation to a vintage dinner plate

 ...... and wow just see how small a vintage side plate is in relation to a modern one

Portion control - the size of a modern side plate in relation to a vintage side platePortion control - the size of a modern side plate in relation to a vintage side plate

Now see these 2 soup bowls

Portion control - the size of a modern soup bowl in relation to a vintage soup bowlPortion control - the size of a modern soup bowl in relation to a vintage soup bowl

 ....... and these two shallow bowls - the vintage bowl on the left

Portion control - the size of a modern shallow bowl in relation to a vintage shallow bowlPortion control - the size of a modern shallow bowl in relation to a vintage shallow bowl

So - next new habit to establish - as I've described above, and every meal to have old fashioned portion sizes.

Timing?  Just any time from about 5pm onwards depending on the circumstances.  Then nothing else until at least 2 hours after the last mouthful

To see how I get on, go to "habit 5"

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