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                                                     Explore Habit Pattern Substitutions


                                     We Form Habits...Then Habits Form Us!


                                          Patterns, patterns everywhere. Not a moment’s peace!

                                 Explore Your Circles of Interactions: How Do They Affect You?

                            Use the "scalpel of attention" to reveal how patterns pervade your life.


                                                  Analyze Your Eating Behaviors

Visit the Write Away Weight section. There you will learn the immense value of keeping lifestyle-choice records. You will learn clues to your mystery, "Gee, how did all of this extra weight end up stored on my body anyway?" To see what Bob discovered, explore Bob's Priceless Discovery!


After having kept records for awhile you will come to know yourself and how you react in different life situations. There are many different styles of diaries that you might choose to try out. I encourage you to find the one that fits you.


Always evaluate time, location, alone or with others, category, associated activity, eating with awareness and pleasure, and thoughts/feelings when substituting current behavior with healthier behavior.


TIME: Morning, afternoon, evening, or late evening? Any specific “problem times?” Think of specific hours.


LOCATION: At home (which rooms?), work (at your desk?), while traveling, at the store (too hungry, free samples?), with friends (which friends, where?), at restaurants or deli's, in the car


ALONE OR WITH OTHERS: By yourself, with a partner, with family, friends, coworkers, or with strangers? How do each of these relationships influence your food, activity, or emotional patterns?


CATEGORY--you choose your focus: Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, Pyramid Nutrition patterns (balanced?), foods to cut back on, foods to add, activity patterns, emotional responses, levels of hunger, with certain relationships


ASSOCIATED ACTIVITY: Eating only, talking, reading, listening to radio or music, watching TV, while cooking, or while driving?


EATING WITH AWARENESS AND PLEASURE: Consider if you are mindful or aware and really enjoying the foods you are eating? Learn to eat less and enjoy it more as you celebrate the pleasures of food!


THOUGHTS & FEELINGS: Happy, angry, hurt, sad, stressed out, bored.  See a pattern? Each time you eat, take note of your feelings. Check out: Emotional Eating Do You Experience a RAIN of Feelings? , and Mental Nutrients: What To Say When You Talk To Your Self


What patterns did you notice? Review Patterns, Patterns, Everywhere! Not a Moment's Peace! and What You Plant Is What You Get!


Which patterns are you ready to change? Which areas are you ready to look at? Discover Guidance At a Glance: What Steps Are You Ready to Take?


Perhaps visit the Stages of Change section for ideas about the process of making lasting lifestyle changes.


It is most helpful to try out small steps each week as described in Small Baby Steps Lead to Success. YES, I Can Change!


What will be your PLAN this week to transform your patterns? Finally, Come Up With a Smart Plan For Making Changes In Your Life.


To print off behavior analysis forms: Analysis of Eating Behavior Patterns 1.pdf and Analysis of Eating Behavior Patterns 2.pdf and Your Eating Patterns Inventory WEBSITE.pdf


Also Explore Various Types of Diaries.


Current Patterns

What I do now

What Influences You?

Time, location, alone or with others, activities, not paying attention, injuries, other crisis, thoughts & feelings, foods, outside pressures?

Behavioral Substitution (s)

What might work?

How's It Going?

What worked and what didn't? Why?















Current Patterns

What I do now


What Influences You?

Time, location, alone or with others, activities, not paying attention, injuries, other crisis, thoughts & feelings, foods, outside pressures?


Substitution (s)

What might work?

How's It Going?

What worked and what

didn't? Why?

I've stopped my daily walking routine and yoga.
  1. I re-injured my knee by walking up too many stairs. It's sore and swollen.
  2. I'm emotionally bummed out and discouraged. It's summer time and I wanted to go hiking and backpacking in nature.
  1. Get my ice pack and apply it to the knee.
  2. Get my knee exercises out and practice them again.
  3. Modify my exercise routines until my knee gets better.
  4. Get my bicycle flat fixed so I can ride again. Gentle bicycling helps with knee healing.
  5. Acknowledge my pain and practice positive self-talk.
  6. Explore: How Does Bob Keep Going When Injured?, Exercising with Health and Physical Challenges, and Managing Emotional Pain of Chronic Illness
  1. The ice helped out!
  2. After the swelling went down, the exercises strengthened the knee muscles.
  3. I focused on the abled part. I did what I could do, with what I had.
  4. Getting the flat fixed and using the bicycle was FUN! I used it mainly on level ground.
  5. Reviewing the information about injuries and how to manage the emotional pain really helped out.
  6. Wow! After three weeks my knee is much better.
  7. I can see the value of just re-applying the tools and information that helped me before when I relapse into inactivity.

Snack at 10:00 during the News on the couch.

  1. Gee, it's late and I'm hungry.
  2. I didn't take time to plan a snack and don't have any healthy options available.

1.  Drink Water

2.  Exercise

3.  Knit

4.  Choose a healthy snack



Drinking water alone did not work.  Drink water then knit.  If I’m still hungry. I make sure to eat a healthy snack I prepared earlier.

Binge at 2;30 p.m. at my desk on whatever is present (vending machines)

  1. I'm stressed out because I work too long and don't take breaks.
  2. I don't bring foods for lunch and raid the snack machines.

1.    Eat a well rounded lunch at 12:30

2.    Take a walk

3.     Healthy options in my desk

Eating lunch at 12:30 really works!  Often a walk is not feasible at 2:30, so having healthy food options do work.  I also walk at 12:30 and try to snack on healthy choices all day.

Binge on snack foods from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every night regardless of where I am.

  1. I'm lonely and crave friendship in the evenings.
  2. I have lots of junk foods around.
  3. I get overly hungry every night around 8 p.m.

1.  Call a friend to meet emotional need.

2.    Exercise at this time while watching my favorite show

3.   Walk my dog during good weather

Calling friends and walking my dog is working better than just the treadmill.  Still binge on poor choices for time to time.  Trying to come up with some snacks I really like to eat during this time of the day.

Bob’s example:

At a week-long retreat—challenges from the past. It took several times of going to the same retreat center before I noticed all of my obstacles, and came up with a plan to be successful:

  1. At breakfast, have eaten too much granola or different cereals
  2. Snacks: Eat too many peanut butter and jam sandwiches, not enough veggies. I LOVE peanut butter, and can easily eat too much of it!!!
  3. Soup dinners with TOO much homemade breads—2 or more slices!
  4. Don’t get enough exercise


Net result: I have gained 5 pounds in two weeks in the past!


At Retreat-What influences me?
  1. Lots of delicious FREE food, all I want. It is easy to overeat and experience "mouth lust!"
  2. Meal times are different than at home. It is more difficult to eat "when I want to eat."
  3. The food environment provides foods that I normally don't have around.
  4. We sit for long periods of time with limited times for physical activity.
  5. People bring along lots of high sugar and fat snacks and share them on the snack table.


My Plan:

  1. Bring along Fiber One Bran Cereal to eat instead of granola. They have yogurt and fruits to eat. Bring along Splenda, instead of sugar.

  2. Snacks: bring along a 2-cup plastic container with lid to get extra yogurt at breakfast; mix with fruits and save for morning and afternoon snacks. I also brought along a variety of snacks from home. Nutritious and Yummy Snacks
  3. Dinners: Bring along baby carrots (keep in refrigerator) to eat along with ONE piece of bread and soup
  4. They had yoga every morning for ˝ hour; I went on a morning and afternoon walk for 60 minutes every day. I also took an afternoon nap! Ah.

How it went:

WOW! Every part of the plan worked out well.  I lost 2 pounds.


I asked them if I could keep my extra foods in a refrigerator and they said OK.


The Fiber One Cereal worked well, instead of granola or other cereals. I added it to the yogurt and fruit that I sweetened with Splenda. Yum!


Having the yogurt and fruit made up for snacks saved me from going to the snack table and making sandwiches (like everyone else was doing!). I did have some salted peanuts that I brought from home, and had small amounts of them, along with some of my other snacks.


Having the carrots at dinner worked really well for feeling full without eating too much bread and also it increased my fiber intake (they had many cooked foods and I like more RAW foods).


I went to yoga on five mornings out of seven. I also went for walks every day. Both choices felt GREAT along with the naps!


To print off a PDF version of this analysis Explore Habit Pattern Substitutions WEBSITE.pdf

             Copyright © 2001-2018 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!