Environmental Eating Weight Loss Strategies

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At the shopping mall, school sports day or at home at night. It’s time to take control of your relationship to food in these environments!

Awareness of when food is eaten and where food is eaten is an essential part of changing to a healthier eating style. Awareness of food is vital to your weight loss plan. Food surrounds us constantly – on TV, in magazines and billboards at supermarkets, food halls and street stalls. Becoming aware of the traps and working out a strategy to resist temptation is one of the best skills to adopt, to avoid becoming an “environmental eater”.

Let’s look at some usual (and not so usual!) places where you will be offered food. The weight loss strategy is to eat before you go, so you are not hungry and so throw caution to the winds.

Venue or Event


Don’t turn the weekly shopping into a party! Shop later at night when takeaways at shopping centres are closed. Determine not to consume food when shopping. Find social activities which don’t involve food.

Sporting Venues

Football, Tennis groups, Basketball, School sport. Take your own snacks and drinks from home. You’ll save money as well as being in control of the food.

School Events

Playgroup, Kinder, Parent/teacher nights. Eat before you go so you’re not hungry.

At Home

Serve fruit – the children do NOT need to come home to a party every day after school.

Clearing the Table

Get someone else to do it!


Save dessert or a fruit choice for supper time.

Watching TV

Knit, crochet, or do weight-lifting whilst watching TV. Resolve not to eat

Kids sporting venues

Do your own exercise program, instead of sitting down passively watching. Walk around the oval, take a book, do hand work.

Fundraising, lamingtons, etc. Offer to donate the money but don’t take the food. Offer alternative ways to raise money in ways other than with sweets and cake. (our children eat too much of these already)

Workplace celebrations:

  • Take a beautifully arranged fruit platter.
  • “I’ll have some later”.
  • Have a sliver and eat one mouthful.
  • Cut cake into small pieces.
  • Arrange to be the last into the tea room, not the first – it may all be gone once you arrive.

Food is also found at the following venues!

  1. Garage sales.
  2. Funerals.
  3. Weekend markets.
  4. Party plan nights.
  5. Workplace birthdays.
  6. Meetings.
  7. Staff rooms.
  8. Fund raising.
  9. Cinemas.
  10. Night duty.

Weight loss strategies

It’s all about alternatives and options – your alternatives and your options. For some people, overcoming environmental eating is simply a matter of recognising that you have alternatives and the right to make choices. For others it’s very much a matter of taking a stand with yourself – a decision that what has normally caused you to reach for food simply has to stop. Here are a few illustrations of strategies you can use in certain situations.

  • Put all left-overs in plastic containers in the fridge and give to dog or cat – saves on pet food too!
  • Compost left-overs – easiest way is to dig a hole, fill with bio-degradables only, cover over and start a new one. (NB. orange and lemon peels do not compost!).
  • Freeze useable left-overs – out of sight, out of mind!
  • Avoid over-purchasing, especially on “specials”.
  • Learn a craft, to keep those hands busy! Some suggestions: cross stitch, knitting, decoupage, tapestry.
  • Practice a positive statement: “No thanks, I couldn’t fit in another morsel, it’s all been delicious”.
  • Ignore the, “don’t bring anything” and take your own food to events.
  • At work, find a sandwich bar that will tailor-make your salad sandwich or buy soup and have a wholemeal roll with it. Practice the following when offered food at work, “Thank you, but I have a strict policy not to eat while I’m working”.

A point to contemplate:

“No ‘fat pill’ is going to pop out of your body and close the fridge door”.