Are you on automatic pilot? It's my guess that by ten o'clock in the morning, you've already made 100 choices.

Do I surprise you?

Here are just some examples: To go back to sleep after the alarm rings or to get up.

To exercise or not. To put the cap on the toothpaste this time or not. To shout at the children or to try to reason.

To wear this top or that top. To have breakfast or not. To have muesli or toast for breakfast . . .

You see what I mean? The list throughout the day is endless.

Most of these choices are made in a split second.

You are almost unaware of them. There's a feeling you know what you're going to choose even before you choose.

You get into a pattern or to use a more negative word, you get into a rut.

You've got out of the habit of exercising and now it is hard; a couple of times you saw that shouting at the children didn't help but you're back in that rut.

My suggestion for you today, is to raise your awareness of all the choices that you make in a day.

If you aren't aware when you make choices, it doesn't mean to say you didn't choose. You did but it was without thought.

So, if you didn't exercise today, you may think you simply procrastinated. But that's not entirely true. You chose poor health.

Consider this: If you don't make time for exercise, you'll have to make time for illness.

That really brings home the fact that doing nothing is a choice, too.

I'd like you to focus on your food and exercise choices.

When you eat while you know you're not hungry, you've made a choice.

Eating leftovers while you're clearing the dishes feels as though you're on automatic pilot. But it isn't. It's a choice towards a larger waist.

I suggest that each time you eat (or fancy eating), you raise your level of awareness.

Say to yourself: "I can choose to eat or to not eat."

You can persuade yourself that when that choice arises, you need to go through a two-stage decision process. The first stage is to establish whether you are hungry.

If you are, then consciously choose something good to eat. If you are not hungry, establish whether your head (or heart) is trying to tell you something.

Are you sad or angry or bored? Be honest. Make a decision to relieve your feelings and not stuff them down with food.

Life with automated choices is scary. Have you ever driven through traffic lights and suddenly wondered what colour they were? That's scary.

Resolve to know what you decide.

You may ask whether you can look forward to a time when "good" eating habits will become automatic.

My answer is: "Don't hold your breath."

My natural inclination, as a former fatty, is still to pick at food while I prepare it but, mostly, I make a conscious decision to stop myself doing it.

There's nothing automatic about it. Perhaps you'll do better than me but be prepared - it is likely to be a difficult journey.

It's up to you - choose to take up the challenge and choose a slimmer you.

Use your mobile phone to lose weight with Dr Citron's No-Diet Diet. Send the message TXTDIET ARG to 89080 and you will receive three tips a week (50p per text). For other support, freephone 0800 074 0260 or