Dieting shouldn’t be an event that takes place in your life temporarily. It should be a change of habits that naturally allows your body to shed pounds and keep them off long-term. Most dieters go on a yo-yo routine where they set up a start date and a goal to reach (usually one that’s completely unrealistic, too).
Instead of intimidating yourself with a dreaded start date, how about you just make a firm decision right now to change your bad habits in for some better ones? If it’s not as daunting, you’ll have a better chance for success.
Listen to your body
Part of what results in diet failure is our inability to be flexible with ourselves. We’re so strict, adhering to a cemented guideline that tells us what we can eat, when we have to eat it, and how much we ought to eat if we want to lose weight.
Our bodies originally developed with fine tuned systems that weren’t so stupid. We cried when we were hungry, acted content when we’d had enough. As babies, your system knows what it likes, knows when it feels like eating more, and knows exactly ho much to consume.
You need to go back to that early development mindset and really listen to your body.
Dieting is easy when your stomach has no more room to add junk food. Water is the weapon you need to fight mindless eating habits. Instead of sugary sodas, which increase your sweet tooth cravings, opt for water, which will simply create a full feeling and help you avoid snacking or overeating.
Get Stress Under Control
Are you a stress eater? Some people are – they binge on comfort foods whenever stress gets out of control. Others have a loss of appetite altogether, and find themselves extremely hungry once the stressful situation resolves itself.
You need to have your stress under control so that your diet isn’t affected in any way – either by eating too much or too little. To function properly and lose weight in a healthy manner, you need the right amount of fuel for your body.
Eat a Variety of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Do you get enough vegetables in your diet? Vegetables are low in calories, full of health benefits, and you can often pile your plate high with them at minimal caloric impact. They help fill you up without weighing you down (literally).
How do you do with fruits? Do you eat enough of them – and more importantly, do you sample some fruits from each color of the rainbow to get the maximum health benefits available to you? Many people find fruit easier to add into their diet because it’s sweet, compared to vegetables.
Say No to Mindless Eating
How many times have you grabbed a bag of chips (or cookies or anything else that’s a favorite of yours) and sat there eating it while watching TV – and later realized you went a tad overboard? You weren’t even really hungry – you just needed to cater to that hand to mouth habit of shoving food in your mouth (and of course, nobody chooses healthy options like grapes or raw veggies).
You need to start checking your hunger cues as a habit each time you go for food. Give yourself a scale of 1 to 10. One means you’re so full that if you even LOOKED at another piece of food, you would pop.
A 10 would mean you’re so hungry you would eat almost anything put in front of you. You shouldn’t even think about eating until you’re at least a five. Anything below a five means you could occupy that time with something else – like a hobby.
You will be surprised when you start watching your hunger cues, because most people eat before they truly get hungry at all. They just know it’s lunch or dinner – and time to eat. They mindlessly fill their plate with a pile of food and eat it all.
Once you pay attention to your hunger levels, you’ll see a big difference in the way that you eat. You’ll be listening to your body – and it will respond by alerting you when it’s time to stop eating.
Pack your Lunch
If you work outside of the home, then you know the temptations and appeal of dining out at lunchtime. It gives you a break from the office, and it tastes great. Even people on a budget often keep room in their finances for restaurant lunches – and that can be a bad decision for a dieter.
Many restaurants give portions that are two to three sizes bigger than what you should be eating. And they sneak fat and calories into meals that sound healthy, but really don’t do any favors for your diet.
Planning ahead and packing your lunch is usually better for you when you want to lose weight. And don’t think you have to be relegated to brown paper bag PB&J meals, either! There are many lunch box containers like Bento Boxes that help you create fantastic meals that can be warmed up in the office microwave.
Many people feel too shy to customize their order in a restaurant. But being picky can shave many calories off of your meal and still allow you to enjoy delicious food that’s prepared for you in a nice atmosphere
Celebrate the Health Benefits
You should always have a check up with your doctor before you begin any weight loss regimen. But there’s another reason you want to have this appointment under your belt beforehand. It’s to get a readout of all of your current health stats so that you can enjoy the change you’re getting as you say goodbye to unwanted pounds.
Use Non-Food Rewards
You can set goals – both long-term and short-term, and with those goals, you need to have a non-food reward to give yourself. If money isn’t an issue, then feel free to pamper yourself with life’s luxuries (such as a mani/pedi or body massage).
If you’re on a budget, then find ways to say you’re proud of yourself that don’t dig into the pocket book. You might give yourself a day to relax instead of doing chores around the house. Sit down and read a good book and enjoy a relaxing bath instead.