The tricks to getting off that diet roller coaster and enjoying life.
1. Step Away… From The Diet Food!
“Foods” like diet sodas, 100-calorie snack packs, anything low fat, no fat, reduced fat… they are all programmed to destroy you. Only eat real food. Real food grows on a plant (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds) or comes from an animal. Real food is nurtured by the sun. Real food is not processed, packaged, pasteurized or chemicalized. It has nothing is added to it, and nothing is taken away. If the majority of your diet is real food you will never have a problem with your weight.
• TIP: Shop the perimeter of the supermarket or go to your farmers market for items that are fresh and in season. When there pick up one new veggie a week to experiment with what you like.
2. Be a Food Detective.
Notice your emotional connection with the food choices that you make. Begin to examine your cravings. Are you craving foods because you saw them? Or because you genuinely want them? What sparks the cravings? Stress? Boredom? Loneliness? Or maybe it’s a food addiction. Sugar is like the [insert street drug] of the food world. Really examine the choices that you make and what’s in/behind the foods you are eating.
• TIP: reprogram yourself to read the INGREDIENTS rather than nutritional information. And if you can’t read it, don’t eat it.
3. Get Your Zzzzs.
Lack of sleep decreases the hormone leptin, which tells your brain when you are full. If you haven’t had enough sleep you’re setting yourself up for weight gain in two ways. because A) your brain doesn’t get the message that you’ve eaten, so you’re likely to just keep going, and going and B) you have low energy, which instinctively makes your body crave things like sugar and caffeine in order to rev up … and thus begins a vicious cycle.
• TIP: Pick a bedtime and stick to it with the same tenacity that you stick to events like meetings, movies, or dinner plans. If people ask why, tell them you are on the sleep diet. They will all want to try it.
4. No Multi-Tasking During Meals.
When you are distracted you are bound to eat way more than necessary. If you take time to really focus on your meal, and make it an event, then you are bound to feel more satiated and less likely to snack, binge, or overeat. Take the time during your meals to slow down and chew.
• TIP: Find a quiet place with NO television, computer, newspaper, magazines or even cell phone. Give yourself a full 30 minutes to eat your meal. Take the whole time to chew and think about your food. Notice the taste, texture and smell. How do you feel? When do you know you’re full?
5. Pencil in Some Pampering.
Take care of yourself. Plain and simple. If you don’t take care of yourself in the little ways, it’s less likely that you will take care of your health and manage weight in the long term. Stress causes us to hold onto unwanted Lbs. Giving yourself some time to relax will help to melt away the pounds.
• TIP: Schedule one hour per week that is just for YOU, and do something that you love. Once that feels comfortable, bump it up to 2 hours.
6. Drink Up.
Drink water, lots of it. Or herbal teas, those are great too. Often times we confuse thirst for huger and run right to the fridge. When you start to feel an inkling for a treat, tap into your body and decipher if you are really hungry or if you’re actually bored, stressed, worried… or just thirsty. Teas can also help to calm nerves, headaches, cramps, and stomach aches.
• TIP: Drink some comforting herbal teas while doing one of those things that usually ignites a snack attack. Keep some tea bags in your purse. You can always find hot water where you’d otherwise find a snack.
7. Get Physical.
Any type of movement will amp up your metabolism, reduce stress, and aid digestion—the holy trinity of wellness. Humans evolved with an active lifestyle. We did NOT spend millions of years before now sitting behind desks. Honor your roots by breaking a sweat in some small way each and every day.
• TIP: Get on-to, or off-of the subway a couple stops earlier and walk to where you are going. It will help get your blood pumping in the morning, and on the flip-side will help you relax after a long stressful day.
8. Jump Start Your Day.
Studies show that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Skipping meals causes your blood sugar to spike and crash, messing with your moods and energy levels. Find time to sit down and eat a balanced breakfast each day. It will get your day off to a good start and protect against binge eating out of starvation later in the day. It is vital to properly fuel your body and eat enough beneficial calories in order to have good metabolic function. So in addition to breakfast-- always eat lunch and dinner too! The easiest way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat. I promise.
• TIP: To find the best breakfast for you do a Breakfast Experiment. Eat something different each day for 5 days. Notice how the different meals make you feel. Which gives you more energy, focus, and keeps you fullest for the longest?