Weight gain is a numbers game. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Weight gain is your body saying, “I have no idea what to do with these extra calories so I’m going to store it in this love handle.” Remember that previous post about your body constantly talking to you (read it here if you missed it)? The same concept applies to eating.
Diets give you a framework for how to lose and maintain weight. In the end, it doesn’t matter what diet fad you adhere to, what matters is you. What are you doing fundamentally to change the way you view your relationship with food? Why are the diets not working?
Be realistic. Have realistic goals. Don't set yourself up for failure. Instead of cutting out all unhealthy foods, start by removing one food from your diet. If you eat out for lunch 5 times a week, set a goal to eat out 4 times a week.
Slow down. Take your time when eating. The faster you eat, the more you eat. Your body hardly has time to send you the “I’m satisfied” signal before another bite. Remember when you were young and everyone said chew your food 20 times? Well, chew your food 20 times.
Be mindful. Don’t just eat. Notice the flavor, texture, and other features of what you are eating. Being mindful changes your eating experience and helps you determine when you are satisfied before you are stuffed.
Recognize if you are actually hungry. Many people eat because they are bored, stressed, upset, it’s the typical eating time, or the opportunity simply presents itself. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry or am I just eating to eat?”
It’s okay to make a mistake. No one is perfect. If you gain weight or “cheat” on your diet, it’s okay. Reflect on what happened and learn from it.
Drink water. Your body is 60% water. It needs water. Water flushes toxins, transports nutrients, and can speed up metabolism. Most professionals recommend 12 glasses of water for men and 9 for women (8oz glass).
Water is also an appetite suppressant. For babies, the more food they eat, the less milk they drink. The more milk a baby drinks, the less food they eat. So, the more water you drink (which you need anyway), the less food (and calories) you will consume.
Avoid temptations. Alcoholics are taught to stay away from places where alcohol is readily available. Stay away from snacks and foods that are your weakness. Don’t peruse the snack aisle at the grocery store, and keep certain foods out of your home.
Adhere to your guidelines and be patient. Give your dietary change a chance. Your body needs time to adjust. If you don’t see instant results, stay positive.
Support. Changing your food lifestyle is hard. If you need support, get it. Whether that means a support group, dieting partner, therapy, or whatever is helpful for you.
The statistics are there: 95% of folks regain the lost weight within 5 years. Over 100 million Americans are dieting. Diets are short-term and superficial. Instead, change how you think about food and eating at the core (no pun intended), and you can change your life.
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