Our busy lifestyles coupled with the availability of processed foods create the perfect storm for health issues. It’s no surprise that heart disease, diabetes, and other weight-related ailments are continually on the rise. Still, many people are seeking ways to reclaim control over their health.
11 Weight Loss Tips to Help You Make Lasting Change
1) Think Small
Portion control isn’t a myth. If done correctly and consistently it will provide the desired results. A small, but full plate tells your brain it’s having enough food. On the contrary, large plates with more white space available make people serve and consume more food because portions appear smaller.
Put your veggies on a big plate to trick your brain into wanting more and the sweeter items on a small plate. When you swap your large plate for a smaller plate get ready to notice a big difference!
2) Be Proactive
Sometimes we can sabotage our own success by not preparing adequately. Try not to react to your hunger with unhealthy food choices. Be prepared by keeping healthy snacks in your pantry, office, car, and gym bag to make beneficial choices more likely.
When dining out, look online at the menu to make a conscious choice before even setting foot inside the restaurant. The aroma permeating a restaurant can prompt you to pick a food that doesn’t have your best interest in mind. Don’t be afraid to eat ahead of time or bring your own food when you know you’re going to be somewhere around meals you have chosen not to indulge in.
3) Dish Up The Food
Admittedly, it’s easy to open a bag of popcorn while watching a movie and before you know it the entire bag is gone with no kernel in sight. Or opening up a package of cookies and consuming an entire sleeve without thinking through your actions. Part of eating intentionally is telling your food where to go instead of your food telling you where it’s going. Be the boss of your snacks.
If you have a tendency to eat fast, your brain may not register satisfaction or fullness in time to alert you that you’ve overindulged. This is a pattern for many on holidays where food is plentiful.
Decide what a reasonable portion is based on your individual plan and put it on a plate, napkin, bowl, cup or even the palm of your hand. Avoid eating out of the bag, carton, or other food container where you might lose track of your consumption.
4) Eat Mindfully
Eating is not only among the most fundamental in the hierarchy of needs according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but is historically known to bring people together around the dinner table for a time of fellowship. Sharing a tasty meal with good company can be one of the most memorable times in life.
Distraction diminishes the pleasure that eating has to offer. Next time you want to enjoy a spoonful of one of your favorite foods, turn off the TV, close your eyes and allow your senses to bring the experience to life as your taste buds peruse all of the different flavors and textures of the dish.
5) Discomfort is Inevitable
Making dietary and lifestyle changes will cause some moments of (sometimes extreme) discomfort in your life. Saying ‘no’ to foods that were once staples in your home can test the very fiber of your willpower. At such times, reminding yourself that you are saying ‘yes’ to feeling good and promoting your overall health for a higher quality of life is essential.
6) Be Active
Changing your diet must be coupled with increasing your physical fitness. You don’t need to become an Olympic athlete overnight. Create space in your day to participate in an exercise of your choice that motivates you.
7) Dig Into The Why Behind Your Food Choices
Eating too much food or the wrong kinds of food can be a mask for or reaction to problems in other areas of our lives. When we are trying to fill a void in our lives or numb our pain, we can find ourselves taking comfort in the pleasure of eating. It’s paramount to take the proper time to focus on your emotional, spiritual and physical needs.
Change is hard! If we do not share our goals with someone we trust, it becomes easier to make excuses or completely give up on the goals. If you find physical activity intimidating, find a battle buddy to walk, run, swim or join a fitness class with you.
It keeps you accountable and provides you with a person with whom to celebrate when goals are achieved. If meal planning isn’t your strength, find a mentor who can offer useful tips and tricks for designing a satisfying meal plan that you will look forward to preparing.
9) Abstain If Needed
A trigger food, like ice cream, doughnuts or cake, can set off a domino effect that ends in unhealthy, and uncontrollable indulgences. When stress and negative emotions are high, vulnerability to overeating and binges also increases. It’s more beneficial to avoid taking that first bite than to take a bite and have to slam on the brakes.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. – 1 Corinthians 10:23
10) Keep Moving Forward
Mistakes will happen. Perfection isn’t expected. Extend grace toward yourself during those moments you might fall off. If you fall seven times, make sure you get up eight. No more starting over on Monday, the first of the year, after vacation, or when the holidays are over. Return to healthy eating immediately at the next meal. Don’t allow one negative decision to define your entire day. Keep moving forward. Don’t beat yourself up, but build yourself up!
11) Flexibility Is Your Friend
Other than your trigger foods, which you might decide to completely remove from your diet, give yourself the freedom of flexibility. People who create rigid and constrictive diets often give up along the way because the pressure for perfection becomes too much to bear.
When you are a guest, be a blessing to your hostess. If foods are offered that you normally would avoid, make the wisest selections to not offend your hostess and get back on track at your next meal. Give yourself the freedom to choose which vegetable or fruit you want to eat. Avoid getting stuck in a regimented plan.
How Christian Counseling Can Help You Lose or Manage Your Weight
Television, magazines, and billboards tell us what our bodies should look like yet advertise foods that definitely won’t deliver any type of nutritional value. Fast-food and frozen meals become easy options because of the fast-paced world we live in.
Many people are increasingly busy, yet physically out of shape. If you are struggling with making healthy choices in your diet and physical activity, you are not alone. Christian counseling Newport Beach provides guidance and support to help expose the cause of the problem and create the best path forward.
“Breakfast,” courtesy of Hanny Naibaho, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Parfait,” courtesy of Sambazon, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Bicycle,” courtesy of Alejandro Lopez, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Sunday,” courtesy of Imani Clovis, unsplash.com, CC0 License