Many of us these days struggle at least a little with food. Most of us want to lose a few pounds (or a lot of pounds!) and/or eat better. Here are some things I’ve figured out in the last 3 or so months and why am down 25 pounds and still going strong.
Eat when you’re hungry. Some of us are on a set schedule of breakfast at such and such, lunch at noon and dinner at 5. But if you aren’t hungry at those times, DON’T EAT! There’s no rule that says you have to eat at set times and eating when you aren’t hungry is one of the biggest food problems out there. Also, if you aren’t “scheduled” to eat but find yourself hungry, EAT! If you get too hungry, it causes a feeding frenzy and that’s a good way to blow your calories.
Walk away. Decide what you’re going to eat, jot it down in your food journal, make it, eat it and walk away. Even if you don’t feel immediate satisfaction, you most likely will be full within ten to fifteen minutes and you’ll be glad you waited it out.
Don’t obsess! This is a huge one, folks. We get on a weight loss craze and every waking minute is consumed with thoughts of what we’re going to eat, when we are going to eat, how many calories we’ve had and freak outs about last minute invites to join friends for pizza. It’s NOT a big deal. You can have an off day or even an off week and still stay in weight loss mode. So practice thinking about things other than food and calories. If you obsess, you won’t be able to maintain it. Focus your attention elsewhere. And go eat pizza with your friends.
Let yourself live. Give yourself a day off (not to go bonkers but to eat pizza or eat out) and don’t worry about it. One day isn’t going to blow it. In fact, it may be just what you need to keep on keepin on! Allow yourself to periodically eat your favorites that won’t fit into your daily allotment of calories (mine is pizza.) It’ll keep you sane and help you not to feel frantically deprived.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry. If I get too hungry, when I eat, I end up feeling apathetic about what I’m eating in my rush to get full. And of course, I eat junk and I overeat. So keep something in your stomach all the time.
Recover gracefully. If you have a slip up, don’t continue eating junk or say, “I’ll start over tomorrow.” Get right back on track at the very next meal. You may be discouraged and feel like you’ve blown it, but that doesn’t mean you give up for the day. You’ll feel better physically and emotionally if you recover quickly.
Retrain your brain on how you think about food and what you eat. Eating is fun but it’s primarily an energy source for our bodies. I often tell myself, “It’s just food.” Remind yourself often that food doesn’t equal life, rather it is simply A PART of life. Practice living for more than just meal times.
Keep quick, healthy snacks on hand. I try to keep my fridge full of things that are low in calories, healthy and tasty. That way, when I get hungry, I’m not as tempted to reach for the nearest bag of chips. My currents faves are cottage cheese, mini Baby Bell cheeses, mini bagel with almond butter, yogurt, apples with almond butter or peanut butter, or crackers with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge.
So, all that to say, you can lose weight and live your life simultaneously. And it isn’t until you change your view of food and your thought process that you’ll be able to maintain a weight loss plan and/or a goal weight. So, I’m gonna keep on keepin on and maybe it’s time for you to take a whack at it too.