I love simplicity. One summer, a mom at school came back after summer break having lost a noticeable amount of weight. I asked her what she did. She just said, “portion control”. Yes, how beautifully simple. What I like about it, also, is that she most likely continued to eat foods she loved. Of course, I would always think about her and try to reduce my portions, but I really wasn’t.
I am an emotional eater. I graze a lot when I’m at home. Sometimes it’s an avoidance activity: clean? again?!! Hmm, I feel like some chips and salsa! So, my portion controlling was ok during meals, but not in between. What finally helped is to set a SMART goals (in previous post), and read some books.
I just read a sample from a book called, “The Thin Woman’s Brain: Re-wiring the Brain for Permanent Weight Loss“, by Dilia Suriel. The take away for me has been to really reevaluate my relationship with food and hunger. Another one, “How to Lose Weight: Cutting a Finer Figure. A Step by step guide to achieving natural and sustainable weight loss…“, by Victoria Chambers was also cheap and basic.
- Set goals to writing
- Let yourself get hungry. See how it feels.
- Don’t treat hunger as an emergency
- Learn to feel the difference between hunger and craving
- Drink a glass of water when you’re hungry
- Say, “I choose” or “I prefer” not to eat (insert poor food choice here) instead of “I can’t” or “I’m not allowed to” eat said food because you’re on restriction. This gives the power back to you.
- After you’ve allowed yourself to experience true hunger, also feel how bad overeating might make you feel and compare each to when you’ve made healthful, nutrient-dense food choices and followed wise portion amounts.
- It takes time to create new neural pathways for eating behaviors. Think of an image of visiting a new neighbor that needs to have a new trail trodden to get there. Over time, the path will be worn and familiar with repeated excursions in that direction.
- Observe your habits as an outsider. When do you overindulge? What are your triggers? Why? Dig deeper.
- Busy yourself with something else, and you may forget the craving.
- Tea, soup, smoothies with raw veggie/fruit juice & frozen banana are great diversions for unhealthy snacking.
These are some other important points:
- Cease eating 3 hours before bed!!! This is VERY EFFECTIVE. Your body will be in fasting mode at bed time versus actively digesting. Just this one step alone can speed up weight loss for people who are late-night, after-dinner snackers.
- Eat lots of fruit for breakfast. Add a smidge of plain, greek yogurt with a light sprinkling of granola. Key: mostly fruit. Healthy, filling, fiber-rich, vitamin-filled. Choose organic. Pesticide residue can affect thyroid function and metabolism. Nutrient density is also higher in local, organic produce.
- Try to fill every plate with 50-70% raw (or lightly steamed) vegetables or fruit. Sound unappealing? Set a goal to do it for only one week. ONE WEEK OUT OF YOUR WHOLE LIFE. Is that doable? Then write down how it made you feel. I’ll give recipes soon! Just one time, try this: buy veggies and fruit in 5 different colors. For example, buy a cups worth of red, orange, yellow, green, and purple veggies (bell pepper, carrot, squash, kale, cabbage/ apple, orange, banana, kiwi, blueberries). Then, put 5 handfuls of the veggies and three handfuls of the fruit on a platter. It’s a lot! This amount would actually be quite filling, and it’s what all beings should be eating (in varying proportions according to body size). If we could ideally get used to doing this every day, then it would be readily available for easy snacking. Yes, it takes time, but trying it for one week may be manageable…by then, it could become habit-forming! If it’s within your sight and prepared, it’s so much easier to choose that over the processed alternatives that our bodies really aren’t designed to digest.
- If you don’t have access to organic produce, I’ll be sharing info about growing your own food, which can save lots of $$.
- Try to sit down, slow down, chew food more, and think about all of the energy that went into creating whatever you’re eating. Becoming more Mindful when eating is a very effective way to both enjoy your food more, think about how it’s nourishing you, and the effects your choices have as a consumer.
- Make an effort to research ingredients found in processed foods. It’s astounding what these foods contain and what they do to our bodies over time. Environmental working group is an excellent site.
- Make an effort to research ingredients found in personal care and household consumer products. They can have significant, cumulative effects on health, because the industry is largely unregulated. I have some great resources for eliminating toxins from your home and personal care choices. Our skin is our largest organ. EWG.
- Exercise is key. To lose weight, you must create a CALORIE DEFICIT. This doesn’t mean you have to measure food and count calories. Just get a general sense of calories burned versus consumed in any given day. Empty calories add up fast. Sometimes exercise can add stress, because it’s hard to fit it in. I hope to overcome that, as well as find ways to help with motivation.
- Keep your muscles! If you’re over 35, your muscles start to atrophy at a faster rate if you continue to be inactive. Keep this in mind if you want to have a higher quality of life in old age.
- Try stretching. Doing yoga doesn’t have to mean becoming a pretzel. Simple, basic classes are wonderful for maintaining RANGE OF MOTION in areas of your body, a function that declines significantly with age. Yoga also ensures that proper oxygen flow is present throughout your body, it strengthens muscles, and can even be cardiovascular, depending on how it’s done. Capability to perform daily functions is incredibly enhanced with yoga practice.