Mindless eating – Do you ever eat when you aren’t hungry? Or eat until you are over-stuffed, only to eat more an hour later? Are there snacks at work that you just can’t help eating? Maybe you have a teen that you buy snacks for that you like to sneak once in a while.
There are a number of things you can do to aid in your weight loss goals that are very simple and effective. Remember, weight loss is a marathon and gradual is better. If you “only” lose a pound a week you will be down 52 pounds by the year’s end!
• The more hassle it is to get food, the less likely we are to eat it. Get the CRAP (Consumables that Really Are Poison) out of the house! If there are Twinkies in the cupboard, there is a pretty good chance you’ll eat some. If you get a Twinkie craving and have to drive to town to get your fix, odds are you’ll do without.
• People normally eat what’s on their plate, not until they are full. Get smaller plates in your home! It is so simple. People have been shown to eat much less if they use smaller plates yet still feel just as full.
• Eat with chopsticks. It will slow you down and the slower people eat the less they consume.
• Eat before you grocery shop. Make a grocery list and stick to it at the store! Stick to the list, don’t buy the junk! You can download my list for free from the home page.
• Who is the gatekeeper in your family? Who buys the groceries? If there are no Pop-tarts in the cupboard than your teenager doesn’t eat Pop-tarts. You have control of what’s in the house. If you spouse wants crap food he gets his own cupboard and it is off limits to you!
• The bigger the package, the more you will consume. If you buy in bulk, break it up into small bags or containers. People will use more of anything they buy in bulk. DO NOT EVER buy bulk junk food!
• Put everything you want on the plate before you start eating. Put any extra food away. People tend to eat more when there is a lot of food and especially if a variety of food sitting is on the dinner table. Put all extras in the fridge except for the veggies. Keep extra veggies in easy reach on the dinner table.
• Drinking cold water burns calories. Your body burns energy to stay warm.
• Do you eat low-fat? Low-fat means more sugar. Studies have shown the people who chose low-fat usually end up eating more overall calories because in their mind they chose a healthy option.
• Do not reward yourself with “treats.” “I trained hard all week so I’m having a couple drinks Friday night.” Treat yourself to great tasting nutritious foods. I train hard, I love my body, I’m going to fuel it with great tasting healthy food.
• Like a sweet dessert? Have fruit.
• Create a food policy or your own set of rules – “I am not eating grains or Dairy.” “I’m going to add veggies to every meal.” “I’m kicking the daily soda habit.” Create a policy and stick to it.
• Snacks in the work place? Get them as far away as possible. Also, put them in a container that you can’t see thru and have to remove the lid in order to eat them. All three of those tricks reduce daily calorie consumption.
• Have healthy options in your work place at all times that you can choose. Give yourself that option. Be a positive example. Bring your own healthy snacks and eat it regardless of the little comments others may give.
• Don’t overestimate how many calories you burned working out and then over-eat as a reward.
• Pack your own work lunches.
• People who watch a lot of TV are more likely to eat more than those who don’t. Cancel the cable. Seriously. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Are you hungry or just bored? Buy some good books, plan outdoor activities, stay active. It is too easy to sit and front of the TV eating our of boredom. Think about how quickly time as flown by. It’s not slowing down. Get out and live it up!
Four NOT to do with kids;
1. Food as punishment “Finish your veggies or you can’t watch TV.”
2. Food as reward –“If you clean your room we’ll get ice cream.” This carries over to adults who like to “treat” themselves after a good workout. Do not install that habit in kids!
3. Food as guilt – “Finish your plate, there are kids starving in china.”
4. Food As comfort – “Eat this pudding, it will make you feel better.” (Especially knowing the sugar is terrible for the immune system! )
• Rename food for your kids to make it fun. Broccoli is a dinosaur tree. Green smoothie is Ninja Turtle power drink…..get creative. It works on adults too. Do you like king crab? It’s actually spider crab but the name was changed so people would eat it. Do you prefer squid or calamari? Escargot or snails? Mahi Mahi or Dolphinfish?
• A little more aggressive approach would be telling your kids that eating candy and sweets makes it more likely they will get sick. The sugar is terrible for their immune system. That is all true! Good foods are “growing foods” and all kids want to grow up strong!
• Offer variety – studies have shown the more foods you expose your child to the more well-rounded their diets will become.
• Don’t use food as a reward or punishment. Telling a kid they get ice cream if they are sick will get you a kid who plays sick. I can’t stress this one enough and have intentionally repeated it.
I hope this helps. Good luck!