If you want to lose weight, you know you need to do the things that will benefit your health, like eating nutritiously and keeping active. But there are many other factors that come into play when it comes to weight loss and your success, and quite often, we overlook them.
Serious about getting control of your weight and your health? Then don’t just diet and exercise. Do these things too so you can really see results!
Many times, it’s not what we’re eating but HOW we’re eating. If you bring a snack to nibble on from your perch on the couch while binging on Netflix, you’re going to binge on it too. Even if you’ve selected something healthy like hummus and vegetables, you’ll be gobbling up more calories than you bargained for without noticing.
Aside from taking the time to enjoy your food without being distracted by TV, keep a journal of the foods you eat daily. Write down everything, even if it’s just a nibble, and write down what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. You’ll be able to spot patterns where you’re eating mindlessly and put a stop to them.
Stress is another one that spikes your cortisol levels. This can make stubborn fat stick to your midsection no matter how active you are or how healthy you eat. Do things to relieve your stress daily. A walk through the park, reading a good book, catching up with friends and laughing, or getting a massage are just some examples of how you can chase stress away and find success with weight loss.
Portion Control Is Key
While you should aim to eat healthy, life is all about balance and moderation. If you eat healthy 80% of the time, you should not feel guilty about eating something “bad.” Pizza isn’t bad if you eat one slice of it for family pizza night. It’s when you start cramming down slice after slice that it’s bad. Put your focus on eating right most of the time, and plan out when you’re going to indulge.
That’s not a free license to start stuffing your face though. Portions are a big part of it. When making your plans for a special occasion like a nice dinner out for example, try to look at the menu in advance. If it’s something extravagant, consider sharing it, ordering only half a portion, or if that’s not possible, having them only serve you half a portion and sending you home with the other half. It all goes back to mindfulness.
Brush your teeth after every meal
When your mouth feels all fresh and minty, you’ll be less likely to eat something. That’s because brushing your teeth gets that food taste out of your mouth. Keep up this habit, and you’ll trick your brain into thinking that food time is over when it senses that minty flavor.
Make good sleep a priority
When you don’t get enough sleep, your cortisol levels shoot through the roof. That also leads to lower levels of leptin which helps with your metabolism and hunger signals. You need to be getting enough sleep each day if you want to see the scales shifting in your favor. Sadly, sleep is something so many of us neglect and it’s critical for proper self-care. Try going to bed earlier each night. If you keep having sleep troubles, a chat with your doctor should happen so you can get to the bottom of what’s keeping you up at night.
Connect with reality
We’re always distracted with technology. Smart technology has certainly helped us be more productive from anywhere but it also keeps us disconnected and stressed. Take time each day to put down your devices and just connect with reality. Connect with your kids, your spouse, with nature, and most importantly, with yourself. Finding the real joy inside of you is critical to your weight loss success.
Try other mind tricks
If you use a smaller plate and fill it up, you’ll eat less food than you would with a full-size plate. Your brain is tricked into thinking you’re getting a big portion of food when you’ve actually cut the size of your portion down. Another technique you can use is to load up your plate with healthier items first, like vegetables followed by lean protein, which leaves you little room for other things. The latter is great for family functions and holiday meals. You simply fill up on those healthy things first and you’ll feel too full for anything else. Even if you do indulge in dessert, you’ll only want a taste, which is the point!
Let go of past failures
No one is perfect. We’ve all had some sort of failures before, and many people have failed to be successful at weight loss. Even if you’ve failed before, you have to forgive yourself and move forward. Stop looking back after you’ve identified where you went wrong. Instead, move ahead using this information.
For example, if you found that every time you tried to lose weight, you didn’t keep healthy foods in your kitchen or made excuses for exercising, change that mindset. Work with a buddy or get the help of a dietician or personal trainer (or both). See success and be that success and you’ll find your weight loss efforts will take off running.