Most people cringe when they hear the word diet. Not to mention, numerous research studies have proven that they do not work. A diet is viewed as something temporary…. “I’m going to start my diet on Monday”… “I can’t wait until I’m done with this diet and I can eat whatever I want”. Diets often involve drastic changes that are unsustainable long term. While some diets may result in fast weight loss, diets are not designed in a way for most people to live the rest of their life. Chronic dieters often times end up gaining the weight back and sometimes even more than they lost.
To lose weight and keep it off, we should view weight loss as a lifestyle change. This means taking a look at what we are putting into our bodies, how much we are moving, our stress levels, and the amount of the sleep we get each night. All of these factors play a role into slow, steady, sustainable weight loss.
Below you will find some tips for losing weight that do NOT involve dieting…
- Use smaller plates & bowls
By simply swapping 12 inch plates for 6 inch plates you are reducing the amount of space you have on your plate for food by half. This could potentially equate to half the calories! Sometimes we get use to “finishing our plate” and eating what is in front of us because quite frankly, food tastes good. You may be surprised to find yourself satisfied with a smaller amount of food, give it a try (you may also avoid the “food coma” feeling that we have all felt before).
- Check in with yourself & listen to your body
When you feel the urge to eat, I challenge you to check in with yourself. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, if you are bored, if you are sad, or if you just think it’s time to eat because the clock says noon. Once you do this, if you find that you want to eat because you really are hungry, the next thing to do is ask yourself what you really want to eat. Would you be satisfied with a salad or are you craving something with a little more substance. Is your body craving vegetables, meat, something salty or maybe something sweet? (**Tip: check in with yourself before turning on the TV where you may bombarded with commercials for giant cheeseburgers– these can sway your opinion). Honor your body and eat whatever it is that you feel your body needs at that time.
- Drink more water
Thirst can often times be mistaken as hunger. Water keeps our bodies hydrated, for optimal physical and mental performance and can keep hunger at bay. By swapping sugary drinks for water, you will stay hydrated and save tons of calories per day.
- Make ½ your plate vegetables
By simply increasing the amount of vegetables on your plate at every meal, you are leaving less room for foods that are higher in calories. This strategy can also greatly increase your fiber intake, which will help keep you full for longer.
- Sleep more
Inadequate sleep can lead to carbohydrate and high calorie food cravings which could ultimately result in weight gain. Adequate sleep can differ from person to person but is typically anywhere from 7 to 9 hours each night.