Don’t Diet – Make Lifestyle Changes
Below are a few pointers about how to control your weight for life rather than just for that diet you are trying to stick to. Remember you need to think of this as a lifestyle change and not a diet.
Don’t eat more calories than you burn.To lose weight, eat fewer calories than you burn.
Think about what you eat. Is it going to make you look or feel the way you want? Will it bring you closer to your goal? Or, will it make you feel miserable, run down and take you further from what you want?
The saying “You are what you eat” is true. Before eating a food, ask yourself “Do I want to BE that?? Or do I really want to EAT that??
Eat smaller portion sizes. At home most of us still load our plate with the mindset of when we were younger and more active. This is one of the most difficult adjustments for a lot of people. You absolutely cannot eat the amount of food you would like, sorry.
If certain foods haunt you and you cannot eat them sensibly, consider giving them up.
Eat s l o w l y. This will give your body the opportunity to sense the food coming in and register fullness. When you are full, bad foods lose much of their appeal. Also don’t eat in front of the TV, you do not take in what you are eating or exactly how much you are eating.
Dessert is a habit, not a physiological need for survival. Habits can be broken. Just get out of the habit.
Just because you feel the desire to eat, does not mean you are in need of food. It is important that we understand the difference between hunger and appetite. Hunger is the true physiological need for nutrition. Appetite is a desire to eat and has nothing to do with need. Most people consume food based upon appetite – environmental and learned eating behaviors. Heard this one before? After eating a large meal you utter the words, “I need something sweet”. This is a conditioned response, possibly going back to the days of clean your plate and you can have dessert. Listen, I just saw what you ate. You don’t need anything.
Do not buy junk food. If it is there, it is too easy to eat it. (Refer back to think about what you eat.) Also, if you have a craving for junk and it is not there, then no harm done. Just sit back down and finish watching TV.
If you must order pizza, get thin crust (no cheese in the middle or other stuff like that), ask for “easy on the cheese”, steer clear of the pepperoni and sausage (try chicken, Canadian bacon, or ham), but feel free to pile on the veggies. Instead of ordering pizza, make one using the pre-made crusts available at stores. Use the thin crust, low-fat or non-fat cheeses, low-fat ham or turkey, and your other favorite toppings.
Know when you are going to eat. If you know that you will be eating every 4 hours, stick to that plan. Do not eat before or after, even if someone is trying to get you to or if food is available.
Eat sweets, biscuits, cakes, pies, doughnuts and ice cream in moderation, you don’t really need to eat them on a regular basis.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but I think you get the point. There is no secret to weight loss and control. In today’s society, it takes diligence and restraint. High calorie, palatable food is everywhere. The big problem is that few people move much during their day. This lowers the caloric requirements for maintenance. If fat loss is the goal, then calories must be below maintenance. This leaves little room for error or extravagance.
Ultimately it comes down to the dreaded “L” word. Lifestyle. If you want to eat whatever you want, then you have two choices:
1. Move a lot.
2. Gain weight and stop complaining and looking for places to lay the blame.