Photo Credit: Dkal Inc.
We all know that weight loss isn’t easy, despite all the “simple solutions” out there. However, a few easy steps can make losing weight more manageable. Here are five tips to help you start.
- Focus on what you can eat, instead of what you need to limit. Avoid deprivation by choosing lots of high-fiber, high-water foods, like fruits and veggies, that help you stay fuller longer. Foods with abundant fiber and water give you more volume, without adding extra calories.
- Get enough sleep. When you're sleep deprived, you tend to eat more to "feel more energized." When you're tired, you're also more likely to lose mental focus and discipline from fatigue (well, fried zucchini is a vegetable, after all). Aim for seven hours nightly and power nap on days you can't get a full night of zzzs. If you're routinely getting less than six hours of sleep a night, it's time to reevaluate your life balance.
- Learn to eat for hunger, not the clock. This is a tough one, and forces us to get back in touch with our biology. Figure out if you're a three-times-a-day eater, or if you feel more comfortable dividing those three meals into six mini-meals for the day. Avoid skipping meals, which just makes you more hungry for the next meal. Pace yourself, and avoid eating to the point of being "stuffed." Aim for contentment, knowing that you could eat more... but will choose to do it later.
- De-stress before you eat. Most of us don't have time for stress-reducing classes. (Just one more thing to pack into a day, right?) But try to relax before eating to avoid gobbling down everything in sight—that's the dreaded mindless eating you're trying to avoid. If you take a minute or two to relax before eating, you can gain control and mental focus before the meal. Whether it's a few deep breaths, a short walk or a friendly phone chat, that can only help your meal-time control.
- Limit processed foods. Convenience foods may be easy, but are often loaded with hidden fat (and calories!), plus loads of salt. Looking at the salt content of packaged products is a hint to the high-calorie ingredient to which high salt is often linked: fat. Choose less processed foods and limit both calories, salt and fat. Convenience can be found in some calorie-controlled products, but read labels to be an informed and calorie-conscious consumer.