Losing weight is often more a matter of psychology than nutrition. Yes, the foods you eat (and don’t eat) are important, but your mindset is really what drives your motivations and habits.
If you’ve tried one weight loss plan after another and failed, it’s probably because your program relies too heavily on willpower, and not on clever strategies that gently guide you into changing your lifestyle.
Willpower only lasts so long, and then we all snap and go back to our old ways. So instead of relying on that, try these seven diet hacks to subtly nudge yourself toward healthier habits.
1) Add foods to your diet. Yes, add! That might sounds contradictory to what you’re trying to accomplish (cutting calories), but it’s easier to focus on adding healthy foods than on depriving yourself of unhealthy ones. Focus on eating a certain number of servings (5 to 7) of fresh fruits and veggies each day, and remember to meet your lean protein quota. There won’t be room for much else!
2) Don’t “exercise”. If the words “exercise” or “workout” make you squirm, don’t use them! And don’t engage in activities that feel like “exercise” or “working out” either. Find something physical that you enjoy, and do it for fun. Involving a friend or even the whole family can make it seem less like work, and more like play.
3) Hack your favorite foods. Rather than giving them up entirely, find creative ways to make your favorite dishes more nutritious, more filling, or less fatty. Add veggies to homemade pizzas, and toss a cup of whole wheat flour into the dough for filling fiber. Top it with low-fat cheese, and you probably won’t even notice the difference. Try some different water flavorings, and you might find a drink that you enjoy as much as soda. See a pattern here? Rather than giving up your favorite foods, find ways to improve on them so that you can still enjoy them.
4) Drink a big glass of water a 1/2 hour before you eat. This will help you feel full, so that you won’t be as tempted to overindulge at dinner. Plus, you’ll have a better chance of meeting your water intake.
5) Invite a friend to lunch. If you’re craving a particular dish at your favorite restaurant, invite a friend to join you and split it. You’ll eat half as much as usual, and you won’t really notice the difference because you’re having fun, too.
6) Use a smaller plate. Sometimes we fill our plates with food simply out of habit, because that’s the way dinner is “supposed” to look. Use a smaller plate, and your eyes will register “full plate”… and your brain will register “full stomach”.
7) Do something else. Sometimes cravings are triggered by emotions such as loneliness, sadness, or simply boredom. When that urge to snack strikes you, switch activities. Go for a walk, call a friend, or catch up on housework. After you’ve been busy for about 15 minutes, you will most likely forget all about the craving.
Reaching your healthy weight goals can be fun as well as rewarding. Click here to learn more about our Transformation Challenge -- where you can lose weight and win money! Content courtesy of the iFit Zone Team. Health & Blessings, Bonnie Ellen