Losing weight is a goal for many people. All too often, those who want to lose weight turn to a quick fix diet – like a cleanse or plan that eliminates a whole food group. The problem is, these diets aren’t sustainable. They don’t last and more often than not, folks end up gaining back the weight they lost and then some.
When I work with clients on weight loss, my goal is to help the individual build a better relationship with food, create healthy sustainable habits, and to not make weight loss feel like a chore. Here are a few of the tips and tricks that I guide clients through on their healthy weight journey.
1) Find your reason.
Simply stating “I want to lose weight” may not be enough. This statement may not be important enough. You have to find a reason that is important to you. Why do you want to lose weight and eat healthier? What will losing weight accomplish for you? What will eating healthier do for you? The journey toward eating better and losing weight is going to have challenges. Knowing your reason and the importance of why you started this journey will help you push through the challenges.
2) Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues.
This may mean that you have to start by reconnecting with these cues. True hunger is physiological sensation that is controlled by your hypothalamus. Paying attention to your hunger and your fullness allows your body to determine when you and how much food you need. This will keep you from eating out of boredom or stress. This will also help prevent overeating.
3) Don’t say “goodbye forever” to the things you love to eat.
Creating a list of forbidden foods can work against your weight loss goals. When you make some foods forbidden you may actually increase your desire for those foods. This will also make it much, much harder to stick with your new eating pattern. Instead, work on making peace with all foods. All foods can fit in a journey toward weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. You have to find the best way to balance those guilty food pleasures.
4) Give your kitchen a makeover.
A healthy makeover. Go through your kitchen and find those foods that are tempting for you, those foods that you always overeat, or those foods that provide no nutritional value. We’re not going to get rid of these foods forever but we aren’t going to keep them around regularly. Replace those foods with better options. Instead of chips, keep packages of mixed nuts or trail mix around. Instead of soda, keep a pitcher of water flavored with lemon slices in the refrigerator. Small switches like this can help you easily shed a few pounds.
5) Be accountable.
Being accountable to your plan and your goals can go a long way on your weight loss journey. Accountability comes in many forms. Accountability can be a dietitian to help guide you, provide feedback, and help you establish a plan. Accountability can be a buddy who is on their own health journey. Accountability can be journaling your food and exercise. Find an accountability method, or two, that will work for you.