It’s not always about how much you know concerning nutrition that helps drop the number on the scale, it’s more about how much you know yourself and your behaviors. Identifying your own poor nutritional habits can make more of a difference than just focusing on "good" vs. "bad" food choices. But fat loss doesn't need to be difficult or complicated. We want to help you identify and overcome these habits with some quick tips:
- Don’t eat after 8 pm. This seems like such a simple concept but its application is so hard. See if you can relate: you have just worked a long day. The kitchen is clean after making a healthy dinner for the family, the kids are in bed and you are ready to relax. Time for a bowl of ice cream!...Time for some popcorn, chips, and almond butter, (insert your vice here)! Now if this were a rare occasion that would be totally fine. It becomes a problem for the number on the scale when this becomes something “you deserve” Saturday night, Sunday night, Monday night,.. every night. Close the kitchen at 8 pm. No excuses.
- Distract yourself from hunger. Let's imagine another scenario: It’s 2pm in the afternoon and you are really wanting your favorite granola bar or “low calorie” cookies. But wait...are you actually hungry? Would you eat a piece of chicken or carrots? Those don't sound good, right? You're experiencing a craving! Grab a timer and set it for 10 minutes. Go distract yourself with a project. If, when your timer alerts you, you find yourself legitimately hungry choose a healthy option. Nine times out of ten you will have forgotten all about the thing you were wanting so badly and discover that you are not actually hungry after all.
- Create a new healthy habit. If we were to ask you what you think is the best thing to grab in the morning to help energize you for the day, what would you say? It’s not coffee or tea. Instead of grabbing a cup of caffeine right when you wake up, create a new healthy habit to drink a glass of water first. Water helps wake the body up by not only hydrating it but by getting things moving too! Want to take it a step further? - add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to your water to increase the mineral benefit for your body!
- Start your day with a sugarless and simple-carb-free breakfast. It's obvious that we want you to avoid the donuts, but how about ditching the Raisin Bran and oatmeal too? This idea of keeping sugar out of your diet first thing in the morning is to prevent the inevitable sugar crash that comes after that sugar wreaks havoc on your blood sugar levels. What comes after the sugar crash?! Intense, seemingly uncontrollable cravings. At this point, you will grab whatever food is convenient and close by. More often than not the thing we grab is another sugary treat that leaves us riding the sugar roller coaster uphill (and then down) once again. The more we stabilize our blood sugar early on the better chance we give ourselves to make healthier choices all day long.
- Plan ahead. Typically when we make the decision to eat out, as much as we want to deny it, we are already planning to "be bad." Eating out is like a nutritional vacation. It does not have to be this way; eating out doesn’t have to be “bad” for us. What if you had a list of restaurants and meals that are acceptable for you and in alignment with your nutritional, health, and weight goals? We are not saying you can’t ever go out and splurge. Planned splurges are one thing, but we realize that when life gets busy grabbing something is a necessity. So, having a good plan or list of options, before you're ravenous, helps you to be intentional and avoid the guilt of blowing it...again.
The key to continuous progress in weight loss will always be consistency. And, it’s typically not easy at first to rewire your habits. It takes practice and discipline. You may need to reach out for nutritional advice, accountability, and support. Luckily, good habits can be habitual too. That means those positive choices become easier and easier. Start simple. Choose one strategy or habit to implement at first. Once you’ve successfully converted it to a personal habit of your own, pick another. Then another. Consistency compounds.