Here are 7 keys tactics for losing weight and keep it off once and for all! You've got the power!
1. Create a plan.
A plan provides structure and brings awareness to your routine. It also eliminates the chaos and impulsive nature of food binges and spur of the moment relapses. Many people use family events or parties as an opportunity to binge for weeks straight, but if you map out your social calendar and mark the days that you have parties as "splurge meals", you really can make Good Decisions Most of the Time, and enjoy friends and family too. Knowing you will have a splurge meal helps you to hold out and can strengthen your ability to say no.
Once you have a plan, prepare for the week. Shop on weekends or on your day off and know what each meal will consist of. Creating a menu plan for the week increases your chance of sticking to it. If you have your lunch and a snack with you, you will less likely be tempted by the donut in the break room and your environment is set up for your success.
3. Be ok with being uncomfortable.
This is the most effective tool I have found so far. When we can learn to be ok with being uncomfortable and watch our emotions to see how they can drive our behavior, we can see the humor in our thoughts. We see the little devil on one shoulder telling us to eat the donut, and the little angel on the other that begs us not to and we can laugh! When we can watch our mind trying to justify the donut, instead of buying into it, we can smile and walk away.
4. Let go of judgments.
If you falter, don’t beat yourself up, and let go of your own judgments around food. Letting go of judgments around food is a great way of letting go of guilt and shame. For instance, if you judge the donut as bad, and then you eat it, that must mean you are bad. Instead of judging the donut as bad, we can see it for what it is, a high sugar food that can affect the body adversely when over-consumed. There is not good or bad, it just is. Simple cause and effect. This demystifies the donut and can help to release some of its control over us. We can do this with overeating too. Instead of beating ourselves up about it we can say, “I just overate and now I feel bad about it. But I am not a bad person because of this. It is just cause and effect".
5. Create new habits and patterns.
The really cool thing about making Good Decisions Most of the Time is that as you practice you literally send excitatory impulses that activate an area in your prefrontal cortex that is responsible for executive control. Executive control means that your ability to self-govern increases as you practice. I love that sentence! Let’s say it again... your ability to self govern increases as you practice! You can literally rewire your brain to get excited when you say no! This is great news for those feeling out of control and helpless around food.
6. Eat only when you are hungry.
Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full. This requires you to pay attention and wait for the stomach to growl and tune into your body for the satiation signal. We all experience emotional hunger and physical hunger. Distinguishing the difference between the two empowers you to operate based on your own inner guidance. When you know what physical hunger is, you can also identify emotional hunger and fill your emotional needs with more positive things, other than food. Emotional hunger is typically felt in the head; in your thinking mind. Physical hunger is felt in your body; in your gut.
7. Be prepared to face temptation.
Premeditating your response to any situation in which you may face temptation increases your chance of overcoming it. Something like, “No thank you, I am trying to make Good Decisions…Most of the Time." Know it will be awkward at first until your social network and you adapt to it. But after about 28 days it will become second nature. You and your social network will adapt to the fact that eating healthy is just a part of who you are today and before you know it, you will be showing others how to lose weight!
If you would like to know more about specific foods, how to regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion, or the psychology behind eating check out Good Decisions Most of the Time... Because life is too short not to eat chocolate!