Tackle bad habits two or three at a time. Grouping them together makes it easier to spot patterns—and covers more ground to the finish line! Common barriers to weight loss include eating while watching TV or on the computer, emotional eating, eating out of boredom, and eating so quickly that satiety doesn't have time to register.
Fix the bad with good
Replace bad habits with long-term healthy lifestyle changes. Meal planning, meal pacing/chewing and mindful eating are three habits dietitians highly recommend. Mindful eating means being aware of why, what and how much we are eating. The more you’re aware of your actions, the less likely you are to eat out of boredom, emotionally eat, and snack throughout the day.
Cope with emotions
It is important to find non-food related ways to cope with emotions: journaling, walking, talking to friends, etc. Soothing our emotions with food often leaves us feeling worse, which can lead to a vicious cycle that actually packs on weight instead of losing it.
Studies show that when we take the time to chew, taste and savor our food, we naturally eat less and enjoy more. When we take the time to chew, we actually get to taste our food and enjoy it. Chewing also forces us to slow down, giving ourselves the chance to recognize when we are full and stop eating.
Make a plan
Keeping a log of a plan and meals and exercise is helpful with a pad and a pen. Fitness trackers are booming in popularity and make monitoring easy and convenient. Sometimes we don’t realize where the extra calories that can sabotage weight loss are coming from. Plan your meals, too. Three meals a day and one planned snack are generally recommended by weight loss experts.
Rid yourself of “frenemies"
It can be difficult to stay on track when surrounded by temptation. People who bring you foods that they know you should not eat, or encourage you to skip workouts, are not your friends. These types of toxic relationships, such as with former eating buddies, have to end in order to ensure your success.
Keeping a food and exercise journal is very helpful. Try an app or paper and pen. Fitness trackers are booming in popularity and make monitoring easy and convenient. Sometimes we don’t realize where the extra calories that can sabotage weight loss are coming from. Plan your meals, too. Three meals a day and one planned snack are generally recommended by weight loss experts.
Keep your home “clean”
Take temptation out of the equation at home by not keeping unhealthy food in your house. If you don't own it, you can't eat it. This is especially important when it comes to "trigger foods," those that we have difficulty controlling ourselves around.
Eat what you enjoy
The key to long-term weight loss is to find healthy foods and drinks that we truly enjoy. We want to be choosing foods because we like them, not because we are on a "diet". When we feel restricted or deprived we wind up going right back to our unhealthy ways.