Whether you are looking at a total body change or a few vanity pounds the secret to losing weight and keeping it off is not really diet and exercise, it is an alteration in how we think about and approach food.
Eat to live don’t live to eat.
For many of us food has changed its role from fuel for your body to anything from a coping mechanism, a best friend, something to pass the time, or even the highlight of every day. Yes, admittedly food is a wonderful thing and there are many brilliant tastes and textures to enjoy. However, when food becomes the center of your universe you have entered an unhealthy relationship with your meals. There is nothing wrong with enjoying what you eat, or even indulging in your cravings — in moderation. The trick is to stop looking at food as company, a friend, or the beginning and end of your day. Food must move from this pedestal and find its way down to the intended purpose-fuel. We need food to survive, we need it to do the things we want to do. It is our fuel, not our friend. If you can make this switch in your head it will be easier to only eat when you are hungry and find other means of joy or coping in your life.
The hidden calories and downfalls of drinks
If you are one of millions of Americans who enjoys a soda with or even without every meal, you are consuming hundreds, even thousands of empty calories without ever really noticing it. Even your body won’t register the calories and tell you that you are full because they are empty calories and won’t fulfill any of your needs for nutrition. Ironically, it is quite common to confuse thirst with hunger. As a nation that would rather just about anything else to drink than water, the truth is that is exactly what our body craves. If you can move yourself away from sweet drinks and replace it with water or a flavored drink like herbal tea to appease your sweet tooth, but not add calories, you would be amazed how many pounds melt off and how much better you feel.
Don’t deny yourself
I realize that in a discussion of weight loss the last thing you expect to see is someone telling you to indulge. Diets and weight loss are all about denying yourself, suffering, and watching everyone else do everything you can’t. You know what? That is exactly why diets don’t work. How long can we sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else do exactly what we want. You just can’t hold up that kind of will power indefinitely. Who would want to? The secret to lasting weight loss and permanent changes are some small mental switches in habits that will grow on themselves and lead you to a healthier lifestyle. Not a perfect lifestyle, a healthier one. This means that when you are craving those potato chips or that piece of chocolate, go ahead and have some. This will serve two functions; first you won’t feel so tortured and will continue making positive changes in your diet. The second you can have some potato chips or a piece of chocolate instead of pushing it off and then finally breaking down and decimating the whole bag or box. It is ok to enjoy what you eat, to have a treat every now and then, just be mindful of your portions and know that for every small change you make in your mind and habits it will eventually show through in your appearance and most importantly-your health.