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You've heard them. Maybe you've even said them. Those simple words of advice such as "Just push yourself away from the table" or "Don't eat if you're not hungry". But no matter how well meaning these comments are, to the person struggling with weight loss issues the behavior changes must go much further.
The challenge was posted to 400 people in on-line weight loss support groups to list what they felt were the most important behavioral changes they made in their lifestyle in order to lose weight. Those who participated had an average of 70 pounds to lose after having already successfully lost 35 or more pounds. Their compiled answers revealed the following top ten list of weight loss behavior modification techniques.
#10: Never skip breakfast. Whether your food plan allows you cereal and toast or nothing but fruit and water, make an effort to sit down at the table and consciously enjoy your breakfast.
#9: Eat all of your meals and snacks at the same designated eating space and preferably the same time of day.
#8: Before eating, record all food intake. Note what is going on your plate before it goes in your mouth. You are less likely to misjudge your servings if you have them measured and written down first.
#7: Eat your favorite foods first. (This one is self-explanatory).
#6: Know your most vulnerable times for snacking and plan a defense before temptation strikes. Go for a walk, exercise, phone a friend or a diet buddy.
#5: Get rid of clothes you no longer fit into. This keeps you from falling back into a "comfort zone", as you will immediately notice your new clothes feeling snug.
#4: Give yourself a non-food reward for all of your accomplishments. Don't save your rewards just for reaching major goals, but reward yourself every time you pass up a cinnamon bun or walk right on by the vending machine. Take the money you would have spent on the candy bar and put it in a special "rewards" jar. As it adds up, get yourself special treats like a new bubble bath or cologne. Anything that makes you feel special.
#3: Put your meals on smaller plates or in shallow bowls. If your food plan is rigid with portion sizes, this will especially make you feel as if you're eating more.
#2: If you can't have it, don't have it around. In a perfect world this would be a simple thing, but for those of us with families to care for we often must encounter what we can't partake of.
The answer to that is if you can't keep it out of the house, keep it under wraps. Put tempting foods in colored or paper bags and store them in the back of the cupboard. When preparing meals try to make only enough for others but none for you, if it's something you can't have. During meal times, keep serving dishes off the table and dispose of leftovers immediately.
And the behavior modification technique that ranks #1 is: Increase water intake. Give yourself a goal of 1 gallon per day. This aids in the feeling of being "full", as well as cleaning out your system. If you feel you're unable to start drinking large quantities right away, just be sure to start drinking more than you are now.
If you find yourself overwhelmed at the thought of incorporating these techniques into your lifestyle, just pick one and go from there. The minute you start somewhere you are on the way to a healthier and happier life.