Listen to your body. Cravings are the bodies’s way to send a message to the brain that the body needs. A craving for a banana may mean the body needs potassium.
Don’t just eat; dine. Every meal, including breakfast, should be a culinary experience. Use the “good” china and silverware. Even if your program is one that supplies food, add your own color and design. You will be amazed at how much better a simple meat loaf will taste when you treat yourself like royalty.
Do not do anything else while you’re eating. With our very busy lives, most of us eat while we are doing other things; driving, watching TV, talking on the phone, sitting at the computer. While we are able to multi-task, the brain itself can only fully concentrate on one thing at a time. How many times have you sat at your desk and work eating your lunch and have no recollection of where the food went when the plate was empty? If your brain does know remember what you’ve eaten, neither will your stomach or your mouth and you will feel “hungry”. Since it takes an average of 20 minutes before the message of being full is sent to the brain, during that 20 minutes you may actually feel “hungry” because the brain didn’t get the message.
Eat noisy foods. In order to help the brain “get the message” you need to eat “noisy” foods. Yogurt, in all its delicious low calorie flavors won’t satisfy you at all unless you add some “crunch” to munch. Add a pickle to a tuna sandwich. “Soft” foods such as pasta and ice cream may satisfy the craving for the taste, but not the mouth’s craving for the crunch! Chewing is exercise for the jaw and sound for the brain.
Set reasonable goals. Forget about losing 20 or 30 or more pounds by a certain time. Healthy weight loss is an average of 1 or 2 pounds a week. Anything more than that is not only unhealthy, but the faster you lose the weight, the easier your body will fight to put it back on. Forget about numbers and put in your mind that you want to weigh less by the end of the week, or month. Even if it’s only a quarter of a pound, you will feel successful.
Do not restrict your calorie intake below 1,200 a day. Your body has a built-in instinct for survival. If your calorie intake is below 1,200 for women and 1,400 for men, your body will think it is starving and will hold on to every ounce of fat for its very life. Your metabolism will slow to a crawl and not only will you have a difficult time losing weight, but the weight you do lose will come back, plus more, to protect your body from starvation.
Do not cut out any food type. A body is like a car. A car does not run on gas alone. It needs oil and water in order to operate at peak efficiently Your body needs carbs and fats as much as it does protein. Eliminating any one food, or eating only one type of food may result in rapid weight loss, but it will not last.
Don’t live in a dieter’s cage. Many dieters put themselves in a “cage” where they can restrict their eating until that glory day when their goal weight is reached. Once the door is open, they return to all those foods which put them on a diet in the first place. The goal is to change your relationship with food so you are making correct choices for the rest of your life.