The battle to lose weight is more a mind game than anything else. These simple attitude changes can give you a better chance at losing weight, and keeping it off.
1. Learn to savour food
Mindful eating, or really paying attention to what you’re eating at the moment, helps you realize how often you eat food without really paying attention to it. Try this simple exercise:
- Put a nut in your mouth, close your eyes and let the nut roll around in your mouth.
- Think about what the salt tastes like, feel the curve of the nut.
- Bite down and focus on how the nut cracking feels to your teeth.
- Chew very slowly, noticing the flavour of the nut filling your mouth. Wasn’t that delicious?
2. Eat at the table
When you’ve having a meal or snack, give your full attention to that moment.
- If you can, sit at a table with a plate, enjoying nothing but your food.
- Eating while you work, read, drive or watch television is the fast route to eating more than you realize, without tasting a bit of it.
3. Love what you eat
Make healthy meals more enjoyable by choosing enticing new recipes and cooking with your family’s favourite vegetables.
- Make the eating space more enticing, too. Set a beautiful table, add flowers and turn on a little music.
4. Create a diversion
You can hear the corn chips calling to you from the cupboard, and nothing will do until you eat them. Such cravings usually pass, especially if you divert your attention.
- Try getting up and doing a household task for a few minutes, or playing a CD. Chances are, by the time the first song is over, your craving will be as well.
5. Don’t get too hungry between meals
One reason you start dreaming of pecan pie may be that you’re actually too hungry. No diet will last if you starve yourself and are hungry all the time.
- Keep your appetite calm. If you get hungry between meals, have a healthy snack, like a crunchy sweet apple, quartered, and a handful of raisins and nuts. Have some tea as well.
- Let yourself feel pampered and well fed.
6. Put the fatty snacks at the back
The easiest way to fend off temptation is to clear your cupboards of sugary, fatty snacks.
- If that causes a family revolt, put the foods that tempt you where you can’t see or easily reach them.
- Buy them in tiny amounts. Buying the economy pack makes it easy to feel like you’ve eaten less than you have.
7. Taste the temptation
Every once in a while, give in a little. If a life without chocolate depresses you, have a small piece now and then.
- A little taste isn’t what hurts us. It’s the piece that turns into the whole bar, or the bite that turns into the whole cake.
When it comes to cutting down portion sizes and unhealthy snacks, the trick is often to change your perception of food. Slowing down, creating diversions and allowing yourself a treat once in a while can help go a long way to forming long-lasting good nutritional habits.