Do you pop food into your mouth while reading or at the computer? Do you still believe it's wrong not to clean every bite off your plate? These habits make weight loss impossible. The good news is you can teach an old dog new tricks-and breaking old habits is critical to a successful diet.
Below are 9 mental tricks to re-train your brain to avoid over-indulging and lose weight.
1. Eat Less Often
If you don’t eat as often, you won't be so focused on food. Contrary to popular belief, "grazing," or eating several small meals isn't a good way for those with self-control issues to lose weight. So decide on your eating times and stick with it. Not more than 3 to 4 times a day-- and don't eat in between, no matter the size of the treat."
2. Declare No-Food Zones
"Decide on places where you eat in your home and where you don't. The kitchen table is fine, but the computer or in front of the T.V. are problematic. If you train yourself that the car, computer, ect. are No Food Zones you will avoid over-eating and control food cravings outside of regular meal times."
3. All Meals are Eaten in one location
"If you break this rule and want to eat a forbidden food tell yourself you can have anything you want, but you have to eat in a strange place-like the garage or bathroom- that doesn't give you the same feel good cues as the couch in the TV room. Eating a hot fudge sundae in the garage won't feel as good, so you might think twice about your craving. You may think you deserve a treat because you finished a big project or are watching your favorite show. The more aware you are of what you are doing, the more your chance of making changes."
4. If you didn't buy it, don't eat it!
"I love this rule!" Just because John brought in a dozen donuts, doesn't mean you have to add unwanted calories and join in the glutton fest. By establishing the rule, if I didn't ask for it or buy it I won't eat it, you will avoid being tortured by every office party and whim.
5. Eat Dessert First.
"If you always plan to skip dessert but end up melting when the waiter brings the dessert menu, eat it first. Why? Because of what is called the Thanksgiving Dinner Effect. You're stuffed on turkey, but than dessert comes and you can still fit room in for pie. If it's inevitable you will eat dessert. Have it first and order less for the rest of the meal (soup or a side salad), or perhaps nothing at all."
6. Exercise before a Meal
"Exercising temporarily decreases your appetite. If you want to avoid overeating workout before the meal. One of the reasons exercise is so tough is it's not dependent on one behavior. The biggest mistake people make is trying to cut calories without adding exercise to burn up those calories.
7. You're Hand is the perfect measure for Portions.
"If you want to lose weight you have to be aware of how much you eat. People are clueless to the volume of food they're eating and the speed at which they eat. To see how much you're eating remember a serving of meat is about the size of your palm and a closed fist is the size of one cup of pasta or rice. It's o.k. to use your hands (to measure, that is). Also remember to slow down and try to take twenty minutes between your first and last bite."
8. No Drive Through
“Avoid fast food at all costs. If you end up visiting one of these establishments, select “grilled”, not fried, order low-fat salad dressings instead of high fat mayonnaise on sandwiches, and take off the top bun. If a side is included get fruit or a salad instead of fries.
9. Select Foods with More Fiber
“If weight loss is a goal you will need 24 grams of fiber a day. Fiber also fights disease. Stick with whole grains and look for dark breads with 4 or more grams per slice. Try Fiber One Bars or Luna Bar (Nuts over Chocolate). It packs 9 g. of fiber, is gluten free and has only 7 g. of sugar and is quite tasty. Whole wheat pastas, as well as avocados, raspberries, black berries and apples. Some veggie choices are broccoli, avocados, kale, spinach and romaine.
What are you tricks to control your appetite to stay in control? Please share or contact me here for help.
Try and adapt at least 3 of these habits today.
SOURCE: Psychology of a Smart Diet, posted by Tamar Schreibman, May 09, 2009