With all of the oodles of dietary theories out there and their confliction with one another, it is a wonder that we are able to remain sane. However, accomplishing a weight loss goal, achieving optimal health and vitality should not be reserved to the select few who seem to have it all figured out. These are gifts that we all deserve to reap the benefits from without having to follow an arbitrary strict set of dietary guidelines. Below are eight tips that will fit into any diet and lifestyle while setting one up for success in weight loss, greater health and overall wellness. Implement these tips and get your 2016 weight loss goals off to thriving start.
- Keep it simple. Stop stressing about what diet to follow. What to eat should not be so complicated. Although, there are intolerance and allergies that call for the elimination of certain foods, after that, it really should boil down to Michael Pollan’s manifesto: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
- Ditch the guilt. I know this is easier said than done, but guilt gets people in some serious trouble. Guilt tends to set one up for a binge and can cause one to abandon any healthy goals they have for themselves. The more one binges the guiltier one feels and so the cycle ensues. Instead, acknowledge the behavior and move on.
- Breathe. Before embarking on any meal or snack take 3 deep breaths. Breathing not only calms you down (this allows for better digestion), but it puts you in the present moment, so you are aware of the edibles that you are about to consume. Shoving handfuls of chips in your mouth becomes a lot more difficult when you take the time to breath.
- Clean up the kitchen before you eat a meal. When there is a task that you are dreading it can take away from the enjoyment of the meal you just worked to create. Furthermore, people tend to pick at the meal’s leftovers or sweet treats during the cleanup process. If there is less to clean up, there is less time to pick. If you are not in the habit of doing this it may take a minute to get the hang of, but once you do leaving one dirty dish behind before you dive into your morsels will down kill you
- Sit. This tip elaborates on the previous tip. Only eat when sitting. This eliminates a lot of “picking” that occurs as what most think of calories that don’t count. They count. They add up quick. They offer very little satisfaction.
- Have fun. When your life incorporates activities that ignites your passion you are far less likely to use food as your source of pleasure, so sign up for that sewing class, cooking class, dance class or go out to dinner with your friends more often. It really isn’t a waste of time.
- Pay attention. After, you finish eating pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel tired? Energized? Foggy? Alive? If you really tune in to the way foods make you feel, your body will direct you to towards the foods that fuel you and away from foods that drain you. After noticing that macaroni-n-cheese makes you feel grumpy and groggy, I guarantee its appeal will wane.
- Move. Movement ignites feel good chemicals in the brain the suppress hunger as well as igniting your inner fire (i.e. your metabolism) and it is a wonderful stress release. Pick a movement that inspires you. Believe it, or not, not everybody loves logging hours at a gym, so if the gym does not tickle your fancy, find something that does. Any movement counts.