Fortunately, you have the power to normalize eating — and none of these strategies involve counting calories. To lose weight, keep it off, I use these nine effective strategies with my clients:
1. Eat real food. Yes so simple, but so effective in halting over-eating and weight gain. Real, whole, unprocessed foods in your diet means switching to vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, olive oil, organic, range, or grass-fed animal products (poultry, lamb, beef, pork, eggs), and wild, smaller fish such as salmon.
2. Eat until you are 80% full.
3. Always eat breakfast. Skipping a morning meal means you can end up famished throughout the day and eventually end up eating more. A recent study of 3,000 people who lost an average of 70 pounds and kept it off for six years found that most of them ate breakfast regularly. Only 4% of people who never ate breakfast managed to keep the weight off.
4. Drink first, eat second. Are you really hungry or is it just thirst?It can so easily get confused. So keep up the water intake, herbal tea and green smoothies to quell the appetite.
5. Eat mindfully. Your gut’s nervous system needs to be relaxed to work properly. If you’re stressed, you don’t digest food properly and your stress hormones slow metabolism. When you eat quickly, you also overeat, since it takes your brain 20 minutes after you start eating to know it’s full.
6. Food diary. Writing down everything — what you eat and how you feel after you eat — an excellent way to break mindless eating and other bad habits. A diet of words and self-exploration often results in weight loss. You metabolize your life and calories better.
7. Get enough zzzzz’s. Aim for minimum of eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night. You will reduce cravings and normalize fat-regulating hormones. One study found even a partial night’s sleep deprivation contributes to insulin resistance, paving the way for obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
8. Laugh more stress less. Chronic stress causes overeating and poor food choices. Make time to actively relax with meditation, yoga, deep breathing or just having fun.
9. Exercise. Exercise will help you lose weight, maintain weight loss, and control your appetite. Aim for at least 30 minutes each day and include 3 strengthening workouts a week – pilates, strong yoga, circuit, abs/arm/butt workout, weights. Turn on the fun factor for a bit of variety: dance, jump on a trampoline.
Remember you don’t have to do it all at once. Pick one or a few strategies and start there. Aim for consistency.
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