4 Easy Tips for Losing Weight
Here is a list of what I consider the 4 easiest steps to starting your weight loss journey. Before I start, however, I want you to stop and consider why you clicked on this post title. Obviously you want to lose weight. But, Why? Think of three reasons why you want to lose weight, and scribble those reasons down on paper or in your phone. Put them somewhere in plain sight so you can be reminded why you're making an effort to change!
Ok, let's get started!
1. Greenz. As you eat throughout the day, step 1 is to add at least a handful-sized serving of green veggies to your meal. Eat that before you eat anything else with a full glass of water and then finish the rest of your plate. Ideally, your meal should consist of some sort of protein, fat, carbohydrate and some veggies.
Salmon(protein) cooked in olive oil(fat) with pesto pasta(fat/carb) and a pile of broccoli(veggie).
When you're preparing your plate for this meal above, serve yourself only 1/2 of the carb option (pesto pasta) and double your broccoli! Scarf your broccoli down first, then work on your protein, and finally finish with your carbs, but only if you are still truly hungry.
2. Identify your hunger. There are 2 major levels of hunger. The first is true, primitive, pure hunger. Your body is famished and truly needs refueling. The second is emotional/bored eating. Your mind is saying it is bored or stressed and it wants a snickers bar (often right now!). So, how do you distinguish between the two? The best way is to rate your hunger on a scale of 1-10. A rating of 1-5 generally indicates true hunger. 6-10 and you are likely looking to eat for the fun of it. Another way to check yourself is through cravings. Often when we are emotionally craving food, its a very particular taste or texture we are looking for - like a plate of Taco King carne aside burrito or the sweet saltiness of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. If you are having those cravings, try to take a step back and see what is triggering you - is it work? Are you bored? Sad? Angry? If it is for any reason beyond the fact that you are just really hungry, try to refrain from giving in. Consider how you will feel after you're done scarfing down 5 peanut butter cups; is it really worth it? Look back at your list of why's and then make your decision. Whatever you decide, remember that you are 100% accountable for what you eat; don't blame it on work or school or kids as this can become a toxic habit!
3. Snacks. Prepare your backpack/purse/car/desk with an arsenal of simple, healthy snacks. There are some great protein/granola bars out there that are super convenient and tasty, just check the label and see that the grams of protein are the same as or more than the grams of sugar. Nuts are another great option, just be sure to portion them out according to the serving as they are quite calorie-dense! The tactic the snack brings to the table is a choice. Your belly rumbles, and you are definitely hungry. Now, do you run over to McDonalds and grab a quarter pounder and spend extra money and overeat and feel guilty because you know you put yourself in a caloric surplus OR do you reach in your drawer and slam a handful of nuts of a granola bar? Giving yourself a convenient, healthy option is a setup for success. Remember, if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail! Again, check your list of why's!
4. Plan, Plan, Plan. Plan your day out. Give yourself a few minutes the night before and get that mental schedule down. There are likely tasks that have to do with work, school, kids, spouse, friends, etc. but how often do you plan yourself into your day? Think about your meals for the day. Where will you have them? When? What will you eat? Answering these questions can help you pack food for the day or plan on stopping somewhere for a healthy meal. Also consider some time to workout! If you are not very accountable, get a trainer or find a group of people who have the same interests. Even just a 1/2 hour a day can be incredibly beneficial for your weight loss. The tough part is scheduling it into your day and then not compromising that 1/2 hour for extra time at work or waiting for a friend. Make that your time and your time alone! Everyone around you will get along just fine, I promise!
I encourage anyone struggling with weight loss to start here. Anyone can implement these small changes, it just starts with figuring out why.