Have you ever been on a diet? Maybe you were diligent and stuck to your plan, or maybe you’ve tried several that don’t seem to work for you. Whatever your experience with dieting has been, you’re not alone.
According to Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., the average American makes four weight loss attempts a year, and only 20 percent of us are ever successful at losing the weight and keeping it off. Americans also spend billions of dollars each year on weight loss pills and products that are not effective for them.
My suggestion is to stop dieting and start focusing on a healthy eating plan. Choose foods with the intention of caring for your health and eat mindfully. To do this, you should take your time to eat, enjoy every bite, and pay close attention to how full you feel. Babies stop eating when they are full and we should do the same. Easier said than done.
The best and only way to lose weight for good is to make small, gradual, and realistic changes to your exercise and eating habits over time.
• Choose one small change at a time. Examples include drink more water or walk your dog more often.
• Set realistic goals, write them down, and stick to them as best you can.
• Recruit a support team. Tell your friend, family member, neighbor, member of your church, or mail man how they can help. A simple “How are you doing?” or a “Were you able to get your vegetables in today?” from your support team can help tremendously.
Here are some tricks to help with over eating:
• Brush Up. Brushing your teeth after you’ve finished eating will help curb snacking. The strong minty taste may help distract your taste buds from craving another flavor and doesn’t mix well with other foods, either.
• Eat Using Your Other Hand. Make dining a little more intentional and difficult by switching your fork to your non-dominant hand. Slowing down how fast you’re eating will allow your stomach to catch up with your eyes.
• Cook Something Complicated. It turns out that the harder you have to work for your food, the more you enjoy it. Ask friends and family to help you prepare the meal. Hard work helps them appreciate it more too.
• Never Underestimate the Power of a Pen- or Keyboard. By tracking what you are eating and drinking each day, you will be more mindful of what you’re putting in your body. If nothing else, it might make you think twice about eating that Snickers bar.
Whether your goal is to lose weight or to eat to be healthy, a healthy eating plan with regular exercise is more likely to help you reach your goals than a diet.
Here’s to a healthier you!
For more information please call Stephanie at the Purdue Extension Kosciusko County office at (574) 372-2340, or email at [email protected]