Lets be honest with ourselves, losing weight is not an easy task for most of us. It takes hard work and dedication, motivation from those around us, and a commitment to making lifestyle changes. Getting involved in an exercise program is a great start, but many of us neglect the importance of a sound nutrition program. We want to make sure that we are not fixed on a “diet” but focus on making a lifestyle change towards what we are eating.
One major factor in carrying around excess weight is due to overeating. Many of us do not realize how much we overeat, and here are a few reasons why:
- Mindful Eating. Many of us forget to focus on the meal we are consuming. We eat while watching TV, munch on snacks while driving, and pick at food while we are cooking; all little ways that we are taking in way more calories then we are burning off.
- Force of Habit. We eat in a learned pattern, rather than out of need. We don’t stop to think about how much food our bodies actually need, we just eat what’s in front of us.
- Emotions. Sometimes we use food as an emotional blanket. These calories may lead to us feeling good temporarily, but ultimately it’s your body that suffers from the indulgence. Emotional eating halts your weight lose progress, and makes the journey to your new body a long one.
Here are a few steps to lead you on the right track of eating healthy, and ultimately reaching your weight loss goals.
Step 1: Be Aware. The concept here is simple:
- Think about what and how much you are consuming.
- Eat slowly, taste each bite.
- Recognize how frequently you eat.
- Enjoy the experience of eating, and be thankful for your food.
Make a conscious effort not to eat when your attention is on other activities. This will save you from taking in extra calories every week. While eating a meal, make sure the television is off, you are not driving in the car and try to be in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Only consume food when you are conscious of it!
Step 2: Find Balance. Be aware of the types of foods that you are eating at each meal and ensure that it’s balanced. By eating a balanced diet of quality lean protein, whole grains, lots of vegetables, fruits and healthy fats your body will be satisfied and will not have the urge to overeat. Make a mental checklist of the foods groups you eat each day. Did you eat enough vegetables? Did you consume good lean protein? Did you refrain from consuming too many carb-based meals? This mental checklist will help keep you on track and achieve those weight lose goals much sooner.
Step 3: Listen to your body. Your body has the ability to tell you when it is satisfied. Listen to it! We have programmed ourselves to ignore these signs and continue eating beyond our hunger state. This causes us to feel bloated, lethargic, and hold on to extra calories that we don’t want. It’s time to listen to our bodies; what do you have to lose besides a few extra pounds!
By learning how to listen to our bodies and control our eating habits, you’ll find weight loss to come simply and naturally.
Carmen Deacetis is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, and co-owner of FitFX www.fitfx.ca.