Three Habits for Weight Loss Success
Old habits die hard, and if you are to be a weight loss success, creating good habits is a requirement. Save for the simple strategy of eating less and moving more, there are some things you can do to help maximize your weight loss. Forming good habits are hard initially, but once they become second nature, they will and help you get through your day without having to think too hard about every food move you make. Habits that help your weight loss should naturally lead you to eat less and move more. A new study by researchers at the Frank Hutchinson Cancer Research Center confirms three of these tendencies that will help you lose weight more effectively and could eventually help you maintain that weight loss over time. Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D. studied 123 overweight and obese women between the ages of 50 and 75 over a year. These tips will help you make these habits stick
1. Daily Food Diary
Women who were more consistent with keeping a food journal lost about 6 more pounds.
If you've already logged your meals for the day, kudos to you. If not, get back on the wagon. Staying on the wagon means making logging easy. Try to log all your meals at one time. If you plan at least one meal a day, say dinner, logging at lunch time will help you stay accountable to stick to what you planned. Be sure to create meals instead of having to key in each item in your meal. After you have a month or two of data, go back and favorite certain foods. You can also replicate entries by searching by date range. Look for your A meals and make sure you incorporate these at lease once a day. If your work week is easy on your log, but weekends have you lagging, log what you intend to eat on Friday, and make changes through the mobile app as needed. You can also log during a cool down from working out or after taking a leisurely walk. Try to track your progress at eating better every few weeks and that will reinforce the one thing that will help you stay on top of counting calories.
2. Don’t Skip Meals
Women who reported skipping meals lost almost 8 fewer pounds than women who did not.
Skipping meals increases food cravings and deadens your mood. A Spanish study found healthy women reported an increased negative mood after fasting. The study also found that food cravings was significantly associated with the number of calories eaten after fasting. Another study by Cornell University researchers found after fasting, we intuitively reach for high-calorie foods. Instead of testing your willpower to resits, avoid intense food cravings by staying satisfied. That means eating breakfast every morning as well as snacking reasonably when you're hungry. Planning meals is the easiest way to go, but plans are made to be broken. You might consider having a small number of go to meals lined up or even eat a standard breakfast to avoid skipping meals on certain days. Oatmeal, Greek yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs are quick morning eats. By always having these on hand, and adding fruit, nuts, or raw vegetables to them, you can make a meal despite any changes in your meal plan.
3. Avoid Eating Out--Especially at Lunchtime
Women who ate out for lunch at least once a week lost on average 5 fewer pounds than those who ate out less frequently
If you skipped breakfast, your lunch break might be a calorie disaster. While many Americans skip lunch all together, for others, it's the one meal you have to yourself. If you don't bring your lunch from home, or have a salad bar right outside of your workplace, lunchtime can be a battleground against excess calories that you can't afford to lose. Americans on average eat out 5 times a week, and with the hour-long lunch break disappearing, and many Americans commute further than 15 miles from home, chances are you have limited access to healthy food choices. If brown-bagging it isn't your style, find a grocery store with a deli close to you and pair fresh options with deli fare. Take note of the food scale and cup size to keep portions under control. If a grocery store is out of reach, stock up a workplace fridge with some options so that you're not stuck if you forget your lunch from home. You can also avoid eating out at lunch, by building in physical activity. Some alternative options include starting a workplace food delivery. Delegate online grocery shopping or have a variety of produce sent. Share the cost with health-conscious co-workers. If fast food is all you have, make a list of meals from close restaurants that are under 500 calories and stick the list. Going off-list should be a planned event.
What strategies have helped you stay consistent with these three positive weight loss habits?