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Calorie Count Blog

Three Habits for Weight Loss Success


By +Carolyn Richardson on Jul 17, 2012 09:00 AM in Healthy Eating

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.


Your thoughts...

What strategies have helped you stay consistent with these three positive weight loss habits?



Comments


Those are great ideas.

 I found getting up 45 minutes early every morning to make and pack a lunch box of food that I will eat that day helps to keep the calories down. I try not to eat outside of my lunch box. 

Also, if I keep to wearing my bodybugg everyday and try not to go over today the amount of calories I burned yesterday, it helps too. 

Then, exercising every weekday morning, no exceptions.



I make a large batch of healthy breakfast items and freeze them for a quick grab.


Comment Removed

Original Post by: diane1533

Those are great ideas.

 I found getting up 45 minutes early every morning to make and pack a lunch box of food that I will eat that day helps to keep the calories down. I try not to eat outside of my lunch box. 

Also, if I keep to wearing my bodybugg everyday and try not to go over today the amount of calories I burned yesterday, it helps too. 

Then, exercising every weekday morning, no exceptions.


Diane1533--what is a "bodybugg"



I do the same thing Diane!  I pack snacks and my lunch every day for work - that way I'm not tempted to do the food truck thing or eat any sweets at the office that I did not count on!  I agree on exercise every week day morning!!  I do take an occasional day off, but it is rare and really I look forward to waking up with a nice run or exercise video.... it keeps me going through out the day. :)



Thanks for the confirmation of working out every day.  I'm hoping this helps someone:  I used to struggle to workout 3-4 days a week--it always seemed such a chore!  But since the first of April, I increased my exercise to 6 days each week (I take Sundays off), and I know it sounds crazy, but it's easier!  Incorporating exercise into my regular morning routine has made it a habit and I look forward to it each day.  I usually do a workout DVD (strength) or 2 miles/30 minutes on the treadmill.  I still struggle to get out of bed, but once I do, I feel so great and I don't think I would trade that now.  I have also found that my joints and feet that used to hurt don't hurt as much. 



But what do I do on vacation?  We are going for a week and all meals eaten out. I am taking a cooler so I can have fresh fruit and veggies and water but meals are a whole different problem. I won't be able to cook. Frozen stuff prepared at home is also out.  I know salads every where I can but geez, let's take all the fun out of it. Well not really, but you know what I mean.  



Original Post by: dmay157751319

But what do I do on vacation?  We are going for a week and all meals eaten out. I am taking a cooler so I can have fresh fruit and veggies and water but meals are a whole different problem. I won't be able to cook. Frozen stuff prepared at home is also out.  I know salads every where I can but geez, let's take all the fun out of it. Well not really, but you know what I mean.  


Great ideas!  I use an app on my phone called myfitnesspal and that's how I log my calories and exercise each day.  It helps keep me accountable and have a much better grip on what I'm consuming.  Plus, when I see the calories I've burned during my workouts, it motivates me to keep at it.  Best.App.Ever!

Remember, when you sweat, it's just your fat crying!

I would suggest figuring out what resturants you're going to visit.  If possible, take a look at their menu and nutritional info via the internet.  Will there be grocery stores around?  If so, perhaps you could make it a "ritual" to pick up produce, yogurt, baked chicken or fish, and other local fare.  Keep nuts on hand - they're a fantastic snack packed full of protein.  Personally, portion control is a huge factor for me.  We went on vacation recently and my food choices were very limited.  When I could, I piled up the veggies and proteins and paid close attention to my carb intake.  Then, when something super delish came along, I didn't have guilt over participating.  Finally, exercise however and as often as you can.  It doesn't have to be much - maybe even 20 minutes of walking - just get out there and move a little!!! 



Original Post by: mim49

Original Post by: diane1533

Those are great ideas.

 I found getting up 45 minutes early every morning to make and pack a lunch box of food that I will eat that day helps to keep the calories down. I try not to eat outside of my lunch box. 

Also, if I keep to wearing my bodybugg everyday and try not to go over today the amount of calories I burned yesterday, it helps too. 

Then, exercising every weekday morning, no exceptions.


Diane1533--what is a "bodybugg"


Mim49 - a bodybugg, a small gadget you wear on your body, is described as a "system [that] works by keeping an accurate daily record of calories consumed vs. burned making it easier to stay informed, make decisions and more effectively manage your weight."

Sort of the Source: Bodybugg.com

 

(not sure how well it works, i dont use it, just googled it!)



I wear the bodybugg gadget on my arm  24/7.  It counts the calories I am burning thru the day and while I sleep.  You can also look to see how many you have burned during a certain time table. It says it’s 95% accurate.  I believe it is.

You can join online (and pay a fee) to view your results or buy a digital display to wear as a watch.



I have learned that I have to STAY AWAY from my sister's house. EVERY TIME I go over there I end up going over my calorie goal----NOT a little over I mean OVER OVER my goal.  Now that school's back in it's easier--only go  over to her house once a week. I make that my cheat day.  *quick note---the reason it's easier now that school's in is b/c she's a teacher.*



I think the advice about not eating out, especially lunch is not particularly valid.  I eat lunch out at least once or twice a week.  What is important is where you eat and what you eat.  The other two I agree with.

I have lost 75 lbs in a little over eight months and into my fifth week of maintenance on Weight Watchers.  Nothing magic about it but logging your food intake and not skipping meals are both good ideas.



Just might have to disagree with this article. Weight loss seems to vary on the individual, that is, their individual body composition. Personally, some are not those that have a daily appetite, however, whenever in the mood to eat ensuring the consumption of the imperative elements, that is, greens, healthy fats and grains, veggies, and fruits, with hella water. That with a mixture of exercise had kept my body weight healthy. 

My advice would be to recommend learning your body and listening to what it is trying to tell you. Learn when it needs to consume more of whatever food group, there are usually specific signals that your body manifests in order to convey that message. The ability to be the body's personal doctor is available if the person takes the time to learn and apply knowledge.



Although I haven't yet reaped the rewards of this wonderful tip passed down to me, stopping eating after 7pm has done wonders for my friend in terms of her weight maintenance


Original Post by: dmay157751319

But what do I do on vacation?  We are going for a week and all meals eaten out. I am taking a cooler so I can have fresh fruit and veggies and water but meals are a whole different problem. I won't be able to cook. Frozen stuff prepared at home is also out.  I know salads every where I can but geez, let's take all the fun out of it. Well not really, but you know what I mean.  


I travel for a living all over the world. In the USA it is easy to stay on plan. Everywhere has a grocery store and many sell frozen meals and ready to go salads. I will often buy one and then ask if the hotel has a microwave I can use. In an emergency I go into a convenience store, explain to the clerk I am on a strict plan and ask to use their microwave. I have never been turned down by any of them. I feel more comfortable with those kinds of foods because restaurants do sneaky things. Chinese places will steam veg and steam rice to which i can add tofu in a pinch.

Overseas what I do depends upon the country. Usually though I will choose menu items that are healthier.

In Japan I get a ready meal from a convenience store.Singapore is like USA. Korea is easy go for grilled meat and veg with steamed rice or the big soups. Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar I just get tofu with veg and steamed rice or soups.

In India I pick things like rasaam soup, curd rice, etc and just watch the portion size.

In most Western European countries, Australia and New Zealand  I hit the market and make a sandwich or get yogurt, etc. Can also eat raw veg from markets with no health worries. In Eastern European countries and Turkey I stick to cooked foods only. I love the Boots pharmacies in the UK because they sell a "meal deal" even in the airports. You chose what goes in and they have lighter options. Everything has a label with food facts on it.  I will avoid eating on the plane when I know I can transit in London and have a Boots meal deal. Tasty and controlled.

In the Middle East it can be hard so I stick to fasoulai bean dishes with no rice and some kind of natural grilled meat but not doner which is dreadful.

Some African countries are also a challenge for me. South Africa is like USA. I try to stick to veg based stews and pick either bread or rice but not both.

The main thing I also do is to travel with a packet or two of the powdered Optifast. I find it makes a quick meal when I am exhausted and things don't go well. I can count on it. I also use it on long haul international flights. I will frequently fly a 1 hour followed by a 10 hour followed by another 9 hours in a row and can't count on refrigeration.  Powder is also good when crossing borders as EU and others restrict travel with food items to protect their agriculture. The powdered shake mix has never caused any difficulties.

Good luck and if you make up your mind to stay on plan you can do it. Be sure to allow yourself a little wiggle room to sample local fare.



Brush your teeth after dinner and it helps you not eat anything else at night! :)


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