It’s that time of year when we’re bombarded with tips and tricks on how to lose the “holiday weight” and stick to our New Year’s goals. Here I offer you another one, but I promise you it’s no quick fix gimmick. It will require some effort. Don’t fret, it will be practical and concise. These strategies will weave nicely into your routines for my busy professionals who are already overworked and stressed out.
Let the following words stay with you throughout your fitness journey – It’s the small habits that add up. Making small changes and staying consistent is the road to an energetic and healthy fit body for the long term.
1. Control Triggers
Certain foods just trigger us to overeat and reward that pleasure center in the brain, making it easy to overeat. Step one here would be to recognize which foods trigger this behavior. I recommend you keep an eating journal to get an overall picture of your eating habits. Step two is to find an alternative to your trigger food. You can either buy a single serving (instead of the entire gallon of ice cream, treat yourself to an ice cream cone) or find a substitute that is just as satisfying but won’t trigger you to overeat.
2. Avoid Starchy Breakfast
If you’ve lived in a big city, I’m sure you’ve visited the coffee stand on your way to work for a quick breakfast. If you do this daily, it’s time to figure out a plan B. Here’s your plan B:
- Eat half the bagel instead of the entire thing.
- Try filling it with eggs or peanut butter and berries.
- Include protein in your meal, and it will instantly help level your blood sugar levels.
3. Look Out for Hidden Sugars
You’ll be surprised where sugars are lurking. My best advice here is to check your labels. Notice what you are consuming with one serving size. Popular foods to look out for hidden sugars are pasta sauces, salad dressings, fruity yogurts, and instant oatmeal. No surprise, most processed foods are laden with sugar.
4. Use Smaller Plates
A great way to minimize overeating is to use smaller plates, and make sure not to get up for seconds. The intention here is portion control. In my family, we say, “you eat with your eyes.” We usually pile an unnecessary amount of food on our plate because it looks irresistible. What ends up happening is we overeat because we don’t want to waste food or insult the host. In the end, everyone is reaching for the acid reducers and feeling uncomfortably stuffed. Consuming smaller portions is a great habit to instill since as we age, we naturally lose muscle mass, making it difficult to lose excess fat.
5. Don’t Eat Out of the Container
We know this, but somehow, we still do it! Here are some strategies to kick this self-sabotaging behavior to the curb. Grab a plate or bowl and portion out your serving. Remember the tips from earlier; read your labels. Know what you’re consuming and have control over it – don’t let it have power over you.