In the month of January, our blog is going to focus on New Year’s resolutions- how to make them AND how to keep them. Make sure you sign up for our mailing list to never miss a post!
Anna Grotevant MS, RD, LDN
I know a lot of you have weight loss on the mind this New Year. At Eating Empowered, we know weight loss is important, but we don’t like to focus on it as the end-all-be-all. We know that lifestyle, habits and behavior change lead to weight loss, so we tend to put our focus on the process (daily habits) instead.
With that in mind, I do have some thoughts on strategies I’ve seen work time and time again when it comes to losing weight. I’ve been working exclusively with people who are trying to lose weight for 4 years, and I see about 10 patients a day, 5 days a week. If you do the math, that’s a lot of patients! With all that experience in mind, here are my top five tips:
- Don’t drink your calories.
Soda, juice, milk, sports drinks and coffee additives can all contribute to caloric intake. The problem with liquid calories is that liquids don’t fill you up (or keep you full) as long as solid food. For this reason, I rarely recommend milk or juice as a source of nutrients. For the most part, I tell my patients to stay away from smoothies/shakes as well.
- Have some form of structured eating pattern
People who don’t know when they eat often can’t remember how much they eat either. An unstructured eating pattern may look like skipping meals (and over eating later) or grazing throughout the day (but never eating a true “meal”). You may be a “3 square meals” or “6 small meals” or “3 meals and 2 snacks” type of person. Whatever your pattern is, try to stick with it.
- Make half your meal (by volume) fruits or vegetables
This one is so straight-forward, but the hardest to do! By incorporating fruits and vegetables into every meal, you increase your nutrient intake and decrease your calorie intake. You feel physically full but aren’t consuming excess calories.
- Be thoughtful about snacking
Make your snacks mean something. Snacks should be consumed if/when you are hungry between meals. Avoid snacking out of habit or boredom. Aim to get some nutrients with your snacks (not just a 100-calorie pack of crackers for instance). Are you snacking a lot at night? Read our blog post about how to address that pesky habit.
- Make nothing off limits (but use your common sense)
You can’t eat anything you want, whenever you want and still lose weight (duh!) but you shouldn’t make anything totally off limits either. As soon as you tell yourself, “I’ll never eat potato chips again!” It’s all you want, right? Practice mindfully eating treats to increase your satisfaction and decrease your portion without feeling deprived.
And there you have it! Make sure you sign up for our mailing list to get these helpful posts in your mail box once a week. Leave a comment below if you have any great tips to add!