The Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that people who made small, potentially permanent changes in their lives every week lost twice as much belly fat, more inches, and four times more weight over a 4-month study than those who went the traditional diet/exercise route. The theory is that the incremental changes tend to be easier to adapt to your life over the long-haul, rather than an all-or-nothing diet that you see as having a beginning and an end.
I had a DUH! moment not too long ago. It was so ridiculously obvious it was ashamed to be in the same vicinity of an AHA! moment.
It occurred to me I could eat half an English muffin. I didn’t have to eat the whole thing. Duh. And it would save me money at the grocery store. Double Duh!
Maybe some of these ideas you already know, but maybe some will be Aha! or even Duh! moments for you. In no particular order …
• Serve everyone smaller portions. Teach your kids only to eat as much as satisfies their hunger. Everyone from toddlers to grandma would benefit from eating smaller portions every three hours when they get hungry rather than three big meals based on what time it is.
• Jettison the soda — regular and diet. It’s full of sugar and chemicals and you don’t need it.
• Limit your pasta servings to no more than one cup. And beware of restaurant portions — they’re often four or five times that. Better yet, swap the pasta for veggies — more flavor, more fiber, fewer calories.
• Check labels for number of servings. You may be surprised.
• Never skip meals. Your body trips its Starving Switch if it doesn’t get something to eat every few hours. Once the switch is flipped, your body panics and starts burning calories from muscle rather than fat. Your body knows your brain can’t survive without fat so it protects you by holding on to your fat. Not really what you’re after, I don’t think. I have to set my timer to remind myself to eat. Literally. If I get involved in something I’ll tell myself, “Just let me finish this one thing” and before you know it, another three hours have passed.
• Always have snacks at the ready. Almonds, walnuts, apples, carrot and celery sticks, string cheese, yogurt, hardboiled eggs, half a peanut butter sandwich. I rarely leave the house without an apple and a snack-size bag of almonds in my purse.
• Brown bag it whenever you can.
• Don’t overcook your veggies. Raw or lightly steamed is best. Cook them at the lowest temperature for the shortest amount of time.
• Swap kidney or red beans for meat whenever possible.
Which will you try first? Which will you never try? Which do you already do?