3 Weight Loss Tips to Make Dieting Easier
1. Identify your troublesome foods
I’m sure you’ll have heard this before, but it’s not a good idea to keep foods in the house that are likely to cause you to overeat. It’s one of the most basic weight loss tips I can give. But oftentimes the basics are the best. It will also reduce the number of decisions you have to make about food. Which as I talk about here, can be a very good thing.
Pretty obvious really. If you don’t have those foods in the house, you can’t eat them. (Unless you send your husband to the local shop, as a friend pointed out).
As a general rule, any foods that are highly palatable and/or calorie dense are the ones that prove troublesome. However, these aren’t limited to traditional ‘junk’ foods. ‘Healthy’ foods can be overeaten as well, as I talk about here.
Which foods prove troublesome will vary from person to person. They’re not good or bad, they just prove troublesome by sneaking calories into your diet without you realising. It’s not that troublesome foods trigger you to completely go bananas and eat everything in sight. It’s just any food that makes it easy for you to overeat without realising.
Peanut butter for example is very calorie dense. It’s easy to eat a lot of calories in what doesn’t seem like a lot of food. A heaped tablespoon could easily contain over 200kcals. And as anyone who likes peanut as much as I do will attest, sneaking the odd spoonful or 3 throughout the day isn’t uncommon. That would add a decent amount of additional calories to your diet that you might not register.
Goddam custard creams!
For me, it’s biscuits.
If I’ve got a pack of custard creams open, they don’t tend to last very long.
So I just don’t buy them, simple as that. If they’re not there I can’t eat them.
If I did have them in the cupboard, every time I opened the cupboard for something else, I’d have to make a choice; do I have a custard cream or not.
I might be able to resist them most of the time, but eventually, on the 5th time of seeing them, at the end of a long day/week, my willpower tank nearly empty, I’m going to eat that god damn custard cream. And I’d probably do it without realising.
But if they’re not there in the first place, I don’t have to make the choice. And there’s no chance of me grabbing one without realising. It’s not that eating a couple of custard creams will trigger me to go on & gorge myself Christmas Dinner full, it’s just because they’re there!
And when you snack & nibble at foods like this, grabbing 1 here and another 2 a little bit later on, you don’t register that you’ve really eaten them, as silly as that sounds.
Most people, even nutritionists, misreport how much they’ve eaten. They eat more than they realise. (Or not as much as they think, in the case of someone who struggles to put on weight.) It’s not as if they’re lying, (although they could be). It’s just things like this that they don’t register or remember.
2. Get your weekly shop right
You could make your diet a hell of a lot easier, if you just get your weekly shop right.
As mentioned above, if you haven’t got the custard creams in the house then you can’t eat them. So don’t put them in the trolley if you know you’d pick at them throughout the day.
Now, it might not be absolutely necessary to ban these foods completely from your household. In fact, as I talk about here, I think everyone should try get to a place where they can still eat a little of their favourite foods while dieting. (Not everyone can mind you, but I believe a lot of people can with practise).
However, if you decide to have these foods in the house keep them out of sight, at the back of the cupboard, or in a cupboard you rarely go in. This will reduce the temptation to eat them. If you keep a pack of biscuits easily visible, you have to make a choice each time you see them. Do you grab one or not? Each time, you’re using up some of that precious resource, willpower. And eventually you will run out, cave to the temptation and grab a biscuit. Or 5.
3. Don’t aim for perfection
A common mistake I see people make when trying to lose weight is striving for perfection. They think they must eat perfectly all the time and never miss a workout. And when they don’t meet those expectations, they feel like they’ve failed. Which can then lead to them giving themselves a hard time about it. Or giving up completely because, ‘well, what’s the point in trying’.
“It’s better to be consistently good than occasionally perfect” ~ Karl Williams
As mentioned above, it’s good to have a plan and routine to follow. But you need to accept that you won’t be able to follow it all the time. Life happens, Things crop up that we need to deal with that are out of our control. That’s why you should have a backup, a plan B.
If something crops up that means you can’t make it to the gym, what’s your back up plan? Can you squeeze in a mini home workout instead? Or maybe you can go for a walk?
If you forget to prep your lunch, do you know what are the better options to go for when grabbing something
from a sandwich shop?
Granted, missing the odd workout or eating something you probably shouldn’t, (eat a lot of anyway), once in a while isn’t going to be a game changer. But I feel that keeping the momentum going is important.
Once you’ve got yourself into a routine, you want to do your utmost to keep it going. By squeezing in that mini home workout when you can’t make it to the gym does just that. It keeps you in that mindset, keeps you in the routine.
Take home points
- I bloody love custard creams 😉
- Identify your troublesome foods and keep them of sight, if you decide to have them in the house at all.
- Make your week easier by using some of your willpower during your weekly shop
- Don’t aim for perfection. Have a plan B to fall back to when life happens.
If you want my help to get in shape for your holiday, or to just look & feel better click here