Humans are creatures of their habits, and when it comes to losing weight they can be more destructive than constructive. As it turns out, some of my most self-sabotaging moments are the thoughtless occurrences that happen randomly throughout the day.
Mindlessly reaching for a handful of chips at a party, snacking off my kids' plates, saying yes to that second beer, or dipping my veggies in a creamy dip are just some of the habits I've had to break over these last few months. But the good news is I have been able to turn those bad habits into positive habits that help me work toward my weight loss goal.
Here are a few changes I've made to break my habits. See if they can work for you!
1. Think before I eat. Instead of reaching for multiple handfuls of nuts or crackers, I take note before I put anything in my mouth—or hand. I've certainly stopped myself mid-chip bowl dive. Stopping myself may not actually help me lose weight, but it will help me avoid gaining weight.
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2. Recognize my hunger. Here's the scenario: Me. Standing in front of the fridge with the door wide open, my eyes searching the shelves for something, anything, to eat. Usually when this used to happen, I wasn't even hungry, but rather bored. Now, I ask myself an assortment of questions first: Am I really hungry? Thirsty? Bored?
3. Have a plan. Another bad habit I've faced is not having an eating plan. Often I wouldn't have anything in the house that was ideal for my healthy eating goals—think chocolate bars instead of a fresh berries and nuts or tortilla chips instead of veggies and hummus. Now it's simply a habit to keep the pantry, fridge, and fruit bowl stocked with delicious, good-for-me foods. No excuses.
4. Stay on track. My dietitian Heather Wallace is always reminding me to jot down every bite I eat on because it gives me the big picture on where my calories are coming from (ice cream or yogurt?). The phone app offers a chart that calculates my protein, carbs, and fat stats for the week, and I can adjust accordingly as the week goes on. It's extremely helpful for staying on track.
Old habits may be hard to break, but when you do it's absolutely worth it.