7 Tips For Weight Loss That Have Nothing To Do With Food
When you first begin your weight loss journey, feeling excited and motivated comes easily. However, once you’re a few months in, the newness begins to wear off. The strict diet and exercise routine you were following become stale and you’re ready for something new.
While diet and exercise are an essential part of any successful weight loss journey, they certainly aren’t everything. So, instead of trying yet another new exercise or the latest diet fad, Devin Vicknair, PhD, a Behavioral Health Coordinator at GMC’s Center for Weight Management, provides some helpful tips for weight loss that you may be overlooking.
1. Be mindful. “We are such as fast paced society that we are not even paying attention to how much and how fast we are eating,” notes Dr. Vicknair. It’s not uncommon for people to eat while sitting in front of the TV or driving and suddenly realize that there food is gone. “We go through the motions of putting food in our mouths instead of eating slowly and truly paying attention to each bite and monitoring how we feel.”
2. Minimize screen time. We’ve all been guilty of getting sucked into social media, or catching up on episodes of the latest TV show, but indulging in screen time often means less active time. It’s also important to remember that spending hours looking at images of what other people are doing, wearing and eating, may leave you feeling bad. Instead, opt for an activity that will leave you feeling refreshed and good about yourself.
3. Manage expectations. “If what you want and what you expect don’t align, this can actually sabotage your weight loss success,” says Dr. Vicknair. If you’re expecting this diet to go the same way as your previous diet attempts, you may be setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy. “Instead of starting a new diet, hoping this one is more successful than all the rest, weight loss needs to be a lifestyle change that is pleasurable and approached with the expectation that it can be sustained.”
4. Stop all the negative self-talk. One of the most important aspects of a successful weight loss journey is utilizing support. This doesn’t just mean relying on the external support of friends and family, though. You are actually one of the most important sources of support for yourself. Pay attention to your daily mindset; what do you think when you eat? What about when you see yourself in the mirror? Are you offering yourself support and encouragement or being self-critical?
5. Don’t let a scale measure success. “You are greater than a number on a scale,” emphasizes Dr. Vicknair. “Weighing yourself on a daily basis only serves as a report card of your progress.” Instead, recognize your efforts and changes that are producing a healthier version of you. “Remember, the goal is to become healthier and recognize other ways of measuring success, such as blood pressure, increased energy and body shape.”
6. Utilize other stress-relief techniques. After a long day spent at the office, rewarding yourself with unhealthy, yummy foods may sound like the perfect way to unwind. However, indulging in unhealthy foods will only leave you feeling worse. Begin paying attention to when you’re coping with stress through food and try utilizing other, healthier techniques instead. For instance, try exercising, journaling, meditating or meeting up with friends.
7. Don’t forget about sleep. If you’re not getting enough quality sleep each night, you may be turning to food as an afternoon pick me up to boost your energy. Not only is this adding unnecessary calories, but depending on your snack choice, you may be left feeling even more tired and worn down. Even adding just 20 minutes of sleep will help support your overall health and give you a much needed energy boost.
When diet and exercise aren’t enough.
Navigating weight loss on your own can be exhausting and downright difficult. Not only do you have to consider diet and exercise, you have to consider many other factors to find truly lasting weight loss success.