3 Positive Steps in the Journey to Weight Loss
For better or worse, the decision to drop the extra pounds is up to you
Every day we make dozens of food choices. The results will make our health better — or worse.
Ignoring the ingredients in a candy bar or box of crackers doesn’t make them any less harmful to your body. And believing the extra calories, sugar or fat won’t affect you doesn’t make it true.
Moments of weakness happen. Too many of them will add up.
The number one reason sugar and calorie-dense foods end up in our homes is they’re convenient.
Our fast-paced life and overloaded schedules compel us to look for shortcuts wherever they exist. And convenience food ranks high on the list.
But consider the trade-off:
Quick, easy-to-buy, toxic food can lead to future health problems — and the time and expense it will take to correct them.
It’s much easier to keep temptation under control by making the decision to eat smart. Fortunately, we’re seeing more healthy, organic options in produce sections and grocery store shelves. We just need to seek them out.
Need a nudge to get started?
Here are three strategies to consider — that is, if you’re ready to take the reins on a longer, stronger life:
1. Keep a truthful list of what you eat every day
By being aware of everything that goes into your body, you’ll become more attuned to whether you’re eating from hunger or a response triggered by circumstance, stress, or boredom.
Making a list of everything — including those three M&M’’s and the stolen french fries from your friend’s plate — will provide a realistic measure of all the culprits that have been slipping under the radar.
Hand-write your list to give it more meaning, and post your intake in a conspicuous place — on your refrigerator door, pantry shelf, bathroom mirror, or above the scale.
Every time you eat or drink something, write it down. Be as specific as possible, including calories, sugar, and fat consumed per serving — and be honest.
2. Defend yourself against snack attacks
In an article by Julia Malacoff, Pn1, CPT in Precision Nutrition, one strategy suggested to determine if hunger is triggered by stress is to drink a big glass of water before deciding to eat. I’ve used this method often and enjoy the additional benefit of staying hydrated throughout the day.
Even better, in the morning or at night when the munchies are pushing my buttons, I’ll sip a cup of hot green tea with organic ground ginger — and then decide how hungry I feel.
What about all the food you’ve already purchased? Commit to 30 minutes of time to scour your cabinets and pantry for sugary or fat-filled snacks that are no longer part of your healthy mindset. Then pitch them or consider offering the vetted items to a local shelter or food bank.
3. Make your own snacks and control the ingredients
It’s simpler to avoid temptation by having healthy treats within reach as an alternative to junk food, which is no longer allowed to reside in your home.
Here are a few ideas:
Fresh, organic fruit and vegetables — apples, pears, bananas, and grapes are ideal, or prepare cut-up melon, pineapple, carrots, broccoli, and celery for a quick grab-and-go substitute for candy, chips, and crackers.
Unsalted mixed nuts — many of the pre-mixed offerings contain some amount of salt or oil, as well as “filler” nuts that have higher levels of fats. Choose three or four specific nut varieties — almonds, macadamias, walnuts, pistachios, for example — and create your own personal mix.
Check calorie and fat counts by serving size (typically 1/4 cup) and stash them in small containers to prevent over-indulging.
Dried fruit — raisins, cranberries, and mangoes are good choices. Be sure to buy organic and check labels for added ingredients like salt, sugar, and fats. Raisins are the biggest offender, as they’re often packaged with added unhealthy oils to prevent them from sticking together.
Eating the right foods is an important factor to a longer, healthier life
Our bodies require fuel and ongoing maintenance to stay in good running condition. Since we own the vehicle, we have control of how we take care of it — and how long we can keep it performing.
The best place to start is by making good eating decisions and incorporating a nutritious and balanced diet to bring your health to optimal levels.
Begin today by taking the steps and actions necessary to prevent medical issues — and all the negative baggage declining health brings along.
Just a few simple changes — baby steps — will result in positive benefits you’ll begin to feel and see every day.
It’s as simple as saying “Yes” to a stronger, better you!
Here are a few more tips for creating a healthier lifestyle:
5 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight
Tips for getting healthy, staying focused, and looking & feeling great — for the rest of your life.
Discover more tips and strategies for developing a positive mindset and achieving personal success in Real Life
Jill Reid is the author of Real Life, and founder of Pathway to Personal Growth and Kitchen Spirit. Her books and articles explore life, happiness, self-improvement, health, productivity, relationships, and personal success strategies for living longer and stronger through positive lifestyle choices.