Here at CHRIAS one of our concerns is to help support and educate people who have been battling weight problems. Often obesity can become a cyclical challenge where the more weight that is gained, the more challenging it becomes to lose it. Today we’d like to give you some tips on how to help get out of that cycle:
- Portion size matters! Smaller portions = fewer calories. Good old portion control is one of the most effective ways to control weight gain. If you still feel hungry after finishing a healthy portion, have some lemon water and then shift your focus to something that will keep your body involved: go for a brisk walk, do some laundry, play an instrument or re-paint the walls in your bathroom.
- Easy does it. In other words, slow down. The “I’m full” signal sent from your stomach reaches your brain with a significant delay, so by the time you feel full, it’s already too late. Be present and savor every bite. Thoroughly chewing will also improve your digestion. Try mentally describing your meal; that will slow you down and help you enjoy it more. Do not “invite” television or other distractions to your table, or you’ll be more likely to overeat!
- Do a balancing act. Make sure you eat a well-balanced meal that contains protein, a small amount of healthy fats and lots of fiber. These foods are dense in important nutrients that also help speed up your metabolism. Go natural. “Break up” with processed foods containing preservatives, chemicals, and too much salt or sugar.
- Ready, set… munch! Be prepared and keep healthy snacks within reach. When you feel cravings creep up, have some almonds, baby carrots, apples, etc. As a rule of thumb, make sure you chew your food thoroughly. And move the snack bowl further, to make it less convenient to reach.
- Occupy… yourself! Work on home projects, write an essay, help your neighbor – get busy & explore your creativity! Keeping busy is a great way to take your mind off food and empower yourself.
- Knowledge is power. Educate yourself. Learn about the harms of processed foods and what they do to your body. Watch movies like “Food, Inc.” and “Supersize Me”. Research. Investigate, become an advocate and teach others. You might be surprised at how the sense of purpose may help reduce the significance of unhealthy food in your life.
- “Move it, move it.” We know, you’ve heard this too many times, but hey, you don’t have to suffer! Choose a physical activity that lifts your spirit – it’ll make it easier to motivate yourself. Maybe try cranking up some fun music and dancing, and if you’re shy, do it alone. Dance your heart out, let yourself be a kid again, don’t be afraid to be silly and outrageous and celebrate life! Not only will you burn some serious calories but it’s a great therapy tool, and the endorphins will help brighten your day.
- Burn baby, burn. Remember that muscle burns fat! Consult your doctor to see what kind of strength exercise is right for you, and go for it. Again, music can make a big difference: it has been proven that energetic music with a strong, rhythmic beat helps us focus on the workout and perform better. While working out, encourage yourself in positive terms, like “I can do this”, or “I will conquer!”
- Don’t worry, be happy. Our brain is wired to move us toward the aim of our focus. Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution and plan for success. By thinking of excess weight, you make things harder. Instead of asking yourself “Why can’t I lose weight?” say, “What can I do to slim down and enjoy the process?” Shifting your focus towards a positive goal will make things a bit easier. Watch inspirational videos on YouTube, work with your mind and “pump” yourself up every day, keeping a strong focus on your goal.
- Write it down. Put your goals on paper. Create a schedule that includes some regular “me time”, when you can honor your best interests and indulge in a healthy activity that does not involve food (take a bath, get a massage, arts & crafts, etc.). Make sure to schedule your meal and snack times, and stay away from food in-between (avoid “accidentally” walking into your kitchen). Create small fitness goals and plan for daily exercise to work toward them. Writing everything down and going over your schedule daily will help you stay on track.
- A little help from a friend. Attend a support group, or even build your own. Create a “slim-team” with a buddy who is encouraging and will hold you accountable. For an additional boost, consider hiring a life coach or use professionally developed self-empowerment tools.
- Say “Om”. Work with meditation and relaxation techniques. There are many different ways to relax your body and mind. Studies have shown that meditation can help balance your life and get rid of addictive or compulsive behaviors.
- Celebrate good times, come on! Acknowledge every little achievement. Each time you meet a small goal, do something to reward yourself for your efforts like going to a spa, a museum, or spending time with those you care about.
We know that the road to healthy weight can be long and challenging. Sometimes a surgical solution to a weight problem becomes the best answer to freedom from the challenges of obesity. As a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, CHRIAS is a home to an outstanding team of skilled and knowledgeable professionals are happy to assist you in your ultimate quest for health. To sign up for our free seminar, schedule a consultation or learn more about our service, please visit our website. You can also call us at 302-890-9900.