Doing Life Together

weight-loss-2036969_1920This time of year, those of us determined to lose weight may be waning in our resolve. Let’s face it, the weight loss battle is not easily won. There are too many tempting foods and reasons to eat. So perhaps a little motivation is needed to get us back to our desire to drop a few pounds and improve our health.

And what better group to ask for a few tips than those who have lost at least 100 pounds. Here’s what they say works. Their success had to do with changing their relationship with food. Here are their six tips:

  • It’s a process you have to stick with over time. It took much reflection and changing my relationship with food. It wasn’t a diet, but a commitment to my health and lifestyle.
  • I stopped turning to food when stressed. This is especially true when I had persistent stress. Cortisol release increases appetite and your motivation to eat. There are other ways to cope with stress rather than eating as a response to it. I had to learn stress management strategies and practice them.
  • Sugar triggered more eating. The average person consumes 31 teaspoons of sugar a day. Only 12 teaspoons are recommended. Large amounts of sugar create fluctuations in blood sugar levels and stresses the body. High sugar foods can stimulate the brain to eat and crave. Therefore, if sugar is a trigger for you to overeat, cut it out of your diet or cut down on the amount you eat. For some, avoiding sugar aided their success.
  • I tracked my food intake. Watching when and why I eat through keeping a food journal kept me accountable for eating. Every time I put a bite of food in my mouth, I wrote it down. I was eating way more than I thought.
  • I treated my body like a truck! If I put bad gas or oil into it, it doesn’t run as it should. So eating unhealthy fast food and empty calories does the same. Part of losing weight and keeping it off is a change in what you eat in addition to how much. Think of how you are treating your body. Are you giving it good fuel to run efficiently?
  • Become a mindful eater. When you change your relationship with food to be one in which you focus on health and nutrition, it changes your food choices and reasons for eating. Be mindful of turning to food to comfort feelings. Be mindful of eating for reward, boredom and other emotions.

Bottom line for those who were successful with major weight loss was a complete change in how they thought about and used food in their lifestyle. Most said, a change in mindset had to accompany their weight loss efforts or they easily gave up.