It is a time tested truth that our willpower is a finite resource and that any form of dieting is the fastest way to deplete it. Allow us to reiterate. Yes, losing weight is hard and the even more unfortunate truth is that when something is hard stress is sure to follow. Can you imagine saying no to your favorite comfort food after an especially difficult day? Curbing our indulgences is tricky enough on a regular day. Adding a bad day to the mix can make it downright impossible, thus adding to an already stressful day. Let’s say you have no trouble saying no to food that’s bad for your weight loss goals. Awesome, hats off to you. In these cases, the stress could come from having to think of the process. What will you eat? When are you going to be able to squeeze that work out in?
Do you even time to meal prep? Are your efforts paying off? Why am I not losing weight fast enough? Each question just adds another weight to the already daunting task of dropping the pounds. You could be shrugging your shoulders and declaring, “Well, so what? It’s always going to be stressful.”
Well, no, that’s not necessarily true. Check out the tips below for some stress-free ways to say goodbye to extra pounds.
Hungry? Then Eat
One of the biggest no-no’s when it comes to losing weight is waiting until you’re famished to eat. Waiting until you’re practically dying of hunger to eat is a surefire way to end up binge eating and once you’re done going on that food bender, the stress of your mishap is sure to follow. The stress-free and effective solution to this common problem is to eat as soon as you feel the hunger strike. If it’s not time to have a meal, eat a small snack like fruit, crackers, or a handful of nuts. Just make sure to keep healthy snacks handy to beat the hanger pans.
Make Water Your Best Friend
Seriously, water is a dieter’s best friend. Not only do many of us not get enough water in a day, we underestimate the role that water plays in our weight loss journey. Drinking water throughout the day, and in the quantity that we need, allows us to feel more full and eat less throughout the day. The easiest way to make sure that you’re drinking water regularly is to carry a water bottle around with you. It’s also crucial to find out exactly how much water you should be drinking to help you lose weight. Heavier set people, for example, will need more water when they’re trying to drop pounds than someone with a smaller frame.
Implement The Three-Bite Rule
One thing you have to understand about losing weight is that you’re always going to be tempted to cheat. The sooner you accept that, the faster you can say goodbye to an extra level of stress. When faced with the temptation to cheat, a great way to deal with it is by implementing the three-bite rule. The way it works is every time you’re overwhelmed by the beckoning of a sweet treat or sinful dish, go ahead and let yourself indulge a little – three bites, to be exact. Limiting yourself to three bites will also teach you to really savor the flavor of your food and to eat slowly. Once you’ve had your three bites, move on to the more diet-appropriate dish.
Find Your Inspiration
Motivation is a powerful tool in any aspect of life, but it seems that it’s extra powerful when it comes to weight loss. Finding motivation can come in many forms, but perhaps the most positive of motivators is in discovering other people who are on the same journey and have hit milestones successfully, reading fitness magazines or books about losing weight. It could even be as simple as hopping onto Pinterest and putting together a board of inspiring quotes, images or work outs and recipes that you want to try out. Figure out what motivates you best and then keep coming back to it.
Learn to Forgive Yourself
Listen, we all make mistakes. You are no different. There will be a point in your weight loss journey where you totally spin out of control or give in to that favorite food. You may even completely jump off the wagon and cease any efforts for a week. No matter what happens, don’t resign yourself to failure, beat yourself up or simply give up. It’s this mentality that keeps people over weight and unhappy. When your worst fear, in terms of your weight loss journey, becomes a reality, forgive yourself and get back to work. It’s important to keep looking forward instead of dwelling on the past, and when you learn to do it, you’ll find that the journey to a fitter and healthier isn’t so stressful anymore.
See No Evil, Eat No Evil
As lovers of food, we are more likely to stumble when we are surrounded by unhealthy food. It’s really easy to tell yourself you’re just going to have one piece of chocolate from the bag of Hershey’s sitting on your colleague’s desk. Then you’ll have another, and another and another. If you keep healthy options around, you’ll naturally eat better because that’s what’s available to you. A good way to make sure that you’re eating healthy food or snacks is to completely clear your refrigerator, cupboards or any other food stashes of junk and replace it with good-for-you treats. It’s handy, for example, to always have some form of fruit or nuts within reach. Portion them out ahead of time to make sure you don’t over eat either. Easy peasy.
Get Your 8-Hours In
Poor sleep + diet = a recipe for disaster. Sleep is an incredibly important part of losing weight as low levels of sleep can contribute to hunger and cravings. Lack of sleep also affects the leptin and ghrelin, hormones in our body that help to regulate our appetite, making us prone to over eating or binge eating. As much as possible, get a full eight hours of sleep in. If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to sleep more, go for it!