1-Think about places you sit in your home which trigger the desire to eat/snack. For me, one of the worst things to do is stay in the kitchen after I’ve eaten a meal. The longer I stay in the kitchen, the more I tend to gravitate to the fridge, the counter and the pantry looking for something else. Not because I’m hungry but because I need a better distraction and I need a change of scenery. One of my former clients found that one particular sitting area in their living room triggered the desire to eat. They changed where they sat and the trigger went away.
2-Exercise your “No” muscle. “No, thank you, I’m full.”, “No, thank you, I’ve had enough.”, “No, I’m sorry, I can’t make that event.”, “No, thank you, no more drinks for me.”, “I appreciate it but “No”, my stomach doesn’t feel right when I eat that.”, “No, I’m sorry, my schedule is too chaotic right now.”
3-Conversely, flex your “Yes” muscle. “Yes, I’ll take more vegetables.”, “Yes, I’d love to go for a walk.”, “Yes, I need to consider all of the things I’m grateful for.”, “Yes, I’d love to learn a new skill/hobby.”, “Yes, I’d like to book that therapy/self-care appointment.”
4-Comparing your caloric needs against someone else is (almost) pointless for the same reason as comparing your salary against someone else. Different people, different needs, different histories, different responses to stress, different life demands, etc. Your needs are your needs and they may not be fair but they’re still valid.
5-Feel your feelings. If you’ve used food to avoid your feelings, that may have been a useful and necessary tool in the past but at a certain point, you’ll need to acknowledge your feelings (especially the uncomfortable ones) and allow them to exist without using food/alcohol to wish them away.
6-Yes, your spouse/significant other loves you. Yes, they would do anything in the world for you. Yes, they have a list of great attributes. No, they may not be a great support for your fat loss goals. You can either help them understand your triggers and vulnerabilities to help them improve their support or you can hire someone to help you…or likely both.
7-Fat loss plateaus are to be expected but don’t make the mistake of assuming that because your diet is “mostly” healthy that it’s calorically appropriate for fat loss. You’re either eating/training to achieve an energy deficit or you’re not. That’s not a judgment. You can eat the most nutrient rich diet on the planet and too much will still be too much.
8-Have a strategy/philosophy for how you eat when life gets unpredictable. Is it a protein-centric choice? Can you moderate the amounts? How will that choice make you feel after you eat it? What is the most beneficial way to approach that meal/those food options?
9-If you struggle with binge eating, heal that first before you tackle fat loss. Yes, some degree of fat loss may occur when you reduce the frequency and size of your binges but the binge behaviors need to be the first priority of change.
10-Some people “can” outrun the fork, however, if you’re not going to commit to training more than you currently do and the scale isn’t moving, then you either have to dial down the intake, or dial down the intensity of training to reduce your hunger signals. Chronically punishing yourself for your food choices through training can be a sign of exercise bulimia.
11-Be kind to yourself. Feeling shame over your appearance or guilt over how you eat may get you off the couch to make a change but at a certain point, you’re going to have to respect that magnificent and amazing body of yours for what it’s capable of and stop hating it to the finish line.
12-If you are not psychologically in position to lose fat, don’t despair. A weight neutral approach to your health, still counts. Just start moving and get consistent with your movement practice. When the time is right, you can focus on fat loss. You may only need to lose a fraction of your current weight to improve internal markers. Stay current on your comprehensive blood work to see what’s happening beyond the number on the scale. A drop of 5-10% of your current weight may be all that you need to see improvements in bloodwork.
(Photo courtesy of AllGo)