Hey guys - I was brainstorming the other day about some tricks and tips that might help some of you with your weight loss goals. I'm no master, but these are just some thing I came up with to help ME and hopefully they will help you too.
-Choose filling foods and snacks. Filling foods will have more calories, which may deter you initially, but they will allow you eat less over the course of the day, lowering your over all calorie count. Good filling foods include oatmeal, nuts, beef jerky, etc.
-Chew gum. Sometimes I find myself a little "peckish" around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Instead of running to the vending machine, I unwrap a piece of gum. 5 minutes later the urge is gone. It may not work for everyone - but it's worth a try, right?
-Drink water!! I drink at least 2 liters of water a day. It keeps you occupied, it keeps your stomach feeling full, it is good for your digestive system and your skin (the dark bags under my eyes that I used to have to hide with layers of concealer every morning have all but disappeared since I started drinking this much water). If you simply can't drink plain water, add a little lemon juice to it, or a few slices of cucumber, ginger, lime - whatever!
- DO NOT eat fast food. I have not had a single item of fast food in 2009. And I haven't wanted any!! Why? Because I have started making sure that when I leave the house for the day I have packed myself a healthy lunch and low-calorie snacks. The best way to keep yourself from eating bad foods is by providing yourself a tasty alternative. I always cook a little extra for dinner so I have left overs for lunch at work. I keep a bag of rice cakes in my cabinet in my office and every day I bring a piece of fresh fruit, yogurt or a slim fast shake with me. This all helps ward off the McD's urges I used to get.
On the weekends when we run out for errands, I pack an apple or some beef jerky or SOMETHING that will keep me away from the chips at the register of Target or from pulling in to that all-too-convenient drive thru.
-Stay busy. Sometimes when I get home from work the only thing that drives me to the cupboard is .... boredom! Now when I get home, I play with the dogs, take them for a walk, read my favorite magazine, pick up a book, work on a craft project, GO TO THE GYM - whatever it takes to keep from sitting on the couch with a bag of doritos. When you're occupied you don't have time to think about all the things you could be binging on.
-Stretch. I have no idea why this works - but if you're feeling that mid afternoon stomach gurgle....stand up, do some stretches - do a quick sun salutation, do some side stretches, etc. Supposedly, side stretches help facilitate the function of your internal organs. Maybe this is why it seems to make me less hungry, I dunno, but for me, it works. It can't hurt, right?
-Post a picture of yourself at your ideal weight on your fridge door or pantry or cupboard (wherever you stash the snacks). When you go there to reach for your favorite naughty thing, look at that picture and ask yourself 'is it more important that I eat this food or that I feel as good as I felt in that picture?' I bet the answer will always be the same.
-REMEMBER when you work out - you burn more calories. Therefore, your body will require you to consume more calories to account for this. SO often people start a diet and exercise regiment at the same time and then get frustrated when they feel hungry all the time. This is because you're working your body harder than it is used to, and it is burning calories like crazy. It will require a little extra food when you do this. Don't feel guilty about it - just make good choices about the calories you do consume.
A lot of times before I go to the gym I will eat a spoonful of peanut butter - it gives me the calories (aka - energy) to get through my workout without feeling famished or light headed, but it's not an overwhelming amount of bad fats, sugars, etc.
I hope these tips and tricks help you. If you have any more good ideas like this, please comment with them or put your own 'tips and tricks' post together. It's fun and helpful to see what we're all doing to over come those urges.