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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Thinking Weight Loss

Are you subconsciously playing mind games that are preventing you from succeeding in losing weight? Do you unknowingly talk yourself out of losing weight on Monday to lose weight, so that by Friday, you're all the more dismayed that you haven't lost any?

Changing your self-talk is the first step to take when you feel that you can never lose weight. But change it to what, exactly? Well, consider the following four pointers as they indicate the barely-discernible internal conversations you often have with yourself...and how you frequently end up persuading yourself away from your own weight loss goals.

1. Ignoring breakfast may hinder weight loss.

Generally, you think you will eat fewer calories by cutting back on what you eat for breakfast. Much research suggests that when people do this, they consume many more total calories per day. In other words, this food plan generally just backfires for most people. Other research shows that when people consume large calories in the morning, they use these calories to meet their energy requirements in a more worthy manner. They tend to store smaller amounts of that potential energy in their fat cells. Hence, eating the largest portion of calories at the end of the tail is theoretically less efficient for body weight and total energy consumption rates. Locally, I've heard a lot of talk about how farmers would historically eat big breakfasts replete with eggs, bacon, toast (with butter), and just about any other traditional home-style breakfast food of which you can think. It was further noted that these farmers were seldom overweight; this may be a puzzling paradox to the uninformed, but I don't find it surprising at all. The farmers were simply top-loading their daily intake of calories -- often of an unintentionally ketogenic variety, overall, with a lot of full-fat dairy foods -- and as very active as they were in their days, they easily used up virtually all the calories they had consumed. So, it's best to defy the common self-talk that says, "I know...if I skip breakfast every day, I'll lose weight."

2. Beware of eating too many pre-packaged foods.

Try to reduce dependence on pre-packaged items for your meals, and if you do use them, be sure to read their labels. This is a case where part of you wants to do the best thing for your weight loss plans, and eat something you may have to prepare from scratch, but another part of you prefers to take the easy way out and just pop something frozen in the microwave. It's best to remind yourself that it's well worth the extra effort and time to be able to make something over which you can exercise complete control over the ingredients, to the exclusion of anything you really don't want among them.

3. Review restaurant menus in advance, if you can.

While not all restaurants (like small diners, for instance) may provide the nutritional data of what they serve, you can at least peek at the menu online before your dinner date. This way, you can start thinking about the best meal options for you before entering the restaurant, which helps you avoid making immediate rush-decisions on your choices. Once you meet with friends in the restaurant, your planning strategies for choosing healthy alternatives generally fade away. If, instead, you think in advance about what's offered on the menu, at least you'll be better protected against ordering something you may later regret diet-wise.

4. Rely on conscious choosing instead of "willpower" for better long-term weight loss results.

Maybe you've already tried "willpower" as a weight loss strategy; didn't work so well, did it? Try instead to always think of everything in terms of choices, and whatever you do, at least be conscious of the choices you make. For instance, when you're shopping at the grocery store, be aware of the store's layout, and how they arrange displays attractively to try to sell products. If you feel yourself veering toward the purchase of an obviously-displayed item, such as some kind of confection which won't be so good for your diet, just stop for a moment and think about what you are about to do. This certainly doesn't guarantee you won't fall for whatever it is which has temporarily excited your taste buds, but the more conscious you are in your decisions, the less you'll make so many "impulse purchases" that don't do your weight loss objectives any favors.

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