3 Tips on Eating to Lose Weight By Someone Who Loves Food More Than You Do
Let’s face it, we know working out is hard, but for some people eating healthy is even harder: this is me. I’d rather workout for 2 hours than have to skip a chocolate chip cookie. There are several reasons I’ve needed to slim down for a while—the main one being I genuinely love food.
I’ve been raised around a self-taught chef who has made my palate more professional than her own. I grew up thinking everyone used Italian seasoning like salt and pepper and thinking provolone was a regular cheese. I’ll pretty much try anything once, and there is always plenty of food to try.
Eating healthy is the hardest part about losing weight for me. However, this won’t change the fact that I know, through several years of yo-yoing weight, this factor will make or break you—especially on those last 10 pounds.
Besides keeping a food journal, here are 3 tips to keep your palate pleased while whittling your waist:
1. Plan Healthy Substitutes
I love food, and I grew up approaching most salads as “rabbit food” because they were plain compared to the wonderful meals I could be having. The only way to change this is to continue making wonderful healthy meals. Don’t look at healthy food as diet food. Look at them as staples. Focus on all of the new food you can try. Ever had quinoa? Or take a stroll down Harmon’s produce department and see all the new fruit and veggies you can find. I treat myself to that once a month.
If you want to cook, there’s no excuse for having nothing to try. The Internet has makes this easier than flying a kite. White flour and corn syrup have become synonymous with “you want to die young,” so along with vegan, vegetarian, and healthy cookbooks, there are now entire social sites dedicated to this very art. While not all of them are worth pursuing again, many of these healthy recipes turned out better than the crappy take-out I used to eat instead. Find what you like and share with others. Once you’re in the maintaining phase, you can incorporate some of the sinful foods you used to enjoy.
2. Budget Your Calories
Remember that chocolate chip cookie I mentioned? While I love a well-made pasta dish, my real downfall is dessert. I have a sweet tooth the size of Montana. I’m not going to pretend this is easy to control, but I have found it helps to treat your calories like a budget. If you eat fewer healthy calories over several days, you’re safe to have a treat one day. One treat! Control is key! Even more benefits if it’s a healthy dessert substitute. This is hard to adjust to and you might slip up a few times, but learning to manage your eating is an important step to maintaining your weight changes later.
3. Plan Ahead When You Know Your Worst Temptations Will Be There
I can’t stress this one enough. This is particularly poignant for the losing weight portion of this. You will get invited to work luncheons, volunteer activities, and parties—especially during the holidays. These constantly revolve around food. If it’s for work, don’t be afraid to ask for a place you know has food you can order. I’ve also brought my own food to gatherings at my friends place. If this isn’t possible, eat something beforehand so you’re not tempted by the delicious smell and don’t eat anything. Yes, I know you may be thinking that is rude or unacceptable. But that begs the question, how much do you want it?
Losing weight is hard work, and it takes consistent, maintained effort to reach your goals. I’m not concerned with what the waiter thinks of me, I’m concerned about the number that will show up on the scale at Monday’s weigh in. If you’re concerned about your friends or coworkers, you can let them in on your effort. More than likely they’ll be impressed with your discipline.
I’m obviously not a nutritionist, but I’ve found these have helped me in adjusting to a new lifestyle. Yes, that is what eating has to become. There’s no point in losing the weight if you can’t maintain it, so treating food as off limits is as detrimental as eating everything you want because you’ll be more disappointed in gaining the weight back than in being overweight in the first place.
About the Author: Ashley Hasna is a movie, book, and food lover (hence the needing to shed some inches) who loves to work with social media. Despite eating healthy, she still loves brownies. Follow her on Twitter.