41. Think on it
How satiated we feel a few hours after we eat depends not on how much we actually scarfed down but on how much we think we ate. It pays to pay attention to what we eat… it’s actually okay to eat with our eyes.
Emotional eating—essentially eating to make ourselves feel better (often when we’re sad or anxious)—can interfere with weight loss goals . But meditation—using techniques like muscle relaxation and achieving self focus—can help binge eaters become aware of how they turn to food to deal with emotions.
43. Reel off Mantras
Sometimes we just need a little fire under our tushies to get motivated. If you’d rather forgo the literal bonfire, try out some motivational mantras. Hang up an inspirational poster, write it on a sticky note at work, or scribble it on your roommate’s forehead when she’s sleeping as a reminder of your health and fitness goals. Added plus: Mantras don’t cost a thing!
A lot of stress can trigger increased eating and cravings, especially for sugary carbohydrates . If pressure at work or a family burden has got you feeling overwhelmed, try out one of these ways to reduce stress before pawing at that donuts.
45. Add, Don’t Subtract
Instead of fixating on cutting out cookies, cake, pizza, and all that heavy cream in your morning coffee, focus instead on adding healthy foods to your menu. Ditching all the “bad” stuff can be a daunting task, one that’s easier to stick to by focusing on one habit at a time (science says it takes anywhere from 18-254 days to form a habit). Add in as many healthy habits as you’d like—drink more water, stock up on fresh fruits and veggies—and slowly wean off of the not-so-good-for-you goodies.
46. Envision the Goal
Time spent visualizing what you would look and feel like with a few less pounds, can help acknowledge the health and fitness changes necessary for successful weight loss. Research suggests that imagining achieving an exercise goal—like running a 5k, or increasing weights for your next workout—can actually enhance performance.
47. One Habit at a Time
There’s an idea that focusing on less helps us achieve more. Changing a habit is tough, but trying to tackle a whole handful may seem impossible. Instead, concentrate on changing one behavior at a time. Start small and make clear guidelines for a set habit. For example, if you’d like to increase veggie intake, decide to eat three different vegetables each day, or 1 cup with each meal. And remember, small changes can lead to gradual weight loss.
48. Think Big Picture
So you’ve “banned” chocolate cake, but decided to go for just a small taste. Instead you polished off a full slice. It’s so easy to go totally overboard on an old habit. Instead of blowing it if you’ve slipped up on a new goal, think of the big picture. Focus on the change rather than what’s being eliminated (either a “bad” food, or a bad habit). Live in the moment to successfully make new healthy habits.
49. Sleep Smart
Sleep can not only reduce stress, help us heal faster, and prevent depression, it can also help shave off some pounds because sleep loss is linked to changes in appetite and the metabolism of glucose (sugar in the blood) . Moral of the story: Sleep is associated with less weight gain . Take a look at our guide to sleep positions to optimize those hours spent tucked under the sheets. And try other solutions for extra Zzs like turning off electronics in the bedroom and avoiding large meals late at night.
50. Get Social
Check out online communities (like on Facebook, Twitter, or other forums) that provide support and encouragement. One study showed that overweight adults who listened to weight-loss podcasts and used twitter in tandem with a diet and physical activity monitoring app lost more weight than those who did not go social . Sharing progress and setbacks on social media platforms can help users feel accountable for their goals.
More tips will be in Part VI.