I don't believe in quick fixes, pills, powders, or gadgets, but rather lifestyle habits to maintain success in health and fitness. The success of maintaining a healthy "eating lifestyle", specifically, lies in your brain. To get started, consider adopting these habits.
1. When eating a meal: Think about how much food you NEED to eat BEFORE you begin, remind yourself to eat slow and savor the flavor of each bite, and then stop eating when you're 'content'. These hints will prevent you from feeling full, lethargic, or even guilty once your meal is done. It can also prevent the cravings for sweets that can sometimes follow.
2. Before you go to bed: Have a touch of hunger in your stomach. This will prevent feeling bloated in the morning as well as cause your body to burn more fat over night.
These habits sound simple but can actually be very hard to develop. Number 1 takes forethought and planning ahead of time because you are mentally preparing to eat.....something that we don't usually think of needing to do. Number 2 causes us to battle the 'voices' in our head that tell us we're doing harm to our bodies by depriving ourselves of food late at night.....similar to withdrawal symptoms from a drug. We may also have emotional issues associated with eating which complicates things further.
The overall reason these habits are so hard to adopt is because our brain is lying to us. It's lying to us because we have conditioned it to by the way we have eaten for years and years. Maybe the "lies" started with habits we picked up from our parents when we were kids or maybe the bad habits started when we got out on our own.
Either way, re-training your brain is going to be necessary if you're stuck in a weight loss rut. But you don't have to do it all at once. Try implementing these habits one day the first week, then two days the next, and so on. I promise that if you stick with it, you'll feel better, you will lose weight, and improve your overall health.
The first few days is the hardest. But if you can get past that, you'll feel and see the difference quickly. After a few weeks, you will have established a habit pattern that when combined with your exercise program, will give you the healthy body (and mind) you want and need.
About Dave Schall: Dave is in his 7th year as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Westminster Christian Academy. He is a former Division I and Professional Soccer player and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education/Health and a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology/Physical Education. Coach Schall earned a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist credential in 2000. He has been married to Stephanie for 8 years and has a 5-year old daughter Madeline and a 3-year old son Colton