Losing weight is not just about diet and exercise. It goes deeper than that. It is about self-control and learning to stop your self from giving in to that craving. More importantly, it is about motivating yourself to eat right so that you get all the required nutrition. Here are ways in which you can think yourself thin.
1. Stay positive
If you want to lose weight, always believe that you will. Being positive about your ability to reach a goal makes you confident and will in turn increase your will power to achieve it. “Don’t go to the gym thinking ‘I am so fat’. That can be painful and only de-motivate you. Instead, try telling yourself that you will look good at the end of this and it is eventually going to pay off,” says Mumbai-based psychologist, Jenisha Shah. Being hopeful will make you feel good and make you a happy person.
2. Be patient
Never expect results overnight. Even if you are just eating healthy, or combining it with a workout, it will take time to show. If you are working out after a long time, or if you are starting a new routine, your body will take time to get used to it.
The best way to get the best of it would be to increase your reps and sets slowly through the week or through the month (depending on how your body can take it), and to plan different healthy meals every day (eating the same thing everyday is not appealing!) “Make small changes at a time like opting for brown bread over white or going for grilled food over fried are small things that can be done easily too,” says Jenisha.
3. Decide if it is hunger or not
You’ve just had an enormous fruit plate, gulped down nearly half a jug of water, brushed your teeth and are still reaching out for that brownie. Find out if you are really hungry or if it is something else. You could be simply tired, low on sugar or emotionally distressed. Or simpler, you might just need some more water.
So stop for a few minutes before you zap that brownie into the microwave for a pre-bed-time-snack (you will only end up tossing in bed before you fall asleep) to think if you really, really need to have that brownie. “Focus on your food and listen to how your body responds to it. It will tell you when to stop,” says Chhavi Khanna, clinical psychologist, Hinduja hospital.
4. Plan your meals
Plan three of your meals, at least five times a week. Make sure you cover all the main categories- carbs, proteins and fat fruit, through the day. Make it a fun mix and match of dairy, fruits, veggies, breads, lentils, pulses, meat, fish, nuts, rice and pastas. This will make sure your body gets all the nutrients you want and will not make way for unnecessary cravings.
Plan your workouts too. “Try and workout first thing in the morning; so that you don’t worry about making it to your gym or yoga class at the end of the day,” says Jenisha. “But even if you slip-up and miss a session due to a heavily packed day or had a handful of chips, simply forgive yourself,” Chhavi says.
5. Give up emotional eating
Do you find yourself reaching out for that chocolate-chip cookie every time you are upset about something? Stop right there. Instead, take a few deep breaths, gulp down some water, go for a walk, listen to a few peppy numbers; and there, you are no longer bingeing on that unnecessary snack!
Practice relaxing methods like deep breathing and meditation so that you learn to deal with stress better. “Eating while bored, depressed, angry or anxious does not help. Grab a diary to write down all your feelings to avoid reaching out for food,” Chhavi suggests. Emotional eating provides less or no nutrition. It’s best to curb it.
6. Picture yourself thin
We’re sure you have a ‘will wear it when I am thin skirt/pants/top’. If everything else fails to motivate you to workout harder and stick to eating right, this one should definitely work. Picture yourself in the dress/top or the kind of clothing you want to se yourself once you reach your target weight. It will definitely push you to go for that extra rep or keep you away from that fried chicken wing.
7. Set small, realistic goals
Remember, that while being waif thin on the ramp may look appealing, but is not a healthy way to be. You are a real woman with lots of responsibilities (read: looking after kids, entertaining in-laws, cooking and deliver a kick-ass presentation at work!) So your mind and body needs that energy to cope with daily rigours.
Start by setting smaller and realistic goals at the start of your regime. “Decide on something small that you can do,” says Jenisha. Like losing 2 kilos in six weeks or toning one body part in three months. Don’t compare your success with any one else’s as each body is unique. What works for your friend may not work for you. And lastly, don’t be too tough on yourself. “Give yourself a little treat everyday, every week or whatever works for you as it will help you to keep going,” she says. An occasional treat/reward of a cheesy slice of pizza or a bar of chocolate won’t do you any harm.
Do you have any more tricks or tips to get yourself through healthy eating? Leave me a comment and let me know.