If Aladdin’s lamp found its way into your hands, would you include losing weight in your list of three wishes?
The rub with losing weight is that we’re commonly better at desiring for slimness than achieving it. And occasionally we even try too hard, going on a stiff decreasing routine that finally leaves our resolve limp as a rag. Here’s a reference with a lot less possible for backfiring: Take it easy.
“Your additional weight is the final result of numerous minor behavioral performances, things like eating between meals or driving to places only two blocks away,” describes Kelly Brownell, Ph.D., co-director of the Obesity Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “So you might lose weight by making numerous small, clever modifications in diet, workout and attitude.”
For sluggish but assured weight loss, draft into your daily behaviors as many of the following little ways to lose weight as you can. We say little because any single one probably won’t make much difference. But together they can change your behavior just enough to get you eating better, moving more and losing more!
- Go grocery shopping on a full stomach. Nacho chips, doughnuts and other tempters won’t have half the allure they would if you hunted pee those aisles hungry.
- Shop from a list of necessities. Alley yourself only one purchase that wasn’t preplanned.
- Carry restricted amount of cash to the grocery store as an additional support against purchasing high calorie foods.
- Call your partner or housemate in the kitchen with you while you’re cooking meals and cleaning up to keep you from sampling as you go.
- Don’t eat foods out of their original containers. You may think you’re having “just a tad,” but you’ll probably consume more than if you had dished out the food in a measured portion.
- Don’t keep your “weakness food” in stock. Present yourself with the hassle of going to the store for single servings if you can’t fight off a craving. This way you’ll either get some exercise (especially if you walk to the store) or you’ll decide the snack isn’t worth the bother after all.
- Remove food stashed in inappropriate places. Get the candy bars out of your desk drawer and remove the nut bowl from the coffee table.
- Downscale your brand of ice cream. If it’ll be a cold day in Key West before your freezer doesn’t have a carton of this confection waiting for you, buy the least expensive or a reduced-fat brand. Your intake of fat and calories will be considerably lower than if you eat the gourmet kind.
- Eat only at scheduled times in scheduled places.
- Use good plate psychology. Don’t use place settings with intense colors such as violet, lime green, bright yellow or bright blue; they’re thought to stimulate the appetite. The same goes for primitive-looking pewter and wooden plates. Instead, appease your appetite with elegant place settings in darker colors. Choose plates with broad decorative borders and concave middles. You can fit less food in them.
- Have someone else serve you, and ask for smaller portions.
- Police your eating speed by putting your fork down between bites. You will have eaten less food by the time you feel full.
- Establish a time-out routine halfway through your meals. One trick: Put a large pot of water on the stove when you sit down to eat. When it boils (in about 10 or 15 minutes), get up and make a pot of herb tea. When you go back to the table, you probably won’t feel like eating much more.
- Chew each bite of food at least ten times to really taste it and to make yourself eat more slowly.
- Use beaten or softened margarine or butter. You’ll extent the flavor round using a lot less than if it was firmand you had to scrape it on.
- Share desserts if skipping them is unthinkable.
- Leave the table as soon as you’re finished eating instead of lingering over the last bites.
- Don’t skip meals. You’ll only overeat later.
- Swear off elevators and escalators. Take the stairs.
- Forget about hiring a housecleaner and do the work yourself. Depending on your body weight, research show you can burn 195 to 305 calories for every hour you use mopping floors, washing windows and doing other jobs.
- De-automate your housework and make your body work harder. Wash dishes, mix batters and open cans by hand, hang your wash on the line instead of using a dryer.
- Exercise during television commercials. Those 3-minute spurts will keep you out of the kitchen.
- Go out dancing, miniature golfing, bowling anything active if you normally sit around and play bridge or watch television. The most calories you can burn in an hour playing cards is 95, but waltzing can whisk away 195 to 305 for every hour on the floor, and an hour of square dancing can stomp away 330 to 510 calories.
- Drink no-calorie sparkling waters when you’re out, instead of alcoholic beverages.
- Get rid of those degrading signs and pictures on your refrigerator no 300-pound women in bikinis or pink pigs on beach blankets to shame you into not eating. Your will power will be stronger from encouragement, not belittlement.
- Learn that it’s okay to say “No, thank you” when other people offer you food.
- Hold a conference and explain your weight-loss wish to family, friends or doughnut-bearing coworkers. Ask them to understand if you turn down their dinners or candy.
- Set a realistic goal for yourself. “Take it one day at a time and don’t punish yourself for slipping,” says Suzann Johnson, a registered dietitian and nutritionist with Weight Watchers International. “You’ll be more successful if you remember to be your own best friend.”