1 Trick for Losing Weight And Keeping It Off
by Kathy Smith
Here’s shocking news — a recent study shows that it’s especially tough to avoid added calories on the weekends. Susan B. Racette, PhD at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that not being mindful of your weekend eating patterns adds an additional 9 pounds a year to your waistline! After tracking 48 women, she found that participants naturally ate a few hundred additional calories a day (100-300) on the weekends, comprised of foods higher in fat.
So imagine you are sitting on the couch with your kids watching television this weekend when a bag of salted chips comes your way. You ask yourself, “should I have one?” You know that each chip is only about 10 calories, and that isn’t much. This is when you need to recall previous times you were in the same situation.
Did you eat just one? If you didn’t—and you ate half a bag, which is 600 calories—then the best decision today is to pass the bag to someone else.
I advise anyone who is trying to lose weight (and keep it off) to identify her own eating patterns. Tune in to the foods and eating situations that often trigger overeating or binges. Everyone is different when it comes to trigger foods.
I used to have a problem with chocolate. If it was in my kitchen it didn’t last long. One bite led to two, then three and four. At one point I banished it from my house because there was no chance I could eat it in moderation.
I have learned that it is usually easier to simply say “no” to even one chip or candy. It is much harder to stop a binge when it is in progress. So this weekend, it’s important to consider your past habits.
Rely on your food and fitness tracker
Our bodies and our fitness levels are created by old habits and old patterns. That is why tracking your food intake and exercise activities is so helpful. Whether it’s digitally through a fitness tracker (like MyFitnessPal, Jawbone or FitBit), or keeping notes in a food journal, staying aware helps you become more in-tune with your habits and patterns.
High-tech gadgets, like Fitbit, that have hit the market in recent years take the guesswork out of your calorie burn and caloric intake, and they allow you to gauge your food-fitness relationship. From smart phone apps to wristbands devices, and other handy interactive tools, tracking your caloric expenditure, activity levels, and fitness goals is easier than ever. I like trackers because they clearly show how effective an exercise is and often motivate you to take your workout to the next level.
In the hum of daily life, we’re often unaware of how our behavior falls into patterns and how we repeat the same mistakes until we see it recorded. In reviewing my own journal, for instance, I discovered that I have a habit of eating trail mix right from the bag. That can lead me to eat multiple servings. I didn’t realize until I did the math how many calories I was mindlessly consuming. Now I remind myself to measure out one portion so I don’t overeat.