Weight loss seems to take forever. Each pound lost is a victory, and the fear of regaining the weight you lose is real. The last thing you want to do is have eating habits that make your weight loss even slower than it already seems. Here are six habits that might be slowing down your weight loss. Break these and get to your goal weight faster.
1. Eating Too Fast
My mom used to tell me that I inhaled my food and she was probably right. Eating fast is a common problem and one that doesn’t do your weight loss any favors. In fact, some researchers found that chewing your food thoroughly not only slows down your eating speed but might help you lose weight because you eat less food.
If you are always the first one done, here are some quick tricks to help you slow down:
– Chew more times- Put your fork down between bites- Be the liveliest conversationalist at the table- Take a sip of water every few bites
2. Not Planning Your Meals
Meal planning takes time, I get that. But the time it takes is 100 percent worth the outcome. When you know what you are going to eat before the day begins, you can control your calorie intake much more easily.
Get in the habit of planning at least a day in advance and work up to weekly meal planning.
3. Eating with Large Groups of People
Large groups of friends are great fun to hang out with. However, it can be hard to stick to your diet when you are eating out with them. I was very easily influenced by what my friends were ordering. It didn’t take much for me to be persuaded to go along with the crowd and have the fried mozzarella sticks instead of a salad as an appetizer. Before I knew it, I would have eaten all my calories in one meal.
I’m not saying to never go out with a lot of people, but instead be mindful of your diet when you do. Decide before you head out what you will order, how much you will eat or drink, and stick to your decision. Set a reminder on your phone or even ask a friend to help you stay strong.
4. Not Paying Attention
Raise your hand if you’ve ever finished eating and been surprised by how much you ate. I know I have.
Pay attention to what you are eating and how much, especially in social situations. How easy is it to stand around the food table at a party and eat cookie after cookie or handfuls of chips? Way too easy.
Practice mindfulness when it comes to food. Look at what you are about to eat, take the time to really savor the flavors, and stop before you are full.
5. Going Too Long Between Meals
Starvation and healthy weight loss don’t mix. If you let yourself get super hungry between meals, you are going to have a hard time controlling how much you eat when you finally decide to eat.
If your job is busy and you forget to eat your lunch, set a reminder on your phone to eat. If you are deliberately skipping meals in an attempt to speed up your weight loss–stop. It won’t help and will backfire.
Eat on a schedule that works for you. The members of the National Weight Control Registry, who must successfully maintain their weight for at least a year to attain membership, typically eat five small meals a day.
6. Grazing While Cooking
A taste here and there while preparing meals won’t hurt your weight loss, will it? Well, it can if you aren’t careful.
Here’s an example:
You are making lunch for you and your child. After you spread the peanut butter on her bread, you put the knife in one last time and then eat the peanut butter. You’ve probably just had 100 calories in one bite. Then, if you take some of your child’s crackers and cheese while preparing a snack, there are another couple hundred calories.
Grazing while preparing meals backfires big time. When I cook, I often chew gum or make a deliberate effort to not have a large taste before I sit down to eat whatever I’m cooking. Find a technique that works for you and stop grazing while cooking.