leah in hawaiiWell, I was excited the other day because I had lost 3 pounds.  Then, a few days later, I gained back 2 pounds.  I know that I’ve been exercising 5-6 days a week for 4 weeks straight and I’ve really toned up.  I know that muscle weighs more than fat, but it’s still frustrating when you don’t see much change on the scale.  Some days I look in the mirror and know I’ve toned up and slimmed down, but my mind starts to have doubts.  I start to wonder how much I’ve really accomplished.

This is one of the toughest problems to overcome – the mind games and self doubt.  Our thoughts can control us and even sabotage our good intentions.  Losing weight is a slow process.  It’s like planting a seed and waiting for it to grow.  We keep watering the seed even though it doesn’t start growing right away, because we have faith that it will grow.  We know that it will grow because past experience has shown us that providing the seed with the right amount of sunlight and water will bring results.  Many people that have gained weight, have not yet gone through the process of losing weight, so they have doubts about whether it will work.  They might not know where to start or what they need to do.  Watering a seed is much simpler than losing weight and doesn’t take a big commitment, but if you sat there and watched and waited for something to happen, you would get frustrated.  The key is to walk away and not focus on it all the time.  When trying to lose weight, we need to do the same thing and not dwell on it all day.  That’s difficult to do when you have to watch what you eat all day.  The key is to stay active to take your mind off it.

There is a lot of information out there on how to lose weight and it becomes overwhelming.  The main thing to remember is that to lose weight you need to either decrease the number of calories you consume or burn more calories or a combination of both.  Then stick to it consistently even if you can’t see the results right away.  It’s important not to give up.  Losing weight takes time, just like that seed you plant.  You have to have faith and patience.

There are some mental tricks that we can use to help us lose weight and eat healthier.  First you can use a smaller plate and glass.  When your plate looks full you are less likely to refill it and eat more and you will eat smaller portions.  If you use a smaller glass, you may drink less because you would have to refill it several times and you are more conscious of how much you are drinking.  When you eat out, most restaurants offer free refills on pop or soda and you end up consuming a lot of calories just from the drinks.  You should either order only water, which has no calories and you can drink as much as you want or order water with your other drink and alternate between them.  You’ll end up drinking less of the sugary beverage.

The easiest trick to eating healthy is not to buy snacks, candy, chips and other unhealthy foods.  If they aren’t in the house, you won’t eat them.  However, when there are other people in the house with you that want those types of food, it’s not always possible to keep from buying them.  One thing I do is buy the snacks that they like, but I don’t really care for.  My husband likes chips, but I can take them or leave them.  However, I do like corn chips, so I try to buy other chips that I don’t really like.  If you do have snacks in the house that tempt you, put them in a cupboard or drawer that you don’t get into very often.  I used to have snacks in the cupboard where I keep my bread, but every time I opened it, I would be tempted to eat them.  I now keep candy in the cupboard with my good china.  I’m less likely to see it, so I’m less likely to be tempted.  Another option is to put them in a cupboard that is harder to get to.  For example, a cupboard that is out of reach and you need a chair to get to it.

On the other hand, keep healthy snacks readily available.  When you buy fruit or vegetables, be sure to wash them right away and have them in the front of your refrigerator so you can see them and reach them easily.  When I get home from work and start making dinner, I sometimes set out fruit or vegetables to munch on while I’m cooking, so I don’t snack on something unhealthy.  The more colorful the fruits and vegetables are, the more attractive they look and the more likely you will be to eat them.  You can also store them in see through containers, so you don’t forget about them.  When you put them in a bowl use a bright colored bowl that contrasts with the color of the fruits or vegetables.  This will be more pleasing to the eye and look more appealing to eat.

These are just a few tricks that I have found to work over the years.  If you have other ideas, please share them under comments.  Thanks for reading my blog and have a great day!