1. Don’t worry about your weight! The best way to shape up is to change your eating habits and increase physical activity. Exercise builds muscle mass which is more metabolically active than other body tissue. The more muscle, the more calories your burn while resting. If you increase muscle, your weight can actually increase, because it weighs more than fat. Repeat the mantra: “Muscle burns calories”, “muscle burns calories, “muscle burns calories!” Remember, the measuring tape is your friend and doesn’t lie. Use it in addition to the fat % test equipment to track your shape change, which is really what you want to see.
2. Eat soup! Use broth-based soups, loaded with veggies and beans. Enjoy kale, onion, garlic, ginger, basil, and other herbs as part of your soup. Try Thai or Vietnamese soups. Typically, they are loaded with good herbs and other nutrients. Soups tend to fill you up and not weight you down, so you avoid the afternoon lull as well!
3. Utilize some MAX10 craving busters:
- Count to 30. Taking your focus off of the craving and onto something else takes your attention away form that which you desire. Do this enough and it becomes second nature. It takes willpower! You can do it!
- Use your imagination… Imagine what you want to look, feel, and be like and then focus on that. Once you imagine it, then feel what it would feel like to look, feel, and be like you want. This will draw what you desire closer to you, and help steer you away from that which does not serve you any longer.
- Adopt new habits. Start drinking tea 5 times a day if you have to!
4. Look at your emotions and how they affect your behavior. Many people use food to distract themselves from whats really going on inside. Are you stressed, depressed, anxious, angry, or something else other than feeling calm and relaxed? If so, simply notice that you are feeling this way, and don’t judge it. Just notice that you are feeling this way. The act of allowing the feeling to be with you, will help you to also realize that the feeling is valid. But this is not hunger. If you feel like you habitually use food to self-medicate an emotional problem, talk to a mental health counselor.
5. Celebrate new foods! Instead of limiting yourself, enjoy new foods and newe tastes. Try adding one new food each week. Maybe you’d like to try papaya, or mango, or pomegranate? Try spaghetti squash, or quinoa.
6. Slow down and eat veggies first. Take time to enjoy your meal. The digestive system needs time to process that you are actually full. If you eat to fast, you can end up eating much more than you need. Try starting with veggies first. If you can satisfy the bulk of your appetite through veggies, then you’ll be less likely to reach or other, more high-calorie foods. Choose foods that force you to slow down. Hard boiled eggs, artichokes, kiwi, crab, shellfish, all take time to peel for example.
7. Stop eating so much sugar! The body needs sweet foods, just not the way you think. Human evolution required that we develop a taste for sweet things, like berries, so that we fulfill our nutritional needs like vitamin c. Don’t mistake the need for sweet things like berries and fruits for the need for pop.
8. Avoid emotional labels for foods. Try to not categorize foods as “good” or “bad,” or say that a person is “good or bad” based on how or what they eat. What you resist, usually persists.
9. Make exercise a part of your life. Train hard in MAX10, but also take time in between sessions to get out and do some other things outside, or enjoy some other group fitness classes. Make sure you include variety.
10. Talk! Discuss the stressors in your life with someone who is a good listener. This will help you alleviate them by not holding them in. If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Sometimes it isn’t the problem itself that is what causes the most pain, but the feeling of being alone in it.