Are you frustrated by weight loss? Do you feel like you are doing everything right but still struggling to reach your goal?
If so, you are not alone. Every day, people give up on their weight loss goals because they are not seeing results.
Even if your nutrition is mostly sound, a few easily fixable issues may be preventing you from losing weight. Implement the following four strategies in your nutrition routine to alleviate your weight loss woes.
Many people are completely ignorant about their poor dietary habits or patterns. They simply don’t realize they are making critical mistakes.
To find out if you fall into this group, track your intake for three or four days (including two weekend days) with MyFitnessPal and Livestrong MyPlate. Don’t change your habits during this time. The goal is to see where you currently stand.
When you are finished, print out each day’s calorie total and look for patterns and weaknesses. Do you eat most of your calories at night? Are 25 percent of your calories coming from juice, soda or coffee drinks? Are condiments or dressings unnecessarily adding fat to your diet? These are just a few examples of what to look for.
Make Your Meals a Priority
Meals and snacks are often an afterthought when you are busy with a sport, work or life in general. You eat because you have to, often stuffing your face as fast you can so you can move on to the next thing.
However, eating large portions of food too quickly is an easy way to sabotage your weight loss efforts. You will be more likely to eat more than you need, because your stomach doesn’t have enough time to signal your brain that you are full.
Take at least 20 minutes and fully immerse yourself in the eating experience. Set everything else aside—including television, homework, Facebook, etc. Try to focus on the appearance, smell and taste of your food. Assess how hungry you are before you eat and how much you really need to eat before you feel full.
Your stomach will then have the opportunity to tell your brain that it’s still hungry or pleasantly satisfied.
Change Your Mindset
If you have the mindset that you can’t eat certain foods, those foods are exactly what you will crave. Change your thinking to, “I choose not to have an unhealthy meal right now and will instead opt for a healthier option.”
Keep in mind how food helps or hurts your performance and health. Eating well will improve all aspects of your life and make you a better athlete. And eating right can help prevent injury and illness.
Plan to “Cheat”
Plan to have one meal per week when you eat whatever you want. This is your “cheat” meal. Treat yourself to a food or meal that you’ve been craving. It may be tempting to eat this meal quickly, but remember to slow down, taste the food and enjoy eating food that you love.
For personalized recommendations on weight loss, find a registered dietitian who can cater to your individual sport, lifestyle or health needs. Visit www.scandpg.org.
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