How To Shift Your Focus From Weight Loss to Healthy Living
Susie Burrell on why food will always be your friend, not your enemy.
When you have weight loss goals, it's easy to get bogged down in counting calories, exercising, and micromanaging your food intake. While it takes a certain level of focus to achieve a sustained weight loss calorie deficit, it can also be a slippery slope. When you spend too much time thinking about what you eat, it can do more harm than good!
Instead, you can shift your focus from your weight loss focus to developing sustainable healthy habits. This less restrictive approach will support you in achieving the weight loss goals you may have, minus the dieting or deprivation.
Here's how to shift your focus from weight loss to healthy living.
focus on vegetables
One of the most effective ways we can support weight management and your overall health and well-being is to significantly increase our intake of nutrient-dense, low-calorie vegetables and salads. You should aim to have at least one to two cups of vegetables with each meal and at least one vegetable with each snack.
Not only will this improve your overall nutrient intake, but your calorie intake will naturally decrease as well. This helps manage weight without extreme restriction or calorie counting.
Calorie control has nothing to do with weighing and measuring food. Instead, focusing on meal balance and what's on your plate is key. A well-balanced meal includes a good portion of salad and vegetables, along with a palm-size (or ¼ plate) of protein, and a palm-size portion of high-quality whole grain or plant carbohydrates. If you need to exercise stricter calorie control, you can always replace carbs with extra vegetables, use leaner protein or stick to a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) such as BioSlim for a period of time to start losing weight. No scales needed!
pay more attention to hunger
This may seem like an overly simplistic suggestion, but waiting until you're really hungry until you've enjoyed a meal or a snack is something few of us stick to. Instead, we often find ourselves eating at mealtimes, or when others are eating, or when delicious food is being served. Linking our meals and snacks to real hunger is the best thing we can do for long-term weight control.
planning is key
Many of us know what we “should” be eating. We know which foods are higher in sugar, fat and calories. We know that salads are a better choice than burgers, and that fried foods and processed snacks are less nutritious than fresh fruits, lean meats and vegetables. However, when we find ourselves busy, pressed for time, and without healthier options at hand to eat well, our food choices can be thrown off course. It is for this reason that planning is key to diet success.
Planning your meals and snacks each week can help facilitate meal prep and ensure you don't get caught without the meals and snacks you need to maintain a healthy diet. This also means setting aside time each week for planning is a critical step in any healthy diet and weight management.
Chances are you've been restricting your diet at some point, just overindulging a little, and then find yourself feeling guilty, falling into the mindset that since your diet is now “ruined,” there's no point in continuing. Dieting cycles are very common, with people believing that there is a “perfect” way to eat, and failure to achieve these goals means that any dieting is pointless.
Shifting from this cycle to one in which healthy eating still includes regular indulgences is the key to changing this mindset forever. Once you accept that the occasional high-calorie meal is part of any healthy, sustainable eating plan, you'll be able to break the eating cycle once and for all.