Part 3 of 6–“Call Yourself Out!”
If you’ve made your Fitness Avatar (see Trick #1,) and you are practicing Mindfulness in choosing your foods and your activities (see Trick #2,) CONGRATULATIONS! You have come a long way toward making the Food Plan of your choice really work for you. Odds are, these little tricks are having a big effect on your weight and body shape. Remember this: little pebbles can make BIG ripples! If you haven’t tried them yet, please do.
We have come to one of the more difficult issues confronting weight loss: Honesty. It’s fairly easy to be honest with someone else—but are you being honest with yourself? This is a tough one, because most of us will swear we are telling ourselves the truth, and really believe we are, but our bodies will show us that we are not. As in: “Yes, I swear I followed the diet to the letter, not one little cheat, but I didn’t lose any weight!”
Rarely, and I do mean RARELY, someone will have a biological issue like a hormonal imbalance or thyroid condition that makes it very difficult to lose weight, even on a very low calorie diet. In those cases it really is the physical issue that is the problem. Far more often, however, there is an honesty problem. You think the handful of tortilla chips you snacked on don’t make a difference. You think the ½ piece of cheesecake you had at a party doesn’t count. You think that you don’t really have to give up your favorite alcoholic beverage, pasta dish, or scoop of ice cream.
Here’s the Truth: your body will count every single morsel of food and beverage you put in your mouth, whether you think it should be impactful or not. And that can prevent you from losing the weight you want to lose, because those “little” departures from the food plan can add up to some big calories.
Trick #3: Write It Down!
I know that the idea of keeping a Food Journal doesn’t thrill you, but here’s why it’s smack in the middle of the “6 Tricks:” it is a tool that will enhance all the other ones. I made a brief reference to it in the last blog post, but we need to get into specifics: in order to get a really good idea of why your body looks and feels the way it does, you have to know what kind of fuel you are putting into it. And it’s not forever; in fact, you should only need to record 3 days of meals and snacks to get a good idea of what you are honestly eating. (One of those days should be a weekend, because we often eat differently on those days than we do during the rest of the week.
Next, go to one of those websites that allows you to total up your calories by entering the food and serving size. MyFitnessPal.com is a good one, and it’s free. So is SparkPeople.com. CalorieKing.com, Weight Watchers and NutriSystem all have weight-loss assistance that is fee-based.
Add up the HONEST amount of food and calories that you have been taking in, and compare it to the weight-loss Food Plan you are following. See the difference? That cocktail, pasta, and ice cream may have added up to hundreds of calories that are preventing you from reaching your goals! Correct serving size is another big diet-breaker: you can’t double or triple the recommended amount and expect to see results! The exception to this is raw or steamed green vegetables, which are so good for you. You can’t go wrong loading up on broccoli, spinach or asparagus!
Once you know what you are really eating, take steps to get back on track. Start measuring your serving sizes. Find reasonable substitutes for your favorite high-calorie treats, like sparkling water with lemon instead of wine, or frozen fruit instead of ice cream. I love making marinara sauce with ground turkey, which I serve over roasted vegetables instead of pasta, and it’s absolutely delicious! And for Heaven’s sake, if there’s an unhealthy food that you absolutely can’t resist calling to you from the pantry, throw it out! It’s not worth the frustration and guilt.
Remember one other very important fact: it’s easier to STAY lean than it is to GET lean. You can indulge a little more, on occasion, when you have reached your health and fitness goals; however, you can’t go back to eating poorly for very long without negative consequences. Your commitment to health should last for a lifetime, not just for a few weeks in order to drop a few pounds!
When you get stuck, be honest. Keep a Food Journal. And blast through one more barrier to reaching your health and fitness goals!
Contact me for more information, motivation, or guidance! Nancy@N2Fitness.com