3 Rules for shedding unwanted pounds
- Don’t eat after 8 p.m.
- Weigh yourself every day
- Don’t eat anything white
No, these aren’t the three rules for shedding unwanted pounds, but unfortunately it’s what many Americans believe. You will be pleased to discover that the three rules are much simpler AND don’t involve taking food away. How about that? By the way, just for the record, I don’t think there is anything WORSE than weighing yourself every day…blah!
The three rules for shedding extra pounds come from research performed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. They are:
- Keep a food diary
In their studies, women who consistently kept a food diary lost about six pounds more than those who didn’t.
WHY? It keeps you accountable. It’s very easy to “forget” how much you’re really eating if it’s not written down. You can also more easily spot periods of non-hunger eating.
What you should do: Get a special notepad and simply write down what you eat after you eat it. At the end of the day, take a look at it. Are there periods during the day where you were eating mindlessly? Were you having an especially stressful day? What else was going on that caused you to feed your ‘Head Hunger?’
- Don’t skip meals
Those who skipped meals lost about eight pounds less than women who didn’t.
WHY? Skip a meal and your eyes grow bigger than your stomach. End result…overeating at the next meal!
What you should do: Eat three small meals each day and three small snacks in between. Never let more than 4-5 hours pass without eating something. A snack can be as simple as a piece of fresh fruit, a cheese stick or a 6 oz. container of Greek yogurt (Dannon Greek Yogurt is my favorite!)
- Pack your lunch
Women in the study who dined out more, lost less. Those who ate lunch out once a week or more lost about five pounds less than those who ate out less frequently. Results were similar for eating dinner out.
WHY? The caloric value of restaurant meals tends to be much higher than that of your standard brown bag lunch. For example, a lunch of an Asiago Roast Beef Sandwich and French Onion Soup at Panera Bread will cost you 920 calories. Compare that to the mere 430 calories you get from a packed lunch of tuna on whole wheat bread with a side of baby carrots and an apple!
What you should do: PACK YOUR LUNCH MORE OFTEN!
The bottom line: You don’t have to tackle all three of the rules at once. How about working on only one change per month?