Knowing what to do for your diet is one thing. Doing them is another, and believe me, it’s a much more difficult undertaking. To make it easier for you so you can lose weight, you have to make it a habit.
But not all habits are hard to adopt. As a personal trainer in Singapore, I’ve learned that some habits are simple and easy to incorporate into your life, and they can help you tremendously.
Start with a regular eating pattern.
Whether you eat 3 meals or 6 smaller meals a day, you have to make it a habit to space your meals throughout the day. One of the worst things you can do is to skip breakfast and eat a very light lunch. You can become so hungry that you end up eating way too much for dinner and then spend the rest of the night munching on snacks.
Eat at regular intervals, so your body can keep your appetite under control.
Use a small and ordinary plate for your food.
Yes, this sounds a bit strange. But research studies show that when you use a fancy plate when eating, your mind plays tricks and makes you think that the food is much tastier. That makes you more likely to overindulge. But with a plain boring-looking plate, the food doesn’t seem as tasty, and that encourages you to eat less.
And a bigger plate also subtly encourages you to eat more, because most people have this innate tendency to fill up the plate. That makes you consume larger servings. Instead, use a small plate so even when you fill it up, you don’t eat too much.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Just keep the food away from easy reach. Better yet, keep it out of sight. You’re much more likely to munch on a snack that’s within reach, than a snack which you have to get from the top of your kitchen cabinet. It’s even better when you don’t see the snack at all, so you’ll forget about it.
Sometimes there are food items that call to you, like that pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream you placed in the freezer the other day. If that’s the case then don’t store any ice cream at all. You may be able to stop yourself from eating your favorite dessert or comfort food if you have to go to the grocery to buy it, rather than when it’s right there in your refrigerator.
The point is that you must never let it easy for yourself to eat what you shouldn’t. Keep them away, keep them hidden, or keep them out of the house.
Stay away from big eaters when eating.
It doesn’t mean that you have to cut ties with everyone who has a hearty appetite. What it means is that when it’s time to eat, you go your separate ways.
The reason is that people tend to copy the eating habits of other people. When they get large portions, you’re more likely to get large portions yourself. People even match the pace of fast eaters as well.
In the back of your mind, you’re just trying to fit in. And if other people are doing it, your subconscious is telling you that it must be alright. It’s for that reason former drug addicts are discouraged to hang out with friends when they’re taking drugs. Alcoholics shouldn’t hang out in bars.
Some experts hypothesize that the subconscious is telling us to eat fast or to eat more as you may run out of food. So if you have trouble limiting your food consumption, don’t eat with these people.
All of these things are easy enough to do day in and day out so they can eventually become your habits. Eat at regular intervals, use small boring plates, keep the food away, and stay away from big, fast eaters.
Coach Sharm, MSc