We all indulge over the holidays, and what feels fun and festive leading up to New Years, can make your jeans feel a bit too snug after the fact. Whether you’re looking to shed a couple extra pounds or make an entire lifestyle overhaul, Rick Gallop’s The G.I. Diet covers the ten behaviors that must be addressed if you are to be successful in reaching and maintaining weight-loss goals…
So kick off 2010 with some healthy choices:
1. Skipping Breakfast: When most people get up in the morning, they generally haven’t eaten for 10-12 hours. As a result, skipping breakfast will certainly cause you to snack throughout the day, and you’ll most likely reach for high-calorie, high-fat foods. By the time evening rolls around, you’ll be starving and stuff yourself at dinner. Lesson of the day: eat breakfast.
2. Not Taking the Time to Eat Properly: It’s easy to slip into a cycle of fattening convenience foods or short-term energy fixes. But it really only takes 15 minutes to make a healthy breakfast in the morning. If you can’t fix your own lunch, there are healthier options than a slice of pizza. And if you eat well throughout the day, you’ll have much more energy to prepare a quick dinner at home, versus picking up waist-expanding take-out.
3. Grazing: A few nuts here, a couple of cookie there, a tablespoon or two of peanut butter, and a few glasses of juice all look pretty harmless in themselves, but taken together, they can easily total several hundred extra calories a day! And those can add up to more than 20 pounds of additional weight a year.
4. Unconscious Eating: Eating should never be a peripheral activity—it should always be the focus. Eat your meals at the table, and set aside distractions such as the TV, computer, video games or telephone while you have your snacks. Eat consciously and be aware of exactly how much you’re ingesting.
5. Eating Too Quickly: It takes 20-30 minutes for the stomach to let the brain know it’s full. So if you eat slower it allows your brain to catch up with your stomach. At meals, put your fork down between bites and really savor the flavors and textures of what you eat.
6. Not Drinking Enough: Did you know that by the time your feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated? You’re body’s need for water is only second to its need for oxygen. Always carry water with you, drink eight glasses of fluids a day, and being hydrated will go a long way to helping control appetite and weight loss.
7. Rewarding Exercise With Food: It’s common for people to reward themselves with food for exercising. But what often happens is the cookie you consume as a reward adds more calories than is expended during your exercise.
8. Cleaning the Plate: This deeply entrenched habit, taught at a young age, is not a friend of your waistline. Get into the habit of letting your stomach—and your brain—not the quantity of food on your plate—determine when you are full. Put out only enough food for the meal—no extras.
9. Shopping on an Empty Stomach: Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea. So make sure you shop after a meal, or take a snack with you—you’ll make far wiser choices this way.
10. Eating High-Sugar, High-Fat Treats: Food is a huge part of the holidays and get-togethers. Food is also linked to positive experiences and memories. Unfortunately those treats tend to be high in calories, sugar and fat. There’s no need to completely forgo any type of reward, but just choose wisely. Indulge in the occasional square of dark chocolate or a low-fat frozen yogurt.