With the advent of fast food, temptations and a lifestyle that demands your time leaving you stressed with no time for exercise, it is not surprising that most of us pile on the pounds. Now a dietician’s role is imperative in educating us on the dos and don’ts of eating the right mix of carbohydrates, protein and fats for a healthy body. So why is that you are still struggling to lose or maintain the weight loss?
- Think about what triggers unhealthy eating. Is it a stressful day? Do you use food as a mode of self-soothing? Do you use food to combat loneliness? Do you use food to tackle a low mood? Do you feel irritable or frustrated? It is useful to jot down in a food diary about what happens on the days when you crave or indulge in unhealthy eating patterns.
- EXCEPTION DAYS: Now think about what happens on days that you are able to maintain a healthy diet and exercise. Is your mood better? Are you having a good and stress-free day? Did you sleep better the night before? Did you worry less? Think about how you can make your exception days an everyday pattern.
- MINDFUL EATING: Every time you have a meal, sit on a table and chair. Eat mindfully, relishing every morsel of food and appreciating the taste and flavours. Do this at every mealtime and do not be tempted to use your phone or watch the TV. These habits can lead to mindless eating and unhealthy patterns.
- Make a list of motivating statements. Stick these statements on the fridge, place it on your phone wallpaper and the stick it next to your study too. Think about ONE motivating factor. Better health? Lesser readings on your blood pressure? Want to look better? Want to feel better? Your motivation is very personal.
- FIRST EAT THE SALAD: Your plate must have half of vegetables, quarter of proteins and quarter of carbohydrates. First eat the salad. Always remember to drink 8 glasses of water per day and fibre such as fruits. It will keep you full and help you with your goals towards a healthy eating pattern.
- EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE: Exercise is very important to keep your body fit and release the good neurotransmitters in the brain. Exercising regularly will not only help maintaining a good weight but also help with controlling hunger.
- Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting can be used to identify hunger and eat when hungry and not when bored or for comfort. Intermittent fasting is now known to have many benefits and evidence.
- Reward your success in healthy ways. At this stage emotional and social support with friends and family will be very important and can to find a buddy who will motivate you by supporting your efforts. It can be a family member or your partner.
- LONG TERM MAINTENANCE: Develop strategies to avoid temptations. This will be done by reviewing your diary and avoiding the triggers for temptations.