Other Behaviors That Can Help
A complete and comprehensive weight management program should consist of three key components:
A Nutritious Meal Plan
Positive outcomes are highly dependent upon your food and eating behaviors and habits. Here are some goals necessary for success with our program.
Prioritize YourselfNo matter what program you follow, if you do not prioritize yourself and your program, you will find it difficult to succeed. Life has many barriers that will make it difficult for you to follow your plan. But by prioritizing yourself and your plan most of the time, you will obtain your goals sooner.
Plan Your MealsAt times you may have to become a bit selfish among friends, co-workers and loved ones by putting yourself first. For example, a good friend that you have not seen in a long time asks you to meet for dinner but wants to go to their favorite Chinese restaurant where you two had some special times in the past. Instead of just agreeing to go to Chinese you can offer other restaurant suggestions that might have healthier menu choices. Explain what you are trying to achieve and that you will have a hard time finding something healthy at the Chinese restaurant.
Always Have Healthy Foods AvailableMaking time on a weekly basis for food shopping is another important key element to success. Set a realistic timeframe that will work for you and put it in your schedule so that you create a routine and therefore will always have time to go grocery shopping. Before you decide on a set time for shopping, consider your work, family and social schedule.
If you do not have healthy food available when you are hungry, you will ultimately end up dining out or worse yet eating the snacks your co-workers have in the office--which is usually junk food. Never leave home without a healthy on-the-go snack. Your RD will give you many samples of healthy snacks according to your taste and lifestyle.
Don’t View Food as a RewardMany people reward themselves with food or drink for various events in their life. When looked at closely, these events occur more often than you might think. For example, you have a bad day - you deserve a glass of wine, you receive a promotion - you deserve a glass of wine. There is always some reason to reward or comfort yourself with food. However, if you are trying to stay healthy or lose weight too many food rewards can undermine you effort. Non-food related rewards are great and highly encouraged. Some good examples might be treating yourself to a massage or manicure, buying new clothes, a tie, a purse or even new shoes. It is important to celebrate your success!
Get SupportTrying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight can be a difficult task without support. Research as well as our professional experience has shown that people who have a support system are more successful with weight loss and weight maintenance. It is very helpful to get support from key people in all areas of your life; work, home, social, etc. For example, you could share your weight loss plan and goals with a co-worker so when is time to go out for lunch you have a health-buddy who will support your decision to not eat pizza and might even go on a walk with you. At home you may ask your spouse or partner to stop buying cookies.
Communicate your needs and goals with friends and maybe even suggest ways they can help you. One big mistake is to assume people can read your mind and that they intuitively know how to help you succeed. Having a nutrition coach is a great support mechanism and will help you become stronger at knocking down your weight loss barriers.
Sleep MoreResearch has found that people with shorter sleeping durations have increased circulating ghrelin, increased food intake, decreased energy expenditure, and increased weight gain. Leptin levels (the hormone that decreases appetite) were also lower in those who slept less. These results indicate that inadequate amounts of sleep may influence the hormones for satiety and hunger in ways that promote overeating - especially at night. The amount of sleep necessary to avoid the symptoms of sleep deprivation varies from person to person. Most experts consider seven to nine hours of sleep to be the normal range, but some people are able to function on less without any effect on performance.