Part 2 of a guest post from Jenny Scoville Walsh with wonderful advice on losing weight.
Losing weight should be seen as a way to take better care of yourself, NOT torture yourself! But everyone I know realizes they want more food than their body technically needs. How do you handle that?
If you’re hungry, then you might want to spread your calories out. Are you eating something with high fat? Try the reduced fat version and you can have a larger snack for the same calories. Instead of eating French fries, you can eat TONS of carrots for the same calories. Instead of microwave butter popcorn, try the lowfat version or an airpopped version with a controlled amount of butter. Instead of a cinnamon roll for breakfast, try cereal and non-fat milk. Try drinking water while eating oats or other grains, which will absorb the water and make you feel full longer. Choose fiber—which also makes you feel full longer. So, choose the orange over the orange juice. You get more bulk, and therefore more fullness for the same amount of flavor. If you’re looking for something sweet, try fresh fruits instead of candy.
What if you’re craving flavor? I recommend sugar free gum. It comes in tons of yummy flavors. Try herbal tea with sugar substitutes. Diet soda is tastier than it used to be and may help you beat that crave occasionally. Maybe you could take tinier bites and savor a small amount of a favorite flavor, instead of eating a full serving of it. Maybe you need to smell yummy things, like perfumes and candles—smell and taste are closely related.
What if you’re looking for comfort, endorphins, fun, friends? Well, Flylady shared a quote with me, and now I guess I’ll have to look up where she got it, that said “If hunger isn’t the problem, food isn’t the solution.” And Mary Ellen Edmunds shared: “You can never get enough of what you don’t need.”
Looking for comfort? Get a comfy sweater, snuggle with a favorite blanket, watch a favorite movie, light a scented candle that you love, get a hug, get massage, talk to a friend, take a hot bath, read a favorite book, play your favorite music, look at favorite pictures, call a family member that can offer support, etc.
Looking for endorphins or fun?—exercise, cuddle, dance, do a favorite activity, listen to a pumped up song, use a talent (decorate, write, paint, draw , knit, design, build, remodel), clean an area of your space, smile at yourself in the mirror, doing something fun with an energetic friend, compliment someone, help someone, tell a joke, watch something funny and laugh your head off, etc.
What if you’re lonely? Get involved at school, church, community organizations, sports groups, dance groups, groups that explore the natural and manmade environment (they go skydiving one weekend and explore the underground tunnels in the city another weekend, for example). Look in your neighborhood for people close by to befriend. Try looking for people more shy or lonely than you and reach out to them. There are people at work that you may be overlooking.
What about leftovers and wasting food? Are you a garbage disposal or are you a person? If you’re not hungry and something is worth eating, save it for when you are hungry and need more energy. Refrigerators and freezers are wonderful things. If it is not worth saving, throw it away.
What about people that offer you food and even cajole you if you turn them down? If you suspect someone will offer your food later and you want to say yes, save up calories for the occasion. Then, take wise portions of the various foods so it adds up to the amount you intend to eat. If you have eaten enough, it’s ok to say no to food. Say, “No thank you. I’m full.” Or “Thank you, that looks delicious. Maybe some other time.” Or, “I’m trying to keep my girlish figure.” Or, “That smells AMAZING! I would love to try that when I’m not so full.” Or, “Thank you for offering. You are such a great hostess.” Or, “That really was delicious. I’d love to get the recipe!” I doubt your host or hostess (or relative) is trying to fatten you up like in Hansel and Gretel. They want their efforts to be appreciated and to know you had a good experience. And they may not want to have a house full of food left when their guests leave. If that’s the case, maybe a bag of offered food for later may meet your host’s needs and your desire for a tasty snack (but when it would be wise to eat again).
Hopefully, this helps you on your own journey to losing weight.