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Unbounded U Fitness

Today’s blog is part 5 in a multi-part blog about strategies to kick start your weight loss transformation. 

 

1 Shift your mindset

2 Create a supportive environment

3 Prioritize Self Care

4 Increase Output

5 Decrease Input

6 Self Monitor/Track Progress

 

This post is all about strategies to decrease your input or in other words, eat fewer calories. Although good eating habits and watching how much you eat takes hard work, practice, and time to perfect, here are a few strategies you should consider if you are beginning a weight loss journey.

1. Stop Restricting Yourself

You need to stop restricting yourself! This may sound counterintuitive. 

So, you have probably heard that weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. This is so true! And If you are one of my clients you have definitely heard me say “You simply can’t out-exercise or out-run unhealthy eating”. Many extreme diets or very strict dieting rules work in the short-term, but they fail in the long run. You lose weight on these diets, but you tend to put the weight back on. It’s why many people are on a weight loss-weight gain roller coaster where they fluctuate between losing weight and putting it back on.

Although it simplifies things, think calories in and calories out. If you expend more than you take in, you will lose weight. Initially, you may even lose a lot of weight when you restrict yourself. Yet, restrictive diets generally don’t work in the long-term because you will feel deprived and overly restricted and you will likely find  it difficult to sustain these behaviors. As it always does, life will throw you curveballs. It generally becomes more and more difficult to stick to extreme diets and excessive exercise over time and unexpected life events and stresses can easily derail the best of plans. 

In fact, research shows that when people feel restricted, they tend to find food cravings harder and harder to resist and then end up overeating. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that the majority of people regain the lost way or more in the coming years.

So if restrictive dieting doesn’t work. What should you do? Consider treating yourself with small portioned treats when you do have cravings and sticking to your healthy eating plan 80% (or even 90%) of the time. With this level of flexibility, you will still succeed, but you won’t feel deprived. Just don’t overdo it on planned indulgences. Have a small portion of what you are craving (e.g., a piece of dark chocolate or a small portion of ice cream) when you crave a treat and then stick to healthy eating the rest of the time. And make sure you eat your treats slowly and listen to your hunger cues to avoid overeating. Eating slowly is a great way to stop overeating.

2. Practice Portion Control

For most people who are struggling with weight management, learning to eat the correct portion sizes is key to success. We live in an obesogenic environment where portions are getting bigger and bigger. To keep things simple, consider using hand portions to help you measure your food.  Once you master the basics you may consider higher-level strategies.  Click on this link to fill out a questionnaire and we will send you a personalized portion control guide to get you started.

Here are a few general guidelines from the experts at Precision Nutrition:

E.g., meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, greek  yogurt

Men: 2 servings per meal

Women: 1 serving per meal

E.g.,  broccoli, carrots, spinach, salad, etc

Men: 2 servings per meal

Women: 1 serving per meal

E.g., Grains, starches, fruit and beans

Men: 2 servings per meal

Women: 1 serving per meal

e.g., Oils, butters, nut butters, and nuts and  seeds

Men: 2 servings per meal

Women: 1 serving per meal

3. Eat Slowly

One of the most important nutrition habits is to eat slowly. No matter what you are eating, try to eat slowly. Start by trying to eat more slowly than you usually do.   You might wonder why? Well, your body needs about 20 minutes for your brain to receive the signals from your stomach to tell yourself you are full. If you eat too fast, you will miss your hunger cues. If you eat fast,  you are at great risk of overeating and gaining weight. If you learn to change only one thing about your eating habits I would argue eating slowly is the most important.  You will find if you eat more slowly, you will be satisfied with less food.  You may even notice that you enjoy your foods more because you are better able to appreciate the flavours and textures of your foods. Other benefits include better digestion and less bloating and discomfort.

Do you have concerns about life being cut short or being made difficult by poor health or disability? Do you struggle with managing your weight? Do you have pain that limits your ability to complete your everyday activities? Dealing with chronic health conditions, pain, or being overweight/obese can be taxing; adding a fitness routine and healthy lifestyle changes to your life may seem impossible. However, we have Kinesiologists and Exercise Physiologists that specialize in working with clients who are challenged with dealing with pain and with chronic diseases, like hypertension, diabetes, cancer, MS, arthritis and obesity; we help individuals with chronic disease safely incorporate exercise and other healthy habits into their lives. We help individuals improve their health and fitness, have more energy, limit their pain, improve their quality of life, take their lives back and have fun doing so.

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