Carolyn Fetters | Balanced Habits KICK START Founder
Has this ever happened to you?
You write a long email or type something into your word processing software and then
some sort of computer glitch occurs which results in you losing what you've typed.
Your only option is to retype everything from memory.
And while you're doing so, you can't help but feel the frustration and disappointment of
wasting time doing something you've already done.
Here's a much more important question for you...
Have you ever had a similar experience when it comes to losing weight?
You change your eating habits long enough to lose weight, but then "a glitch" happens and
you end up back where you started and have to begin the whole process over again.
It is frustration personified. Your confidence is shattered. In the back of your mind, you
think "I've let myself down." Your energy level has dropped, you don't fit into your clothes
like you once did and you shudder to think of the long-term medical toll it's taking on your
To ensure that never (again) happens to you, here are six tips you can use to make sure
that you not only shed pounds but permanently keep them off:
1. Plan your meals out - The best way to gain maximum control over your overall
food intake is to plan your meals. If you have a meal blueprint, you'll be less likely
to fall back on convenient but unhealthy meals such as frozen pizza, foods high in
refined carbs or ordering take out. Plus planning your meals in advance will help you
stay away from high-calorie meals and snacks.
2. Focus your use of pain and pleasure - "Use pain and pleasure instead of having
pain and pleasure use you. That's the secret to success. You do that and you're in
control of your life. If you don't, life controls you," says motivational expert Anthony
Robbins. So how do you use pain and pleasure when it comes to eating healthy?
Let's say you're debating whether to eat a chocolate bar. Robbins, who believes
that avoiding pain is greater motivation than gaining pleasure, says that what you
shouldn't do is think of how good it will taste to eat the chocolate. Instead, focus on
how much weight you'll potentially gain...how it will be a struggle to get into your
clothes...and how guilty you'll feel should you eat it.
3. Recognize when you are making excuses - "I was good all day so I can cheat a
bit now." "I'm too busy to eat healthily." "I don't have enough time to make a lunch
today." Recognize any of these? If you've ever talked yourself into eating or
consuming something that you know will throw a wrench into your progress, you
need to fight back. Write down all your excuses and next to each one write down
why it's really not an excuse at all. For example, for "I'm too busy to eat healthily"
you might remind yourself that everything good in life takes effort especially when it
comes to nutrition and that the time spent on your health today is an investment
towards how healthy you'll be tomorrow.
4. Remove yourself from temptation - Canadian fitness business owner Luke
Durward's 11-year-old brother was overweight for his age. When Luke slipped on
some ice and injured is back, he decided to move back home for two weeks and try
to help his brother get his weight under control. His number one strategy? He
simply removed all the junk food from the house. It was so effective in seven days,
his brother lost 5 lbs.; after 14 days he lost 8 lbs; after 20 days he lost 10 lbs. and
after 36 days he lost 18 lbs. In total, he lost 20 lbs and, more importantly, his
brother has managed to keep the weight off. (Note: Luke has documented this story
in a TedTalk available on YouTube).
5. Start a food journal - A 2008 study found that keeping a food dairy can accelerate
weight loss. Researcher Jack Hollis Ph.D., from the Kaiser Permanente's Center for
Health Research in Portland, Oregon, says of the study that "those who kept daily
food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. It seems that
the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer
calories." According to Keith Bachman, MD, "Keeping a food diary doesn't have to be
a formal thing. Just the act of scribbling down what you eat on a Post-It note,
sending yourself e-mails tallying each meal, or sending yourself a text message will
suffice. It's the process of reflecting on what you eat that helps us become aware of
our habits, and hopefully change our behavior." Bachman adds that "...food
journaling in conjunction with a weight management program or class is the ideal
combination of tools and support."
6. Don't let one slip up derail you. When it comes to eating healthily, nobody's
perfect. We all slip up at times or eat something we know did our body no good.
When this happens, don't let it slow or get you down. Instead, learn from it and let
it instill in you a renewed determination to achieve all your nutrition and lifestyle
Keep these six tips in mind and you'll be that much closer to permanently rewriting your
nutrition and well-being story so you never have to do it again.