3 of my favorite easy weight loss tips.
I learned a lot during my own weight loss journey, and even more while coaching others in weight loss. And one thing that’s really hit home is the power of our unconscious thoughts and actions.
Habits are powerful things, especially when you create habits that give you positive results. Small changes applied consistently over time have much more impact than we give them credit for. With that in mind, here are three easy weight loss tips to try. Make each of these into a new habit, and I promise you’ll see big results!
Some background first.
My weight loss success (and what I teach my students) is based on two main concepts:
- Hormones control our body weight, not the number of calories we eat. Changing the body-weight set point is key to permanent weight loss. And this means eating quite differently than you would if you were cutting calories. (Download my freebie for a full explanation of the hormonal theory of obesity).
- Eating in response to our emotions, rather than actual hunger, is a problem for most people who are overweight. (Not sure this applies to you? Take the quiz and find out!)
All of my easy weight loss tips are created with these two concepts in mind. And none of these strategies take a ton of time, effort, or willpower!
Tip #1 – Decide one habit to cut out.
This goes back to the concept of emotions driving our eating. We all have some bad habits around food that evolved from emotional triggers. My example: hitting the candy dish between patients at my office. I often felt tired mid-afternoon, and thought I deserved a little pick-me-up. This was the underlying thought, but eventually grabbing candy out of the dish became a habit, and I wasn’t even aware of the underlying thought process.
Here’s the great news- you can exchange bad habits for good ones, or drop them altogether. This takes a bit of effort initially, but once the new habit is in place, maintaining it is essentially effortless. Here’s what I recommend:
- Choose one small habit that isn’t serving you. Small is key here! Is it the glass of wine you have first thing when you get home? Or the snack you eat every single night after dinner?
- Decide you are no longer a person who does that. I want you to literally say this out loud to yourself (it’s okay if people think you’re weird). The more you think it and hear it, the more you swill start to believe it. For me it was “I don’t eat out of candy dishes.” Period. No exceptions.
- Now investigate the underlying habit pattern. What are your triggers? For me it was being tired and walking by a dish of candy (no temptation when I was well-rested, apparently). It might be a specific location, thought, or emotion. Or even a time of day. Knowing when the habit occurs is important. Habits are essentially unconscious, so it may take a few tries before you notice the impulse before starting the action.
- When temptation occurs, repeat to yourself, “I am not a person who….” followed by whatever habit you’re giving up.
- Give it time. Your brain is literally re-wiring neural pathways. But if you stick with it, that new habit, and the new thoughts that come with it, will be effortless!
Tip #2 – Consolidate dessert with a meal.
This weight loss tip is very easy indeed. All I want you to do is eat dessert with your meal instead of half an hour or an hour later. This goes back to the hormonal theory of obesity and body weight set point (read about that here). But the general idea is you release less insulin if you eat one time instead of two, and eat sweets with other foods that don’t stimulate as much insulin release. There are two key points to this tip:
- Don’t eat until you feel stuffed. Often we wait to have dessert because we’re full from dinner. To eat dessert with dinner and not get overly full means you have to eat less with dinner. So plan for that accordingly!
- Either eat with the meal or right after. I actually like eating dessert simply as part of my dinner, because then I don’t get overly full trying to have dessert. So at restaurants I order dessert to come with the meal. This doesn’t work for my kids (they would never eat real food!) so we allow them to have dessert right after they finish dinner.
Tip #3 – Shorten your eating window.
This tip again works to decrease your overall insulin secretion. The term “eating window” comes from intermittent fasting literature. It’s basically time during the day in which you eat. So for most of us that would be breakfast until bedtime, or about 14 hours. Shortening this window to 10 or even 8 hours decreases the overall insulin secretion, thereby lowering your body weight set point. Here are two easy ways to accomplish this:
- Cut out your evening snack. This is the most powerful option, because you actually release more insulin later in the day compared to if you ate the same food earlier. The evening snack is a deeply entrenched habit for most of us. But really, what are the chances your body actually needs more food only two hours after you finish dinner? (Pregnancy is an exception, as I have recently discovered).
- Eat breakfast later. Bumping your breakfast back to mid-morning, or even skipping breakfast altogether, are both powerful weight loss strategies!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these simple weight loss tips. If you want to learn more about my approach to weight loss, please join the wait list for the next time I offer a free online training.