It seems like ancient history, but it was just 5 or 6 years ago when my metabolism suddenly changed (perhaps a better word for it would be “disappeared?” Or “pulled the rug out of my normal life?”) and I was forced to choose between:
- A new career as a human beach ball, or
- Change my eating or exercise habits (or both)
By way of background, I had no exercise habits. From time to time I would go on a short-lived “kick”, but not since the busy life of being a parent had kicked in. But I did have eating habits, an. In fact, I had several eating habits.
For all my adult life, I was gaining weight at about 10 pounds per decade, or an average of a pound per year. Not bad, since I was always a scrawny underweight kid. This process was simply me “filling out.” I would be good until my 200th birthday, right?
Until I put on ten pounds in six months.
If you can relate to this, or even if you just have a weight management challenge for some other reason, perhaps you would like to know a few of the things I did. Because I took off those ten pounds and pretty much kept that weight as a ceiling ever since.
I won’t talk about my on-again, off-again exercise routine that I kicked up at this point (it’s been on again for a few months as I write this, but I have not been consistent). Having a desk-job running a ghostwriter and blog writer agency doesn’t help, either. But here are a few things I changed that is on-again, on-again, and are actually very simple and very effective (and still on-again).
Drink before eating. For those of you breaking out the beer at these words, that is NOT what I meant. Alcohol is full of useless calories. But water is not. By drinking a glass of water ten minutes before a meal you can eliminate second helpings at meals.
How does this work?
Normally, you eat that first helping within a space of five minutes. The food is in you, but it is still making its way through the system. You still feel hungry, even though you have already eaten. The food is in you, it simply hasn’t registered at the stomach check-in station yet. So you grab a second helping, thanks to this internal communication lapse. You live in a digital world, but an analog body.
But if you fill up on calorie-free water ten minutes before you begin your meal, your stomach isn’t empty. The water has registered at the check-in station. You don’t think you need to eat more. You can avoid feeling like you need a second helping.
Here’s another one: stop automatically serving yourself bread with dinner. A lot of people do. I used to. But I stopped when the panic button sounded. That reduced my intake of carbs by one serving every single day. Yes, every single day, one less serving of carbs. It’s like making an automatic withdrawal at the calorie bank.
“But if I don’t eat bread or some other carbs at dinner, I’ll just be hungry an hour later and snack in the evening.”
Good point…that is if you don’t snack anyway. Since most people snack anyway, it’s a moot point. If you snack after you have bread at supper and you snack after you don’t have bread at supper, why not eliminate the bread at supper?
Here is tip number three. Clear the counter. It is my delicious curse to always find something yummy sitting on our counter. Blame it on my mother-in-law, who loves to keep us well- stocked with fresh-baked treats. You would be amazed how much banana-chocolate-chip loaf you can down in a day just by taking a teensy weensy bite every time you pass on the way to or from the washroom.
Yes, the weaker your bladder, the weaker your will.
Clear the counter. No baked goods. No chips. No factory-produced snacks full of chemicals that you know you shouldn’t eat anyway but can’t help because your taste buds are hijacking your brain. Replace with apples or oranges or bananas or something healthy. I am obviously still working on that one.
Of course, there are many things you can do to manage your weight and become healthier. These tips are just two-and-a-half of the things I have done, and that I have found work with minimal effort. I hope one of them – or more! – is useful for you.