READ FOOD LABELS. At the supermarket, instead of just throwing items into a basket, take a minute to read the labels. Look for high-fiber cereals, granola bars, popcorn, crackers, chips, and pasta. They will fill you up and digest more slowly than foods with less fiber.
WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU EAT. Nothing stops me from over-eating faster than looking at a list of everything I put in my mouth that day. It reminds me that things like drinks and peppermints count. Everyone thinks they don’t have time to keep a food log, but it’s pretty easy to throw a journal and pen into your bag. No matter where I am, I can just pull it out and take a couple of seconds to jot down what I’ve eaten.
SET SMALL WEIGHT LOSS AND EXERCISE GOALS. When I first started jogging, I would aim to increase my time by just 10 minutes. At the start of my exersice program, I set a reasonable weight goal. Once I met my goal, I rewarded myself with things like new workout clothes. And then I was able to make a new goal. This allows me to continue to challenge myself long after I acheived what I never dreamed possible!
DON’T CUT OUT ALL HIGH FAT, HIGH CALORIE FOODS. I know that if I deny myself too long, those cravings will just become stronger. Instead, I allow myself to eat the foods I love: muffins, cookies, and ice cream. But I decrease the portion sizes and make sacrifices in other areas of my diet to compensate for the calories. I mentally plan ahead if I know I’m going to be faced with my favorite cheesecake over the weekend. If I decide in advance how much I’ll eat, then I am able to enjoy every bite without feeling guilty afterward.
EAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FIRST. I treat meats and starches like the side dishes. The end result is I consume fewer calories and still feel very satisfied. If possible, I buy fresh produce instead of canned or frozen. My body thanks me for the fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants – and I feel great!