One of the key aspects of weight loss and weight management is developing healthy eating habits so that once you have left the Healthy Steps Program you can keep the weight off for good.
Often when we feel hungry, we really aren’t. Instead, we respond to triggers and eat even though we aren’t truly hungry. You are only truly hungry when your body needs food. This encourages weight gain.
When you begin your weight loss journey, you’ll quickly learn that knowing when to eat is just as challenging as knowing how to eat.
Here are three steps you need to take to develop healthy eating habits so you can lose the weight and keep it off for good:
If you are on the go, and too busy to sit down and eat, then you should wait to eat.
Sitting down to eat allows you to be more conscious of the foods you are consuming, and you will eat slower. As you eat, it takes time for the feeling of being full to reach your brain, so a slower, more mindful meal will make you feel fuller before you overeat.
By staying seating and focusing on your food, you will also savor your meal more, helping you feel more satisfied.
When you join the Healthy Steps Program, we give you a small plate to help you control your portions. At first, the plate may seem very small, and you may not believe that you can eat from a plate of that size.
Don’t worry. The plate will seem small because the portion size is smaller than what you are used to, but overtime your eyes and your brain will adjust, and you will come to think of your small plate as just a normal portion of food.
Your small plate will help you control your portions, so you eat less food, and if you are still hungry, you can fill your plate a second time. However, the first step is to drink water and wait a minute. If you’re still hungry after that, then it’s time to use your small plate again; fill it up and eat it in the same way already described. If you aren’t sure that you’re hungry enough to eat another plate of food, just walk away. You can always eat again later.
Because you are eating slower, drinking more water and giving yourself smaller portions, you will feel full faster, and this will keep you from overeating, so you lose weight.
Remember, portion control must begin before you start to eat. Many studies show that once you put food on your plate, it is very likely that you will clean it and finish that portion of food, whether you are hungry or not.
By using a small plate, you start off small, and this allows you to eat the foods you want. If the foods you want to eat don’t fit on the small plate, reduce the size or portion of that food so that it does fit and you can still have it.
As you learned in Lesson 1, drinking enough water plays a large part in your hunger signals. Because we often confuse thirst for hunger, you should always take a long drink of water before you eat. This will help to make sure that hunger is really hunger and not thirst.
You also want to be sure to drink water as you eat. We recommend that you take a sip of water between every bite. This will ensure that you are eating slowly to give your brain a chance to recognize when your stomach is full.
Naturally, slower eating results in smaller meals..
Distractions can cause you to eat more because you are paying less attention to the foods you are consuming. When you are eating, you want to make sure there are no distractions. This means you shouldn’t watch television while eating, which is one of the most common mistakes. Studies show that people who eat in front of the television eat significantly more than people who do not. You should also avoid using your smartphone and going on social media.
Once you are finished eating, then you can do whatever you want. If you learn only to eat when you’re truly hungry, then you will truly lose weight on this program.
When you come into our medical weight loss clinics, we will teach you how to eat like a thin person so you can start living like one.