Commentary by Kirsten Shaw
1. Plan meals around protein to stay full longer.
2. Sleep. Not only does skimping on sleep affect the part of the brain in charge of decision-making and impulse-control, but numerous studies find that a lack of sleep leads to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.
3. Be conscious of how certain foods taste and how they make your body feel. Avoid eating in scenarios where you can’t savor your food. Eating in the car or in front of the television makes it more difficult to notice when you’re full.
4. Breathe. Often when people start to feel physically and psychologically satisfied, they will take a deep breath followed by a “stop eating” sigh.
5. Make late-night snacking inconvenient; working on a puzzle with wet nails in the basement promises to make mindless eating quite a challenge.
6. Write. Keeping a food log can double a person’s weight loss. Recording as you go and keeping detailed entries will help you stay mindful as well as identify triggers, patterns and opportunities for improvement.
7. Silence your persistent, extra-loud cravings by savoring a small portion. One fourth of a full-fat, full-calorie cupcake is going to satisfy the urge much more effectively than a full-sized, cardboard-flavored “healthy” alternative.
8. Chew. Taking time to eat gives your brain the time it needs to send out signals of fullness.
9. When you eat for any reason other than hunger (i.e. thirsty, emotional, bored), your body is incapable of cuing you that you’re full. Add harder-to-stop-at-one foods to protein-rich, balanced meals so your body can be your ally in pumping the brakes.
10. Forgive. If you lose your way, don’t give up. Offer yourself as much grace as you’d offer a complete stranger.
Kirsten Shaw lives with her family in Fishers and is the manager at IFAST, Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training. She has successfully maintained her weight-loss of over 100 pounds and enjoys helping others embrace their inner Wonder Woman.