9 Simple Tricks to Eat Less

Cut Calories, Not Satisfaction
  — By Sarah Haan, Registered Dietitian and Nicole Nichols, Health Educator
Setting a goal (such as losing weight) and implementing steps to reach it (like portion control) are two very different things. When it comes to eating healthier—or eating less for that matter—it isn’t always as simple as “just eating less.” Why? Because what and how much we eat is influenced by so many factors—the environment in which we’re eating (relaxed at home or at a party), how much food is served (a portion-controlled meal at home or a super-sized restaurant meal), and how hungry we are (just a little or famished)—mindfulness, speed, emotional state. The list could go on and on.

The good news is that YOU can control many of these factors; it’s just a matter of bringing them to the forefront of your mind until they become habits. Here are nine proven tricks you can use to help yourself eat less and keep your calories in check. Over time, they’ll become second nature—and your weight loss will be second to none!

1. Enjoy every bite.
Do you take time to smell the flowers? How about taking time to enjoy every meal and snack you eat? There is truth in the benefit of slowing down and appreciating the world around you, food included. Focusing on every bite can help you practice mindful eating, which has been shown to cut down on calorie intake. Slowing down between bites allows you to recognize your feelings of hunger and satiety so you have a chance to realize when you’ve had enough—then stop before you clean your plate and later regret it. Eating at a relaxed pace also means you’ll chew your food more thoroughly, thus experiencing fewer digestive issues and less intestinal upset. This may take some practice. The hustle and bustle of daily life often catches up with us and sometimes it takes a conscious effort to take it easy and give your brain a chance to enjoy the food and tell you when you’re full. Until you get in the habit, try leaving a note or motivational saying on your dinner table. ACTION TIP: Set a timer. Start by finding out how quickly you currently eat your meals. You may be surprised to find out that breakfast or lunch at your computer is over within 5 or 10 minutes. Then, work on adding time to your meals, aiming for each meal to take AT LEAST 20 minutes.

2. Use smaller plates, cups and bowls.
Your mother was right about some things: Your eyes really can be bigger than your stomach. Research has shown that when people use large bowls, plates and serving utensils, they serve themselves more and consume more food. In a 2006 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 85 nutrition professionals were asked to serve themselves a bowl of ice cream. Researchers provided a variety of bowl and spoon sizes. Subjects with larger bowls served themselves 31% more ice cream; when they used a large spoon, they dished 14.5% more into their bowls. Although the super-sized plates may look slick, put those away for special occasions. When you see a large canvas, you want to fill it! ACTION TIP: Eat from smaller salad plates and small bowls for daily use. Without even realizing it, you’ll serve and eat less. If your dinnerware is oversized, it might be time for new dishes that won’t dwarf your properly portioned meals.

3. Pre-portion your foods.
How often do you eat straight from the bag of crackers or chips? How is it possible to track your food or know how much you eat without measuring it? That’s just one reason you should never eat directly from a box or bag that contains multiple servings of a food. Grab your measuring cups and a small bowl (see #2 above) to keep your calories in check. Why? Because it’s easy to overeat when you’re reaching into a bottomless bag of food. ACTION TIP: Instead of reaching into the chip bag or a big bowl of chips at a party, pre-portion your snacks into a smaller container (or plate) so you know exactly how much you’re eating. Then, put the big bag away (or walk away from the chip bowl). You are much less likely to overeat enjoy the smaller portion you served yourself. So dish it up, put the rest away, and taste every bite (see #1 above).

4. Know your pitfalls.
We all have food weaknesses. That food that you can’t resist. The food you can’t stop eating once you started. The food you have trouble saying no to, even if you’re not hungry. The food you think about even when it’s not in the vicinity. Maybe you’ll never shake the grip this food has you on, but the first step is recognizing it. Take a minute to think about your food weaknesses. Once you know what they are, you can take extra measures to prevent overeating these particular foods, whether you avoid repeated exposure to this food or plan the rest of your day’s intake planning to enjoy a bit of this favorite food. ACTION TIP: Make a list of your food weaknesses and the places you encounter them. Come up with solutions to avoid those encounters, like not venturing down the snack food aisle in the grocery store or choosing a different route to bypass the co-worker who always offers free doughnuts. Stick with your plan of avoidance until you build up the strength to face that food without giving up your control.

5. Keep a food journal.
Keeping a food diary is the best weight-loss tool. Several studies have confirmed this, and most SparkPeople members would agree, too. One recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that dieters who kept track of their food lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. Writing down what you eat will encourage you to think about your food choices all day, and consider what you’ve already eaten and what you plan to eat later. This means you’ll make conscious choices more often and usually curb your calorie intake as a result. Whether you jot foods down on a sticky note, keep a small paper pad in your purse or use SparkPeople’s free Nutrition Tracker, writing down everything you eat will keep your calories in check. ACTION TIP: If you don’t’ already, start tracking your food. Even if you don’t list all the calories, fat or carbs you eat, even a simple list can make a big difference. Don’t forget to include beverages, sauces, condiments, and other small “tastes” in your log! Extra calories can be hiding in these items.

6. Use the proper plate method.
Most meals we eat at home or in restaurants are backwards: big portions of meat and carbs and very few (if any) vegetables. If your plates put veggies in a supporting role, you’re probably consuming too many calories and hurting your weight-loss efforts. Using a perfectly portioned plate can help! ACTION TIP: Fill half your plate with disease-fighting vegetables, a quarter with lean protein and a quarter with your whole grains. This method automatically piles your plate full of filling, low-calorie veggies that also provide fiber, vitamins and minerals to fight disease. It also helps control portions of starches and protein, which can sometimes become larger than necessary. Keep in mind that using a smaller dish still helps, even when using the proper plate method.

7. Pack in the protein.
Studies show that protein plays a key role in regulating food intake and appetite; people who consistently consume protein regain less weight after a significant weight loss, too. Protein helps increase feelings of fullness because it takes longer to digest. When you skip protein in your meals and snacks, those pesky hunger pangs might encourage overeating! So get into the habit of consuming protein at each meal and snack. ACTION TIP: Stick to lean sources of protein: Beans, hummus, egg whites, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products (cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, and milk) can all give you muscle-building proteins without added fat.

8. Doggy bag it.
Portions served at most restaurants set you up for overeating. Sure, we want a good deal for our money, but it often comes at the price—our health. A full meal can contain more than 1,200 calories at some eateries, and that’s before dessert. Even if you have the best intentions to eat only half of your meal when it arrives, it can be hard to stop or know when you’ve reached the halfway point—especially if you’re distracted while talking with friends and family. ACTION TIP: Take your good intentions one step further. Ask your server to pack up half of your meal before it hits the table. That way, you’ll stop when you’re halfway done and still have leftovers for tomorrow. It works because it’s a clear “stop sign” in your meal (like #3 above) and most people aren’t likely to dig into their doggy bag or take-out box before leaving the restaurant.

9. Eat breakfast.
People say breakfast is the most important meal of the day for good reason. Studies show that people who eat breakfast have a lower BMI (body mass index) and consume fewer total calories each day than people who skip breakfast altogether. A professor at the University of Texas found that eating earlier in the day leads to lower total intake throughout the day. A common explanation is that eating breakfast allows a person to feel less hungry throughout the day. Another is that those who skip breakfast allow for “extra calories” later in the day because they skipped a meal, but in reality end up overshooting their energy goal. Whatever the reason, eating breakfast IS part of a healthy lifestyle and an important factor in healthy weight maintenance. ACTION TIP: Many people simply don’t “feel hungry” in the morning or don’t like how breakfast makes them feel. Start small. You CAN retrain your body to feel hungry and enjoy breakfast. Soon, you’ll wonder how you ever skipped breakfast in the first place! Start with these quick and healthy breakfast ideas.

With these tools as your defense, you’ll be on your way to a healthy weight in no time! Jot them down in your journal or keep them on a small sticky note to refer to when you’re out. With a little practice, you’ll finally be able to control your calorie intake without feeling deprived—or hungry!

Selected Sources
De Castro, John. “When, how much and what foods are eaten are related to total daily food intake.” Br J Nutr. 2009 Aug (4): 1-10.

Westerterp-Plantenga MS. “The significance of protein in food intake and body weight regulation.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 2003 Nov (6): 635 – 8.

Wansink B, Van Ittersum K, Painter JE. “Ice cream illusions: bowls, spoons and self-served portion sizes.” American Journal of Preventitve Medicine. 2006 Sep 31 (3): 240-3

Original Post on SparkPeople.com

Great Condo in Verona!!!

$185,000.00

349 Bloomfield Avenue #77, Verona, NJ 07044

Call Robert for details and showings 609-474-0360.

HUD Home – 2 Bedroom 1 Bath Condo, laundry room. Quiet community near parks, transportation and shopping. Property currently available for owner occupants only. Bid deadline is June 25, 2017. Property is Sold “AS IS”. Buyer may be eligible for $100.00 down payment ask how. If home built before 1978 a LBP addendum is included. FHA financing IE (insured escrow) 203K Eligible. Case # 352-556182 For property condition report, forms, disclosures, availability and to place a bid please visit http://www.hudhomestore.com. Buyer to verify all information. HOA Fees $431.50 Sq Ft 905

 

Multi-Family Home In East Orange

Contact info:
Robert George | RTG Property Solutions LLC | 609-474-0360

Multi-Family Homen East Orange

96 Tremont Ave, East Orange, NJ 07018

$123,280

KEY FEATURES
Year Built: 1930
Sq Footage: 2254 sqft.
Bedrooms: 5 Beds
Bathrooms: 2 Baths
Floors: 2
Lot Size: 3920 Square Feet
Property Type: Multi-Family

DESCRIPTION

Great opportunity for owner occupant or investor. Separate utilities, 2nd fl combined with 3rd. HUD Home, sold AS IS. Buyer is responsible for all municipal requirements. convenient location. Case #352-620350 CODE: UI Equal Housing Opportunity.

Contact info:
Robert George
RTG Property Solutions LLC
609-474-0360

50 Non-Food Rewards for Fitness and Weight Loss

Healthy Ways to Celebrate Success!
  — By Megan Patrick, Staff Writer
Losing weight and maintaining healthy habits are both challenging, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t also be rewarding. Besides the intrinsic benefits that come from feeling better and reaching new goals, rewarding yourself for your healthy efforts will reinforce your new habits and inspire you to continue your journey.

There are lots of effective and motivating ways to reward yourself (both large and small), but first you need to come up with a system. One easy solution is to tie rewards to SparkPoints or fitness minutes rather than weight loss alone. Start by choosing a target that is challenging but not unreachable. For example, give yourself a reward if you reach 600 fitness minutes in a month or each time you earn 500 SparkPoints.

Before I discovered SparkPeople, I created my own reward system that had two components: one to reward healthy behaviors, which are the only things you can truly control, and another to mark weight-loss progress. It’s very similar to earning SparkPoints, which you can add up by doing healthy tasks such as tracking your food, exercising or utilizing the supportive Community. But if you have some specific behaviors that SparkPoints don’t cover, you can use this list for ideas and customize it however you wish to fit your own goals.

My Healthy Choices Reward System
1 star for going to the gym
1 star for going to the gym three times in one week
1 star for walking at least 30 minutes
1 star for walking outside in temperatures below 20 or above 80
1 star for drinking at least six cups of water per day
2 stars for drinking eight or more cups of water per day
2 stars for staying below my daily carb range
1 star for meeting my daily calorie goal
2 stars for not weighing myself more than once a week
100 stars = I got a reward from my list

To mark my weight-loss progress, I bought an old-fashioned silver charm bracelet and added a new charm for every 10 pounds I lost. I chose charms with symbolic meaning to remind me of my journey and all my hard work. For example, because walking helped me drop the first 10 pounds, I chose a silver sneaker. When I got halfway to my goal weight, I chose a tiny pair of scissors.

50 Non-Food Reward Ideas
Almost anything can work as a reward as long as it fits into your budget and doesn’t undermine your efforts. Food does undermine your efforts, so always choose ways to reward yourself that don’t involve eating. What works as a reward should be inspiring to you; otherwise, it won’t compel you to stick to your program. Here are 50 ideas to get you started (arranged from least expensive or time-consuming to most):

  1. Give yourself permission to take a nap.
  2. Visit the library or bookstore all by yourself.
  3. Have a guilt-free home spa afternoon.
  4. Sleep in!
  5. Take a selfie to celebrate your progress.
  6. Spend an hour away from your phone or computer.
  7. Eat lunch outside or at least away from your desk.
  8. Clean out your closet and donate all your too-big clothes to charity.
  9. Post your progress on social media (or SparkPeople) so your friends can celebrate with you.
  10. Take a bubble bath.
  11. Drive to a beautiful neighborhood or park to walk instead of taking your usual walking route.
  12. Use smiley face or star stickers to note milestones on a wall calendar hung in a prominent place.
  13. Make your own ribbon or trophy.
  14. Make or buy a refrigerator magnet with a motivational quote.
  15. Take a vacation day from work to do whatever you want!
  16. Unwind with a movie of your choice.
  17. Plan a night out with your friends.
  18. Buy a lottery ticket.
  19. Subscribe to a fitness or healthy cooking magazine.
  20. Get a new driver’s license photo. (Don’t lie about your weight.)
  21. Download a new fitness app for your phone.
  22. Buy a new workout song.
  23. Get yourself a bottle of fancy shower gel or lotion.
  24. Pick up a new plant for your garden.
  25. Invest in some moisture-wicking workout socks.
  26. Get fitted for a new sports bra.
  27. Try a new shade of nail polish.
  28. Get some new shades for outdoor exercise.
  29. Come home with a bouquet of flowers.
  30. Try a fresh hair color.
  31. Buy a small personal blender for smoothies and protein shakes.
  32. Order a pair of high-end wireless headphones.
  33. Invest is a fitness tracker to motivate you even more.
  34. Sign up for a charity walk or running event.
  35. Splurge on some nice yoga pants.
  36. Go for a mani/pedi.
  37. Treat yourself to a massage!
  38. Take a cooking class to up your game.
  39. Get a new hairstyle.
  40. Get fitted for workout shoes at a running store.
  41. Go for a flashy piercing or tattoo!
  42. Start a charm bracelet.
  43. Get your rings resized to fit your smaller fingers.
  44. Plan a weekend getaway with your significant other.
  45. Adopt a dog so you’ll always have a walking buddy.
  46. Hire someone to clean your house so you have more time to hit the gym.
  47. Try a fun exercise class like Zumba or pole fitness.
  48. Book a session with a personal trainer.
  49. Schedule a professional portrait shoot.
  50. Two words: Dream vacation!

There are countless ways to reward yourself, and while it may seem trivial, research shows that rewards that are personal to us do in fact help us stay motivated and establish long-term habits. It’s worth the time to come up with a system and a list of rewards for your own milestones!

What are your favorite ways to reward yourself for healthy habits or weight loss?

Original Post on SparkPeople.com

Great Condo in Verona

$185,000.00

 

349 Bloomfield Avenue #77, Verona, NJ  07044

 

Call Robert for details and showings 609-474-0360.

 

HUD Home – 2 Bedroom 1 Bath Condo, laundry room.  Quiet community near parks, transportation and shopping.  Property currently available for owner occupants only.   Bid deadline is June 25, 2017.  Property is Sold “AS IS”. Buyer may be eligible for $100.00 down payment ask how. If home built before 1978 a LBP addendum is included. FHA financing IE  (insured escrow) 203K Eligible. Case # 352-556182 For property condition report, forms, disclosures, availability and to place a bid please visit http://www.hudhomestore.com. Buyer to verify all information.  HOA Fees  $431.50  Sq Ft 905

 

5 Stretching Myths, Busted

5 Stretching Myths, Busted

Stretching is an essential part of a workout. Research shows that stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, glutes, shoulders, biceps and other muscle groups helps increase range of motion, reduce stiffness and improve flexibility.

Despite the importance of stretching, myths abound. Here, we dispel five common stretching myths and give you the information you need to ace your stretching routine.

MYTH #1: YOU ONLY NEED TO STRETCH BEFORE OR AFTER A WORKOUT, NOT BOTH

Fact: It’s important to stretch before and after a workout.

Derek Carter, a Manhattan Beach, California-based personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist, believes in doing dynamic stretches to warm up for a workout and static stretches to recover afterward.

Dynamic stretching involves active movements such as walking lunges and single leg squats that stretch muscles without holding the position. In contrast, static stretches like quadriceps stretches and hamstring stretches are supposed to be held for a defined period. “Dynamic stretches help warm up the muscles for a workout and static stretches keep the muscles loose after a workout,” Carter explains.

Since both kinds of stretches are important for different reasons, Carter suggests adding them to your pre- and post-workout routine.

MYTH #2: STRETCHING PREVENTS INJURIES

Fact: The research is clear: Stretching does not prevent injuries. One literature review found that stretching was not effective for reducing exercise-related injuries — and countless other studies have reported similar findings.

Although there is no solid evidence that stretching prevents injuries, Jessica Matthews, exercise physiologist and senior health and fitness advisor for the American Council on Exercise, still believes it’s important.

“A flexible muscle is less likely to become injured from a slightly extensive movement,” she says. “By increasing the range of motion in a particular joint through stretching, you may decrease the resistance on your muscles during various activities.”

MYTH #3: IT’S BEST TO HOLD EACH STRETCH FOR 30 SECONDS TO 1 MINUTE

Fact: Stop watching the clock when you are doing static stretches.

“The tighter you are, the longer you should hold the stretch,” Carter says.

Rather than holding a stretch for a certain amount of time, Carter recommends holding it until you feel a sudden release of tension and increased range of motion; go deeper into the stretch and hold it until the second release. Focusing on how muscle responds to the stretch is more effective than watching the clock, he says.

MYTH #4: STRETCHING IS ENOUGH

Fact: Stretching is more effective when it’s combined with foam rolling.

“More often than not, people with tight muscles have knots in their muscles,” Carter explains. “You might not get the same release [from stretching] that you would get if the knots were unstuck.”

Research published in the Journal of Athletic Training found that foam rolling helped ease post-workout muscle soreness; a separate study, published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, reported that foam rolling helped increase range of motion.

For maximum results, use a foam roller after a workout and stretch after “rolling out.” You’ll feel the difference, according to Carter. “Foam rolling before stretching is far better than just stretching alone,” he says.

MYTH #5: YOU DON’T NEED TO STRETCH IF YOU’RE ALREADY FLEXIBLE

Fact: You don’t get to skip pre- and post-workout stretching just because you can bend yourself into a pretzel.

“Stretching, as a practice, has many acute benefits beyond flexibility,” says Matthews.

Even the most flexible folks should make time to stretch, using dynamic stretches before a workout to prepare the muscles for exercise and static stretches as part of the post-workout cool down.

A stretching routine is important even if you don’t work out, according to Matthews.

“It helps to improve mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance,” she says. “Since a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a wider range of motion, a flexible body improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements, whether you’re chasing your kids around the house or moving furniture.”

How to Use Pain and Discomfort to Your Advantage

How to Use Pain and Discomfort to Your Advantage

There is a vital difference between discomfort and pain, yet time and again, they are lumped into the same grueling category. One is temporary (discomfort); the other is eternal (pain). One can cause you to stumble (discomfort); the other knocks you to your knees (pain). One you can run from (discomfort); the other is inescapable (pain).

There is a wisdom within you that elevates you above both; but getting there means not only separating the two, but also becoming friends with your deepest afflictions.

YOU CAN CONTROL DISCOMFORT

You are in control of all of the discomfort you feel. Let that sink in: your anxiety, your stress, the burn in your muscles during a workout — all of it; you are in control. That’s why discomfort can, and should, be used as a tool to prepare you for pain.

Pain and discomfort both hurt, and they can be hard to endure. But while discomfort is within your control, pain teaches you the hard lessons — and how you use pain to learn those lessons is the key to building wisdom.

For me, yoga can get uncomfortable, but it’s my greatest passion. I don’t look at yoga as a workout. I look at yoga as a tool to work in, therefore I embrace the discomfort knowing that if I live in it, I’ll get better. The physical side is simply a byproduct. Running, on the other hand, has always been my favorite workout. Not because of what it does for my body, per se, but because of the mental release I feel. It’s a true runner’s high. When I’m 1/2 a mile from my finish line, with 5 1/2 miles behind me, I have two choices: I can slow down and be uncomfortable, or I can speed up and also be uncomfortable. Either way, it’s going to hurt. But I know that if I stay in this moment, when my legs are heavy and my lungs are burning, I am not only 100% in control of my discomfort, I am free. I am standing at the edge, but I am safe.

Pushing yourself — whether it’s preparing for a marathon or working to get a promotion — is what I consider discomfort. And isn’t that a beautiful thing? You feel something so strongly, so deep and so intense, yet you are in control.

YOU CANNOT RUN FROM PAIN

You cannot beat pain, but you can accept it as a necessary component of life — and then use it to learn.


“Time doesn’t offer healing. Time offers wisdom.”


Pain is a larger concept. We have all lost a loved one, or had our hearts broken, or had circumstances completely out of our control cause us deep burdens that we will spend the rest of our lives juggling. Time doesn’t offer healing. Time offers wisdom. It provides an opportunity for those who are willing to turn their greatest pain into their greatest glory. That’s pain. It doesn’t offer you a chance to control it, because it is bigger than you or me. Pain can give you wisdom to grow if you are in a position to accept it. But, step 1 of that acceptance comes from using your discomforts as mini scenarios to prepare you for the big show: your biggest pains.

USE WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL TO LEARN FROM WHAT YOU CAN’T

Without pain, we wouldn’t have the beautiful mystery that is love. Without darkness, we wouldn’t understand light. Joseph Emet, author and founder of the Mindfulness Meditation Centre, says, “the purpose is not to win battles, but to transform what feels like a battlefield into a garden of peace.” Think of the battle Emet is referring to as pain. You’re not trying to lasso what has been, and always will be, out of your control. You’re using what you have within your control (your being) to transform what was once a fear into a friend. Befriend your pain, and you are free.


READ MORE > FINDING YOUR EDGE


Befriend my pain? I can already hear you laughing and see you rolling your eyes. Befriending your pain starts by pinpointing what it is. Remember, just like finding your edge on the mat, one crucial piece is pinpointing the pain’s source. The second step is acceptance. Acceptance can take a few days, months, even years. It’s a process, and there is no timer that will go off when you’ve finished because acceptance is a lifelong commitment.

I promise you this: If you commit to challenging yourself to be uncomfortable in ways you can control (yoga, running, work, etc.), you will learn your tolerance and your triggers. That way, when the universe deals you a joker, you’ll have confidence in your hand because you’ve taken the time to accept and learn — and know how to play it.



6 Unusual Ways to Overcome Your Cravings

6 Unusual Ways to Overcome Your Cravings

When it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, cravings tend to be seen as a derailer of goals. But there’s nothing inherently “bad” about them.

“A craving is a very natural and normal response to meeting a need,” explains registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield, author of Body Kindness. “That craving could be for energy or to regulate emotions. Maybe the day wasn’t so sweet, so you want something sweet, or maybe you’re seeking enjoyment.”

But obviously, giving in to cupcakes every single time isn’t the way to build a strong, healthy body. So your first step is accept that cravings will always be there. “You can’t eliminate cravings,” says nutritionist Mike Roussell, PhD, author of “The MetaShred Diet.” “But you can reduce your susceptibility to acting on them and reduce the effects they have on you.”

If you feel controlled by cravings or can’t stop at one cupcake when you do satisfy the urge, try these unconventional tricks to better manage your urges.

IN THE MOMENT

1. BREATHE

Hunger can be physiological (your body truly needs energy) or hedonic (you just saw a pizza commercial and now want a slice with pepperoni and mushrooms), Roussell explains. If it’s the latter, try breathwork. By changing our breath, we can change how we feel, according to a study in Cognition and Emotion. Experts recommend longer exhalations to help ease anxiety, which helps you fight cravings. And a recent (but inconclusive) study found slow breathing — nine breaths per minute — may help reduce food cravings.

2. THINK LOGICALLY

When people “cheat” on their diet, they tend to justify why they “can” have chicken wings, Roussell says. Although it may seem hard in the moment, being logical can help you stop a craving. If you track your calories or macros, you can easily see — as much as you may think you want that ice cream at night — you’ve hit your goal for the day. This helps you see you don’t “need” ice cream — and if you really want it, you can work it into tomorrow’s calorie allotment, Roussell says.


READ MORE > 8 FOODS THAT ARE SURPRISINGLY GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS


3. PLAY A GAME

Procrastinating at work isn’t always a good thing, but it may help you with your cravings. A 2015 study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that subjects who played Tetris for three minutes had a decrease in food cravings. In another study, British scientists asked 48 participants to use a mobile app they built called iCrave whenever they, yes, had a craving. The app then prompted the subjects to visualize a specific scene, such as a lion in a zoo or a forest. That act helped reduce overall snacking and unhealthy snacking, compared with a group that tracked snacks with a different app. Try using an app like Stop, Breathe & Think or Headspace and doing a short meditation. Or play a game … but maybe not Candy Crush.

HEAD OFF CRAVINGS

4. TIME YOUR MEALS STRATEGICALLY

The debate over “three meals versus five meals” per day for better weight loss continues, but if you aren’t hungry for snacks, there’s no reason to eat them. And there’s no reason to follow some prescribed schedule, either. Maybe you sail through from lunch to dinner but always want a little something before bed. So eat then and not in the afternoon, says Roussell, so you’re not adding extra calories. Instead, those calories are accounted for.

5. CREATE NUTRITION AUDIBLES

In football, quarterbacks call an audible when they get to the line and decide their planned play isn’t going to work with the way the opposing team’s defense is setting up. Roussell recommends the same thing with nutrition: Have a backup play when your own plans go awry. For instance, if mornings get crazed and you don’t have time to make breakfast, keep five ingredients on hand that you can toss in the blender to have a quick, healthy smoothie. Or know exactly where to go for a healthy lunch when you forget yours at home. Having that plan in place makes you less likely to eat just anything.

RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN

6. EAT THE CRAVING DAILY

Scritchfield suggests a slightly unorthodox method to take on your cravings: Embrace them, don’t fight the. If you can establish a solid system to manage them, that is. Her simple suggestion that works for her clients? Give yourself permission to have that food every day, once a day, and schedule when you will have it. So keep your meals balanced, but have that handful of fries at lunch or dinner. Really enjoy them, rather than stuffing them down your throat. This helps reduce guilt, stress and anxiety, she says, and “by Day 3 or 4, you’ll be over it.” Rather than fries being a “bad” food, they’ll just be a food — one you can choose to have anytime you want them. But you’ll crave them less.

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