You’ve been tweaking your diet and swapped out junk food for healthier fare. You’ve been going to the gym religiously, and you set aside ample time to rest and relax.
And yet you are still getting marginal results from all your efforts.
Regular exercise, a sensible diet, and enough rest and sleep are the three critical cornerstones for a successful weight loss scheme. Failure in any of the three will cancel out what precious gains you have achieved.
If you want to lose and keep excess weight for the long term, you have to examine your weak areas. For some people, it would be rest and sleep, thinking that both are unnecessary. For others, it’s inconsistency in exercising. And for plenty of people, it’s an unhealthy relationship with food.
When willpower is not enough
Whether it’s coaxing yourself to exercise more or to swap fruits and veggies for french fries and ice cream, you cannot rely totally on willpower. Willpower is a finite resource that will eventually run out.
For long-term success, everything needs to be automatic, with the smallest decisions eliminated. And for your diet, one of the first things that you need to control is your environment.
Your immediate environment at home and at work can spell success or disaster for your diet. Fortunately, it is also one of the easiest things to control.
Here are some of the steps that you need to take:
1. Identify your trigger foods
For some, it’s chips; for others, it’s ice cream. Essentially, trigger foods are the kind of foods that you have a hard time putting down. Knowing your trigger foods is the first vital step to hacking your environment for success.
2. Avoid exposure to trigger foods
Once you have identified your trigger foods, do your best to avoid them. In most cases, that means striking them off from your grocery list. Or if you bake and your trigger foods include pastries, that can mean not baking them as well.
3. Out of sight, out of mind
If you live by yourself, it is easier to tweak your environment. However, if you live with loved ones or friends, the task becomes more challenging.
This is why it is critical to enlist the help of the people you live with. If you cannot avoid buying trigger foods, they should be kept out of your sight. Plus, you have to make yourself accountable to your housemates.
4. Make healthy food more accessible
The less that you see your trigger foods, the less likely that you will binge eat them. In the same vein, if you continuously see healthy food around your house or at work, the more likely that you will make better eating choices.
5. Keep your kitchen clean and organized
Stress can trigger binge eating and looking at a kitchen that is in disarray can trigger stress. Additionally, when you have a messy kitchen, prepping and cooking healthy meals can be discouraging. Set aside a few minutes each day to tidy up and organize your kitchen.
6. Keep over-choice at bay
When you have too many options available to choose from, making a decision can be difficult. That concept also applies to eating. If your refrigerator and pantry are loaded with a diverse array of food items, even if most of these are healthy, it can be challenging to make sound diet choices.
7. Observe your rituals
Most people binge-eat without consciously doing so. Their eating habits are often closely tied to activities like watching movies, Internet surfing or TV bingeing. Apart from identifying your trigger foods, you should also closely watch the activities where you tend to eat more than usual.
Although it is not totally possible to avoid these activities, knowing that these can trigger your binge eating will help you to become more conscious and choose healthier fare.
Don’t go at it alone
Any journey becomes easier when you have people around you who are willing and ready to help you. The same thing applies to your weight loss journey.
Do not be afraid to enlist the help of people around you, including your loved ones, friends, and colleagues.
Vandana Luthra founded VLCC in New Delhi, India as a beauty and slimming services centre in 1989. Today, it is widely recognized for its comprehensive portfolio of beauty and wellness products and services and also enjoys a high level of consumer trust. The VLCC Group’s operations currently span 330 locations in over 150 cities and 14 countries across Asia and Africa.