Retraining Yourself to Eat For Lasting Weight Loss Success (Part 3)

Retraining yourself to eat for weight loss requires changes but you will be surprised how many things you’re already doing that support weight loss.

Despite what you may think, you don’t have to change everything. Chances are good you have several or more good habits already in place.

In Part 2 we focused on the answers to just questions # 1 and 2. Now let’s look the questions 3-12.

3. How do you typically prepare foods?

Grilling allows the fat from the meat to melt and fall away.

Grilling allows the fat from the meat to melt and fall away.

If you’re a baker, roaster, broiler, griller or steamer of food, you don’t need to make any changes. These are all good ways to prepare food without adding fat. Some methods, such as grilling, are an especially way to cook meat because the fat drips away.

If you fry, you are adding fat and, therefore, calories to your food. Breading or battering food before frying adds more calories from the coating and the coating absorbs more oil.

Suggestions:

  • Limit fried foods to 1-2 servings per week
  • Try stir-frying in a non stick pan without added fat.
  • Try recipes that provide lots of flavor and lower-fat methods of preparation

4) How often do you eat between meals?  5) What kinds of foods do you eat between meals?

Snacking can be a helpful habit or a bad habit. It all is a matter of how, when, and what you choose for snacks

Snacking can be a helpful habit or a bad habit. It all is a matter of how, when, and what you choose for snacks

Snacking between meals can be a useful weight loss strategy. It helps you to avoid getting overly hungry between meals. It can also boost the overall nutritional quality of your diet. Eating between meals doesn’t have to change. How often you eat between meals and what you eat between meals may need an adjustment, however.

Suggestions:

  • Fruits and vegetables are great snacking choices. Naturally low in fat and an excellent source of vitamins and fiber.
  • Processed snack foods that have added sugars and salts should be limited to no more than 1-3 times a week and serving size and calories per serving need to be counted towards overall calorie consumption for the day.
  • Pay attention to BLTs (Bites, Licks and Tastes) and realize that calories from BLTs can add up quickly. Try to avoid them as much as possible.
  • Stopping for fast food between meals can either support or undermine your weight loss efforts. Big sandwiches and fries are a problem, salads or small snack wraps with grilled chicken are not as much of a problem.
  • Like snacks of fruit and vegetables, they can enhance overall nutritional quality of your diet and help you maintain more control at meals by not getting too hungry.
  • It’s advisable to be careful about snacking on fast food because it can become a problem if it becomes too frequent or you start to migrate from the lower calorie snacking choices.
  • It’s a smart idea to plan your snacks and carry them with you so they’re handy when you need them.

6) What do you drink, both non alcoholic and alcoholic?  7) How often do you drink beverages other than water or milk?

Liquid calories add up fast and don't usually help to make you feel full or satisfied.

Liquid calories add up fast and don’t usually help to make you feel full or satisfied.

Liquids are not as satisfying as solid foods, therefore the calories from beverages can add up without helping to fill you up.

  • Limit your fluids except for water.
  • Be aware that alcohol lowers inhibitions.
  • In addition to be a significant source of calories it can also be an influence to ignore your goals to manage your portions and food choices.

8) Do you eat many low-fat or fat-free foods?  9) Do you use artificial sweeteners?

Sugar-free and organic foods are not always helpful when it comes to weight loss. If they don't taste good they are a waste of calories! Don't EVER waste calories!

Sugar-free and organic foods are not always helpful when it comes to weight loss. If they don’t taste good they are a waste of calories! Don’t EVER waste calories!

Although this may be an effective way to reduce calories, it can also backfire. Backfiring can result from less satisfaction from the calorie-reduced foods so that you eat a greater quantity. If you are eating these reduced calorie foods thinking they’re better choices and ignoring your portion sizes and calories, changing that behavior could be necessary.

Suggestions:

  • Pay attention to the package labels to accurately track servings and calories per serving.
  • Try replacing the reduced calorie versions with the regular version to see if you you can be satisfied with smaller servings of the “real thing.”
  • Don’t even bother eating reduced-calorie (sugar-free/fat-free) products you don’t like just because they have fewer calories. Eating food you don’t like is always a waste of calories.

10) How often do you eat out (that includes eating in cars)?  11) How do you order when eating out – is every restaurant meal treated like a special occasion with appetizers, drinks, and dessert or do they resemble about what you would eat if you were eating at home in both food choices and portions?

If you eat out for convenience, don't eat as though it's a special occasion. Be conservative with your order to keep calories to about the same amount you would have if the meal were prepared and eaten at home.

If you eat out for convenience, don’t eat as though it’s a special occasion. Be conservative with your order to keep calories to about the same amount you would have if the meal were prepared and eaten at home.

Eating out used to be reserved for special occasions and as such, we ate like we eat a holiday meal – without regards to how much we’re eating until we are so full it hurts. Now that dining out is common if we continue to dine out with the “special occasion” mindset we are eating way too much.

Suggestions:

  • Treat restaurant dining like eating at home.
  • If you don’t eat bread, rolls or appetizers before dinner at home, skip it when dining out.
  • Drink only water.
  • Skip dessert.
  • Ask to have part of your meal boxed up to take home before you begin to eat (or even ask that they do that in the kitchen and serve only half of the meal on the plate.)
  • Ask questions about how your meal is prepared.
  • Ask for gravies and sauces to be served on the side.
  • Go easy on the cheese!
  • When you are eating out for a special occasion (providing they are less frequent than once a month) ignore the suggestions and enjoy a “full, special occasion, dining out experience.

12) How much weight do you need to lose?

Whether you have a lot or a little weight to lose doesn't matter. What matters is how well your weight loss strategies fit your lifestyle and how committed you are to making them a regular part of your everyday routine.

Whether you have a lot or a little weight to lose doesn’t matter. What matters is how well your weight loss strategies fit your lifestyle and how committed you are to making them a regular part of your everyday routine.

For many people having more to lose helps them adhere to their weight loss strategies. Others get overwhelmed by how much weight they want to lose. On the other hand, people with smaller amounts of weight to lose often get too relaxed in their approach because “it’s only a few pounds.”

Whether you have a lot or a little weight to lose, the more you stick to your strategies the better your progress will be.

When you continue to do these things as a regular part of your daily routine you will have truly retrained yourself to weigh less and be healthier!

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.