12 Ways to Think Yourself Thinner

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Slimming Strategies 7-12

7. Visualize your success.
Picture your slimmer self walking on a beach in your bathing suit, playing with your kids without getting out of breath, and wowing friends and family with your new shape. "Images like these provide the enthusiasm you need to keep eating well and exercising," says Katherine Tallmadge, RD, author of Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations.

8. Mind your table manners.
Do you find yourself racing through meals even when you're not short on time? Wolfing down your food isn't just rude -- it could prevent you from reaching your weight-loss goals. That's because eating too quickly may interfere with the release of gut hormones that help you feel full, which could lead to overeating, according to research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Train yourself to eat more slowly by putting down your utensils between each bite. "You shouldn't be loading up your fork if you haven't even finished chewing the previous bite," says Frechman. Taking the time to savor the taste, texture, and aroma of your meal may help you feel satisfied with less food.

9. Be a picky eater.
Don't waste precious calories on foods you don't really love. Before you raid your coworker's candy drawer, for example, stop and ask yourself: Is this a special must-have indulgence or could I eat it any time? Would I rather spend my calories on something else? You may realize that the candy isn't a must-have after all.

10. Don't indulge a craving the minute it strikes.
It will probably go away in 15 to 20 minutes (we're serious!). Distract yourself while you wait out a yearning for cookies by drinking a glass of water, playing a game on the computer, or taking a walk. Or simply picture anything other than cookies. In a recent study conducted at Flinders University, in Australia, volunteers who had been experiencing food cravings reported that those cravings eased after they were asked to think about nonfood images and aromas.

11. Avoid peer pressure.
You've probably heard that women are more likely to overindulge when they eat with other women. To avoid social dining sabotage on girls' night out, check the restaurant's menu on its Web site (or look it up on menupages.com) and make a healthy meal choice ahead of time. "Picture yourself saying your order and asking the waiter for water with lemon instead of soda," says Sandon. Placing your order first helps, too -- once you've asked for the grilled chicken salad with dressing on the side, you won't be as easily swayed by a pal who orders mac and cheese.

12. Ditch the put-downs.
Negative beliefs like "I have no willpower" or "I'll always be this heavy" can easily become self-fulfilling prophecies. (Needless to say, they won't do much for you in the motivation department, either.) The good news is that positive self-labels can also influence reality. People who describe themselves as being healthy eaters report consuming more fruits and vegetables and fewer unhealthy foods, according to a study conducted at the University of Ottawa. Think it, be it -- there's no easier weight-loss strategy than that!

Continued on page 3:  Your Weight-Loss Tool Kit

 

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