“There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.” ~ Lady Blessington
Despite what Hollywood and the food industry tell us, it turns out that fat might not be all bad.
As a matter of fact, though studies show that too much weight can mess with our health pretty seriously, not all body fat is bad, according to recent research. (more…)
“It’s tedious and time-consuming. It tethers you to your phone or computer and can trigger anxiety and obsessive behavior in people who get overly hung up on numbers. Yet research repeatedly demonstrates that people who keep food journals are more successful at weight loss and weight loss maintenance than those who don’t.” ~Tamara Grand, FitNitChick.com
Listen. If you’ve been reading my stuff for long, you know that I pretty much tell it like it is. With that being said, you’ll know where I’m going with this.
There are some things we have to do if we want to meet certain goals in our lives. And sometimes, those things aren’t fun, at first, but once you get moving, you realize they’re totally worth your time.
I’ve Got Bad News…But Not THAT Bad.
Here’s the bad news. Food tracking is one of those things when it comes to losing weight – if you want to do it successfully and long-term, you’ve got to figure out what you’re doing wrong and what you can do better. Plus, you’ve got to retrain your brain – stop thinking those “fat person” thoughts and start thinking like the hottie you really are.
The good news is that you can do it, and even if you’re lazy and don’t like to feel uncomfortable (like MOI), you can STILL do it.
The Harsh Truth About Food Tracking: It’s a Pain in the Ass.
So yeah. Tracking your food is TRULY a huge pain in the ass. I’m not gonna lie.
But if you can do it for a month, you can do it for six months.
And often times, if you do it for six months, you don’t have to keep doing it all the time. That’s because you can train your brain to actually WANT to eat healthier foods and in healthier ways. I swear.
Here are some super simple food tracking hacks that will help you make it happen, too.
Food Track-Hack #1: No Cheating (At First)
I had to be very strict about tracking during the beginning in order to lose the weight.
I had to track LITERALLY every single day for at least six months before I felt like I was ready to try going track free.
I tracked every single thing I put in my mouth–even if it was just a handful of peanuts or a bite of a cookie. It mattered, and it changed my life.
Food Track-Hack #2: Okay, Cheat a Little (Within Reason)
Some people do well with a “cheat day” each week, others need two. My suggestion is to do one or less “days” of “freedom” at first.
Instead, I suggest a “cheat meal” option or a “cheat dessert” option once a week.
For me, the Weight Watchers bonus points (aka cheat within reason option) made it easier to understand what an appropriate amount of cheating looked like, and tracking taught me how to eat right and still live in the “real world.”
But even when you cheat, you should still track every single thing you eat. It will help to know exactly what kind of damage you’re doing–in more ways than one.
Food Track-Hack #3: Why Tracking Is Seriously Worth the Trouble
Look, I know what you’re thinking. Tracking food? Boring, waste of time, annoying, restrictive, waste of energy–doesn’t work anyway. Right?
Wrong. So wrong. And trust me, I know what I’m talking about – I learned it the hard way.
Don’t believe me?
Look at this – a rare “no makeup” side-by-side of me before and after losing 100 pounds. (I even wrote a book about how I did it without starving, sweating or surgery so that other people could do it without having to learn the hard way.)
For me, tracking everything I ate and drank was a pain at first and felt really restrictive, but that short period of restriction ultimately led to freedom.
It will be for you too, I promise–so just do it! It is WORTH it. Now I get to wear stuff like this. Way more fun. 🙂
Food Track-Hack Tip #4: Find Your Inner Gamer (Dig Deep If You Gotta)
So listen, I’m not a gamer. Honestly. But tracking sort of became a game to me, eventually. I actually (don’t tell anyone) sort of had fun with it.
I wanted to see how much I could eat while still staying within my points allowance, so I’d figure out different menu options and play with the numbers until I had the most satisfying options possible. Give it a shot!
And Freedom From Food Tracking Looks Like This
These days, I don’t track on a daily basis. But through tracking, I learned what portion sizes are healthier, which small adjustments to which dishes can reduce your fat and calories but still retain the flavor and more.
But the biggest and most important thing that six months of tracking my food helped me to learn was how to listen to my own body’s cues.
Now, I just eat what I want and nothing more or less. I pay attention to my body and feed it what it wants–and nothing else.
How the Food Tracking-Game Changed My World
Within the confines of my little game, I naturally leaned toward healthier foods. Fruits and veggies were mostly free–so I could eat a HUGE and awesome salad with a few ounces of chicken and a couple tablespoons of dressing for seven or eight points, max.
This kind of game-playing led to a change in my taste preferences. Eating greasy, cheesy, creamy, fried or otherwise bad-for-me foods suddenly became less attractive.
Now, I wanted fresh, cleaner-tasting stuff.
These days, I am able to literally eat anything I want, simply by eating healthy MOST of the time and by allowing myself to indulge on occasion.
And since I’m still working on getting those last few pounds off, I am still keeping an eye on my scale. If I notice that I plateau for too long or even gain a pound or two, I’ll go back to tracking for a few weeks so I can regain balance.
I promise, tracking your food doesn’t have to (totally) suck. You might be surprised to find out how much (or how little) you’re really eating and how small changes in your choices can lead to big changes in your health.
Do you track your food? Have you in the past, or will you start food tracking now? Have tracking tips that worked for you? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page.
“When I get hangry, anything within arms reach could be part of my number 20. Mmm, this is potpourri. Smells good, in my mouth. That’s not food. Hehe don’t tweet this.” ~Tina Fey in an American Express commercial
Ever get hangry? That’s when you get so hungry that you get kinda pissed. That feels awful, if you ask me.
And I don’t know about you, but I am really into being comfortable. And that’s why when I lost 100 pounds, I did it without starving, sweating or surgery – but everyone wants to know: how’d I manage to keep the hunger pangs under control?
As we all know, that feeling in the pit of our stomach that makes us feel like we’re starving can be pretty lethal to our weight loss efforts.
Let’s get real for a minute here: sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on work, family, or anything else because of the cravings. Luckily, there are several ways to alleviate this situation. I have covered a TON of them in Project Blissful, as well as the following:
- The Unbreakable You: How to Stay Committed to a Long-Term Weight Loss Plan When You Have More Than 100 Pounds to Lose
- Skinny Head: A Quick-Launch Mindset Makeover for Weight Loss Success
- 227 Super-Simple, Super-Sexy Summer Slim-Down Strategies: The Smart Girl’s Guide to a Very Sexy Summer
Anyhoo…you should totally read those – but in the meantime, try these weight loss hacks to control hunger pangs and stick to your diet at the same time:
- Breakfast can help you control blood sugar levels throughout the day and stop hunger pangs from ruining your diet. It’s important to eat a complete breakfast that combines carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats into one meal.
3. No “meat,” no eat! Eat your protein. Protein can make you feel satisfied after a meal or snack, so you’re less likely to crave other foods.
- You can select food that has protein and still fits your diet. For example, nuts and seeds are a healthy source of protein. Peanut butter and other butters, such as almond butter, also pack a healthy serving of protein.
- A handful of cashews will stave off depression!
- A few dark-chocolate covered almonds and a cup of coffee makes for a nice mid-morning pick-me-up – especially when you follow tip #10 along with it!
4. Slow the freak down! Chew well and eat slowly. If you swallow your food without chewing it enough, then it becomes more difficult to feel full. The rate at which you eat affects your stomach hormones and how you feel.
- A study, titled “Eating slowly increases the postprandial response of the anorexigenic gut hormones, peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1,” found that eating slowly was better. The researchers discovered eating too quickly affected the release of stomach hormones related to feeling full. (That’s why I’ve got that 20-minute rule!)
- Researchers recommend eating slowly, so the stomach hormones that make you feel full have a chance to become active.
5. Chew through the “pangs.” Chew gum in between meals. Researchers have found that gum can help you avoid temptation and stay on your diet. A study from the University of Rhode Island found that chewing gum encouraged people to eat less during the day. (It’s true! But so can brushing your teeth – and you’ll get less gas that way – just saying.)
6. Low-Carb is so 2010. Eat potatoes. Potatoes can be a useful tool for fighting hunger pangs. They have a resistant starch that takes longer to digest, so you feel full for a greater length of time. You won’t feel hungry while you’re still trying to digest the potato you had for lunch.
- It’s important to eat healthy preparations of potatoes, so potato chips and French fries shouldn’t be on the menu. Baked or steamed potatoes can help you stay on your diet.
6. Add more grapefruit to your diet! If you like it, these citrus fruits can help you control hunger while providing more vitamin C. Grapefruits can help control blood sugar levels, so you avoid the dangerous spikes that lead to hunger pangs.
- Fresh grapefruits are easy to add to your diet. They can be part of a fruit salad or smoothie for breakfast. They can also be cut into small pieces for a quick snack.
7. Aroma-therapy anyone? Did you know that smelling certain foods without eating them can help you control hunger pangs? Researchers have found that different aromas can be used to feel full.
- A study, titled “Food aroma affects bite size,” revealed that aroma could be used to control hunger. Researchers discovered that people took smaller bites of food with different aromas. They noticed that controlling the scent of the food affected how much people ate.
8. Start adding coconut oil to your coffee or tea in the morning. This stuff has seriously changed my life, people. Not only does it reduce hunger, but it also helps your skin look better and can help you lose weight – especially around your midsection. I can’t say enough about the stuff – and you can get a month’s supply for under ten bucks.
- Don’t forget to count the calories. Coconut oil has around 130 per tablespoon – but they’re worth it, trust me.
- If you don’t drink coffee or tea, you can add coconut oil to your diet by using it in your cooking .
- Be sure to get the unrefined, organic coconut oil for maximum benefit.
- Remember that a little fat in your diet is necessary, and coconut oil offers one of the best sources of it.
9. Drink a glass of water before you eat – a full 16 ounces. A lot of times when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty. So drink some water and wait a few minutes before you eat anything.
- Ice water is best as it will cause your body to heat up and burn a few extra calories, but any water will do.
10. Try my 20 minute rule! Remember that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to signal your tummy it’s full – so anytime you want to have seconds or even eat something that isn’t on your plan for the day, wait 20 minutes before you do it. This deal works for me almost 100 percent of the time – and I totally use it still today. Give it a shot.
Hunger pangs don’t have to destroy your diet – just beat them with these diet hacks instead. By planning ahead and using these strategies, you can stay on your diet and subdue your cravings.
Bonus tip: Check out the MYBFF all-natural weight-loss supplements – not only have they recently launched a new Power Points program that gives you an instant $5 discount (and there are so many free ways to earn those points – you could save more than half of the cost and then some), but they’re insanely useful for getting off the extra weight and they’ll also cleanse your body in the process. I find they give me plenty of energy too.
Now it’s your turn! Tell me what works best for YOU to stave off hunger – leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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