3 Ways To Lose Weight That Have Nothing To Do With Dieting
By Chris Mohr, dietician for Men’s Health; Photography by Pexels
Time to stop beating yourself up about food…
When you set out to get in the best shape of your life this year, you probably thought about what you would and wouldn’t eat. But tweaking your diet really isn’t all that it takes to get your body on fleek. That misconception makes it easy to believe that while most of our 2017 New Year’s resolutions revolve around healthier eating, weight loss or fitness (all the good things!), very few of us actually stick with a resolution through the year. Sigh.
To lose weight and keep it off, you have to incorporate healthy habits that don’t always seem to have a direct impact on your weight. These three small changes can improve your mood and make dropping those kilograms a lot less daunting.
#1: Sleep more
Wait, what? If you’re not sleeping enough, either in terms of quality or quantity, you’re going to struggle to stay on track with fitness or nutrition.
In fact, one study published in November 2016 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who logged less than five and a half hours of sleep per night ate 1 526 more kilojoules the next day. To add insult to injury, the sleep-deprived folks chose different foods, too. They skimped on protein and instead ate foods higher in empty kilojoules.
#2: Focus on your behaviour, not the outcome
Set a goal, but then work backwards and figure out the behaviours needed to reach that goal. For example, if you have a weight goal in mind, figure out realistically how long it should take (assuming about 0.5 to 1kg of weight loss per week).
Then work on the small, incremental behaviours that will help you achieve the goal: cutting out fizzy drinks, eating protein at each meal, filling half your plate with veggies, etc. These are the behaviours necessary for change. When putting each into practice, consistently, the outcome will happen. (Exercise will help, too. We’ve got tons of routines that’ll help you squeeze in quickie workouts – just check out our fitness section.)
#3: Stop beating yourself up about dieting and food
Eating should be enjoyable. Food offers more than nutrition. It fuels our bodies and minds. It sparks conversation. It connects people. And at the end of the day, no single meal (or food) will make or break your success. If you went out with friends, had a few drinks and wings too many, put that behind you. It has already happened, and you need to focus on what you can do to move forward. Focus on where you’re going, not where you’ve been.
So, yes, three of the best things you can do for your diet don’t involve food at all. Eating healthily has as much to do with your brain as it does your stomach. When you set a healthy mindset, the rest will fall into place – and the weight will fall off.
This article was originally published on MensHealth.com.
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