“Weight loss is hard, there’s no question about that. But it’s not impossible,” says Andrea Skowronek, Registered Dietitian and Coordinator at the Weight Loss Center at The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC).
Here are 12 things Ms. Skowronek and the Center’s Dr. Pratibha Vemulapalli advise to make your success more likely.
1. Eat mindfully. Slowing down, focusing on chewing well and recognizing when your body tells you that you’re full are important steps in curbing over-eating. Mindful eating also helps you make better food choices.2. Decrease distractions. This goes hand-in-hand with mindful eating. Don’t eat in front of the television or computer, on the run, or while you’re working. Focus on the food and relish the meal and its flavors.
3. Keep a food diary. Multiple studies have shown that the simple act of daily recording what you eat and how much helps control weight.
4. Drink only zero- or low-calorie beverages. Sugar-sweetened drinks pack in more calories than you may realize.
5. Quarter your plate. Visually split your plate into fourths. Fill one-fourth with lean protein (chicken, fish or tofu). Fill another fourth with high-fiber whole grains. Complete the other half of the plate with vegetables.
6. Identify and ban “trigger” foods. Some people can’t stop at one potato chip. Others can keep a full bag in the pantry with no problem, but would go nuts with a box of donuts. Don’t bring trigger foods into your home.
7. Feed the family well. Don’t make “diet” meals just for you if you are cooking for a family. Healthy meals are good for everybody.
8. Avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry. And shop the walls of the supermarket—where you’ll find the whole foods and fresh produce.
9. Keep your hands busy. When you aren’t supposed to be eating, try activities that make it near impossible to do so. For instance, take a walk, do yoga, knit, play cards.
10. Wait it out. If you are really craving something or you feel hungry after a meal, make yourself wait another 20 minutes to see if the feeling passes. If it doesn’t, have the smallest amount possible to satisfy you.
11. Transform fruit into dessert—roast, sauté or broil fresh slices of your favorite and add a sprinkle of spice before serving. Consider cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, or even a little hot pepper!
12. Get help if you need it. If you are struggling with losing weight or are thinking about weight loss surgery, consider attending a free info session at TBHC Weight Loss Center to learn more. Call Dr. Vemulapalli at 718.250.8920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.