Tips to stay on Track after the Challenge…
We have ONE more week before the final weigh in on Monday, April 25th. Please make sure you are able to make it in as there are no exceptions for late weigh ins. If you have a schedule conflict, you may make arrangements with your SSHE location to weigh in early. Also remember to complete your final (required) health screening at Any Lab Test Now.
Below are some great tips to stay on track after the challenge. You may or may not be done with your weight loss journey, but remember that healthy eating is a lifestyle. YOUR new lifestyle.
Never get too hungry
You make poor decisions when your judgment is compromised. Hunger is a primal urge that’s difficult to deny. When you’re famished, it’s hard to hold off until you can find healthy food. As a result, you end up eating anything that’s not nailed down, and typically, regretting it. Planning meals and snacks works wonders to head off the intense hunger that can do a number on your best intentions to eat right.
Be a heavy water drinker
Water is essential for keeping the body hydrated and we’re actually more likely to retain “water weight” by not drinking enough of it rather than by having too much. The needs of each person will be different, but the general recommended daily amount is 64 ounces. It also takes up space in your stomach so you’ll feel fuller while taking in less calories.
Sleep away weight gain
Make a point of turning in earlier and you’ll see weight loss within a week. Recent research from the University of Pennsylvania found even just a few nights of sleep deprivation can lead to almost immediate weight gain.
Keep a food record
We know you’ve heard this time and time again. Well, that’s because keeping a food record is vital to losing weight and keeping it off long term. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that those who kept regular food records lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. When keeping a food record, make sure to track what you ate, how much you ate, anything you added to the food (condiments, oils, etc.), and what you drank. Also tracking your mood and appetite can be helpful and insightful into learning about your eating patterns as well!
Celebrate healthy talk
Instead of using words like “fat,” say “fit”; change “can’t” to “can”; “weak” to “strong”; “unhealthy” to “healthy.” It takes practice but it can start to rewire how you think about your health and weight goals. New research surveying over 1,000 women, found that 9 out of 10 women who have a positive attitude about weight management reported either losing or maintaining their weight in the past year versus only about 50% of those with a negative attitude. And beyond being more successful, those with a positive attitude were eight times less likely to report having gained weight than women who think negatively.
Eat breakfast without fail
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tracked the diets of nearly 900 adults and found that when people ate more fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the morning, they stayed satisfied and ate less over the course of the day than those who ate their bigger meals later on. Unfortunately, many Americans start off on an empty stomach. In one survey, consumers reported that even when they eat in the morning, the meal is a full breakfast only about one-third of the time. If you’re feeling full-blown hunger before noon, there’s a chance you’re not eating enough in the morning. Shoot for a minimum of 250 calories and aim to get a serving of protein in so you’ll feel fuller longer.
Kick the salt habit
Salt is a big contributor to weight gain and often a reason why the numbers on the scale aren’t going down. The average American consumes twice the amount of salt they should have each day, leading to weight gain, bloating, and the inability to lose stubborn pounds. Salt can also make you feel hungrier and thirstier, so check the nutrition labels for high sodium levels and choose fresh over packaged or restaurant foods. You’ll see a puffy face and belly go down quickly just by cutting back on your sodium intake and choosing more natural foods.
Eat one less bite
Doing this at every meal could save about 75 calories a day which equates to nearly an 8-pound weight loss in one year!
Use the red, orange and green rule
At each meal include one food that is any of these colors. By focusing on these foods, you’ll be sure to get some produce on your plate and won’t have space on your plate for higher-calorie fare. (Bonus: Colorful fruits and veggies help your skin look healthier and younger!
Eat right post-workout
People are notorious for overestimating how many calories they burn during physical activity, which is often far less than actual calories burned. When you overestimate the calories you burn during exercise, you may eat more than you need, making weight loss and maintenance difficult. High-intensity exercise may drive women to eat more, and moderate exercise may be the key to easier weight control. To see how many average calories, you’re burning during everyday activities and exercise, check out this chart from the CDC. You can see how easy it is to wipe out the calories burned during a workout with just a few extra nibbles during the day.
Be honest about your daily calorie allowance
Everyone has a calorie budget, whether you’re trying to maintain your weight or lose a few pounds. Your calorie budget allows you to build a healthy diet, and it helps prevent frustration about weight control. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide suggested daily calorie intakes based on gender, age, and physical activity level. When you know your calorie budget, then you can plan on how many servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and other protein sources to include every day.