We’re almost done with January which means most of us have already given up on our New Year’s Resolutions. The good news is that every day is the start of a New Year, so if you’ve fallen off the wagon, you might as well just get back on. You’ve still got 11 months to see the results you were hoping for by 2020. For those who haven’t quit, congrats. Keep up the good work, and to make things a little easier if your goal is weight loss, here are five simple tips to help quiet the hunger pangs.
I’m not saying sugarless gum is healthy, but I will say it’s come in clutch for me on multiple occasions when I’m tempted to smash a dozen cookies or a large pizza. Something about chewing helps calm the demons in my head and makes me less tempted to spoil my diet. If one piece doesn’t do it for you, try two or even three at a time. I’ve found if I have to work hard to chew it, I tend to forget whatever food I’ve been obsessing over.
Most diets worth their salt will require you to reduce or eliminate sugar and since sugar is an addiction for most of us, it can be very difficult. I don’t drink Diet Soda regularly anymore, but I do keep some on hand for when I need a sweetness fix. It is important not to drink over 12 ounces of Diet Soda in a day, as drinking more can be detrimental to weight loss, and because a can full of chemicals isn’t healthy by any means. On the other hand, I will admit cracking a nice cold can of Diet Coke during a moment of weakness can be a refreshing diet saver.
One of my triggers for overeating is sitting on the couch and watching TV. Thankfully I’m busy enough these days I don’t get to do so very often, but when I do, it’s tempting to grab a bag of chips, a beer, and whatever else I can get my hands on. Flipping on the Keurig and brewing a cup of Mint or Chamomile tea instead usually does the trick. The warmth makes my stomach/brain believe I’m eating something and with zero calories, my diet remains unbroken.
On the nights where I’m feeling extra ravenous and tea just won’t do the trick, a glass or two of red wine is what I reach for next. It’s important not to drink more than two regular sized glasses, and make sure the wine is red and not white. If you have problems with alcohol, skip this tip, but for these who don’t, red wine won’t destroy your diet. Just don’t develop a habit.
I’m not a violent person but if you told me I could never eat a Cheeseburger or drink Captain and Coke ever again, I might just punch you in the face. The fact is, no one will stick to a healthy diet 100% of the time, and trying to do so can be counter productive. Even “The Rock” takes a cheat day occasionally. Planning to take breaks from your diet will keep you from crashing and burning. I suggest taking one day per week to go crazy and eat whatever you want. Keep it at 12 uninterrupted hours (so don’t start Friday night and finish Saturday afternoon). This will give you a light at the end of the tunnel and a reason to be good for the other 6 days of the week. Besides, you’ll probably be so sick the day after your cheat day you won’t even want junk food for the rest of the week. Surprisingly, a cheat day can even help you see better results on your weight loss journey as it will ramp up your metabolism. When I was losing weight it was common to gain 8 pounds on a Saturday binge, but after returning to my diet I’d be at my pre-cheat day weight by Monday, and back to losing weight by Tuesday.
There’s no way to eliminate the pain of losing weight entirely, but it is possible to reduce it, and these tips have all helped me. Feel free to share in the comments if you have any others.
Keep up the good work!