1. Many of our social interactions include food.
For as long as we can remember, we have seen it on TV, the happy family eating cake, the loving couple enjoying a movie with popcorn. For some of us it happened in our homes. If you had a bad day, mom would make it better with cookies and milk or ice cream. I am not saying that these are bad things, it just makes the association between food and happiness very close. Find things that you can do that make you happy without food. Have a family day that is outside doing activities, or a date with your husband that doesn’t include dinner and a movie, go miniature golfing instead.
2. Restaurants portions have increased (particularly fast food).
Research has shown that over the last 20 years the average portion is about 150 calories more than it used to be. Portions are larger so we eat more, up to 43% more than 20 years ago. It seems that if they put it in front of us we eat it. It is good to take some home and have it for lunch the next day. This could save you hundreds of calories a day.
3. We are less active than in the past.
So many jobs are sitting at a desk and then after work the commute is long and by the time we get home we are tired and don’t feel like doing anything but watching reality television. Take baby steps to becoming more active, walk around the block with your spouse, family or roommate. This not only gets you out of the house and moving, it is a great time to talk to the people that are important in your life. Soon you will be doing more active things together.
4. We find it unacceptable to be hungry.
We are stuck in the mindset that the fewer calories we eat the less we will weigh. The truth is exactly the opposite. When we don’t eat our body goes into starvation mode and our metabolic rate drops. This causes our body to burn fewer calories a day. The key is to slowly increase our intake of healthy foods over a long period of time and our metabolism will follow
5. We misunderstand how weight is maintained.
To maintain our weight, we need to eat enough calories to keep our metabolism revved up and at the same time move enough to maintain the lean muscle mass that is assisting your body in burning calories.
6 We forget the extra food we eat everyday, or we think we ate less than we did.
We become creatures of habit and become less aware of what we are eating and how much we are moving. The real key here is awareness. We have to know that we are constantly working on the pitfalls that got us into this situation in the first place. It is easy to fall into old habits, but keeping a journal will help. Write down what you are eating and how you feel when you are eating it. Make sure that you are eating when you are hungry and not to meet some other emotional need. If you are eating to meet some other emotional need, look for other ways to meet that need. You know the answers.