Are you a master at deception? Are you always having a conversation with yourself that manages to sabotage your newest efforts to finally lose weight? If so, chances are pretty good that you have a dialogue in your head that needs to change. If you are having the following self conversations, it’s best to redirect your dialogue to help you win at weight loss.
The Clean-Plate Game. You know this game: eat it all up because some people are starving! If you eat up all the food when not hungry, you are not helping anyone that is starving! Or, you paid for it so you must eat it. At home, put less food on your plate. In a restaurant, ask for the people box prior to digging into the large plate of food, and acknowledge that while you still paid for it, you now have food for another meal so you doubled your value.
Skipping Breakfast Game: You think you will eat less overall calories by limiting what you consume in the morning. Many studies indicate that when people do this, they manage to consume more total calories in a given day. Other studies show that when people consume substantial calories in the morning, they use those calories to meet energy requirements more efficiently, and store less of that energy in fat cells. Consuming the bulk of your calories at the tail end of the day is less productive for your body weight and energy levels. You will just be hungry and crabby all day, and may over indulge at night.
Dining and Taking Out Food Game. Do you really know what is happening in the kitchen of your favorite restaurant and take-out place? I would venture to guess that this food has much more fat, calories, and sodium than you would find in your own kitchen. Try to limit relying on outside sources for your food unless you are able to confirm with nutrition labels that it is a healthy option.
It’s for Company Mantra Game! There are many variations to this one: there is also “It’s for the kids.” Do the M & Ms really need to be in a bowl for your grandchildren and shouting to you all the time? I have grandchildren too, but I would not have a candy bowl sitting out all the time, because I certainly like the chocolate at well. Get the treats for kids, grandchildren, and company, but keep a limited stock that is purchased just prior to their arrival or hidden away with little access. Better yet, get a treat that does not pose a high temptation threat to you!
The Game of Willpower. I don’t feel that most people successful at weight loss can use the power of willpower. Over the long haul, they should instead think “smart” on eating strategies: keep a clean kitchen free of high temptation foods, keep small amounts or portion controlled foods that you conceptualize as treats, or if food is just too tempting to avoid once in your kitchen, just don’t put it into your grocery cart in the first place. Willpower, in my book, is a short-term bandage fix that doesn’t really last long enough to help you achieve weight loss.
Taking a step back to evaluate the games you play in life will help you be successful at weight management.
Do you play any other games? Care to share your strategies for helping to “win”?