You Forget You’re Full

You Forget You’re Full

Stopping at a red light is more challenging when you’re flying at 100 miles per hour than when cruising at a slower speed. Knowing when to put down your fork is similar. Experts say gauging your body’s subtle “I’m full” cues is easier when you take smaller bites at a slower pace. In fact, one study published in the journal PLOS One found that people who focused on taking “small bites” of food consumed about 30 percent less soup for their meal than those who didn’t make the conscious decision. The mindful soup slurpers also more accurately estimated how many calories they had consumed.

Eat This, Not That! Fix: A second study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that simply slowing down had similar results. People who focused on doubling the number of times they chewed before swallowing ate 15 percent less food and 112 fewer calories over the course of a meal. So pump the brakes, and slow down to slim down.

12 You Don’t Talk to Yourself
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“Mindful eating can help you break free from old automatic, habitual patterns of reacting to environmental and emotional triggers. So whenever you feel like eating, pause to ask ‘Am I hungry?’ and choose how you’ll respond,” says Michelle May, MD, founder of Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Programs.

Eat This, Not That! Fix: “Eat mindfully with intention and attention,” says May. “Eat with the intention of feeling better when you’re finished eating than you did when you started, and eat with your full attention on the food and your body for optimal enjoyment and satisfaction.”

13 You Didn’t Om Before You Nom
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Of all the gym-goers, yogis tend to be the most mindful eaters, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. In a survey of more than 300 Seattle residents, researchers found that people who ate more mindfully weighed less than those who ate mindlessly (those who reported eating when not hungry or in response to anxiety or depression). The researchers also found a strong association between mindful eating and yoga practice, but not other types of physical activity, like walking or running. According to the authors, yoga, because it teaches how to maintain calm in uncomfortable or challenging situations, can increase mindfulness in eating and lead to less weight gain over time — independent of the physical aspect of the exercise.

Eat This, Not That! Fix: Enjoy yoga—and get abs doing it. Click here for the “Best Foods for Yoga.”

14 You Tried to Lose Weight Alone
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“There are a number of external factors — such as the people with whom you are enjoying a meal — that play a critical role in your ability to eat mindfully,” says Dan Childs, managing editor of the ABC News Medical Unit and co-author of Thinfluence.

Eat This, Not That! Fix: “Think of ways to optimize your environment that will help you achieve this goal,” says Childs. “For example, make others who are eating with you aware of your goal to eat mindfully. Invite them to try it too. You may find that experiencing a meal together will help you both savor what you are eating and pay closer attention to how much you are eating so you don’t overindulge.”

15 You Fell into the Trap
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Our homes are filled with hidden eating traps, and simply being aware of something as simple as the size of a bowl can influence how much you eat, according to Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab. In one of Wansink’s “mindless eating” studies, moviegoers ate 45 percent more fresh popcorn from extra-large containers than large ones. A second study showed that people automatically poured more liquid into short, wide glasses than in tall, skinny ones of the same volume. Even a kid’s cereal bowl can be a hidden trap for mindless overeating. A study in the Journal of Pediatrics found children who were given a 16-ounce bowl served themselves twice as much cereal as children given an 8-ounce bowl.

Eat This, Not That! Fix: Bottom line: It’s easier to change your environment than to change your mind. Employing simple strategies like eating off salad plates instead of large dinner plates are more likely to succeed than willpower alone.

16 You Don’t Love Yourself Enough
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The food guilt, the negative self-talk, the still ill-fitting clothes: Diets can do a number on your self-confidence, especially when your goal seems forever-plus-10-pounds away. But wanting to lose weight doesn’t mean you have to hate your body now. In fact, studies suggest self-love may be integral to your success. Diets that lack self-compassion often lead to emotional eating, elevated stress levels, and stalled weight loss.

Eat This, Not That! Fix: Read this essay by The Naughty Diet author Melissa Milne: “A Skinny Woman Responds to Haters That Shame Her.”

17 You’re Not Imagining ‘Awesome’
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Olivia Tarantino
“Realize first that you are awesome,” says Nia Shanks, coach, health and fitness writer, and leader of the Lift Like a Girl revolution. “You should be doing these things — eating well and working out — because you love your body and you want to become a stronger, more awesome version of yourself.”

Eat This, Not That! Fix: When it comes to working out, put the focus exclusively on what your body can do, and be proud of its abilities. Strive to improve your performance each workout, because when you change your focus from what you weigh to what your body can do, you’ll achieve the weight-loss results you want while improving your self-confidence, and become a more awesome version of yourself. Do these things, and you can be happy today. You won’t have to wait until you achieve your weight-loss goals.

18 You Take Showers
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“A hot bath is one of the simplest expressions of self-love and care,” says Milne. “Skinny dipping in the privacy of your own bathroom clears the mind, soothes sore muscles, and releases pleasure-giving endorphins. It’s a sensual pause from the stress of our daily lives, a hot spot for indulging our bodies, minds, and appetites for pleasure — calorie-free.”

Eat This, Not That! Fix: “So grab the bubble bath, some extra-large, fluffy towels, a candle, and a Do Not Disturb sign, and draw yourself a steamy tub of 20-minutes’ peace,” says Milne. “The kids can wait.”

19 You Write Posts, Not Journals
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“Only when you love your body will you truly nourish it and care for it the way you need to in order to lose weight healthfully, without gaining it back,” says Neghar Fonooni, fitness and lifestyle coach and creator of the Lean and Lovely method.

Eat This, Not That! Fix: “One simple way to start this process is to write in a ‘self-compassion journal,’” says Fonooni. “Every morning you’ll write down three things about yourself that you think are fabulous — one physical trait and two character or personality traits. The more you write, the more you’ll be open to love and compassion toward yourself.” Does this cheesy tip actually work? Yes, but others you’ve heard are BS. Learn the truth with our “24 Nutrition Myths—Busted!”

20 You Haven’t Crowdsourced Praise
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“Positive affirmations can help boost your confidence, but they can sometimes be hard to use when you feel at odds with your appearance,” says Robyn Silverman, body image expert.

Eat This, Not That! Fix: “Turn the idea on its head a bit. Look in the mirror,” says Silverman. “If you are having trouble saying anything kind about yourself or your body, ask those you love to help you. Request notes from your best friends, your parents, your siblings, and anyone else whose opinion can lift you. Post these notes on your mirror, and read them out loud each day. Allow their words to become your own.

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