Are you on a diet? If you are, you’re not alone. 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. That’s a lot of people actively trying to change their eating habits.
Choosing the right diet and sticking to it is hard. It takes discipline and dedication. The first few weeks we are motivated and focused. But come weeks 3 and 4, and we are more obsessed with weight and food than ever before.
We all know the drill. No sooner have you started a new diet than all you can think about is food. Decadent unhealthy treats seem to be popping up in all the wrong places – most of all in your thoughts. Here are some great tips on how to stop obsessing over food and stick to your diet.
1. Pay Attention
Before we dive in, let’s get to the basics. Do you pay attention when you are eating? Or are you watching a show, reading an article, or skimming through social media?
Subconscious eating can lead to unnecessary weight gain. Often when we aren’t paying attention to what we put in our mouths, we will overeat. And those extra calories really add up.
Next time you eat a meal, try not to be distracted and really notice exactly what you are eating.
2. Reach For the Water
If you’re dehydrated, your mind may actually think it’s hungry, when in reality, you are thirsty. So before you reach for the cookies or pretzels, take a big drink of water first.
Water is often overlooked when dieting, but it is more important than you may think. There are many health benefits to water including:
- Regulation temperature
- Protects joints and ligaments
- Provides energy
- Clears complexion
- Boosts immune system
That’s a pretty impressive list for just a cup of water.
3. Take a Walk
Feel like snacking, try taking a walk instead.
First, this will get you out of the kitchen and away from the temptation. Second, exercise has actually been associated with reduced food cravings.
Maybe you want to eat because you’re bored? Well getting up and out of the house will keep your mind occupied.
4. Try Watermelon
If you need a snack, try some watermelon. It contains more than 90% water, so eating a bowl of watermelon can help you feel more full faster.
Buy a nice ripe watermelon from the store, cut it up, and store it in Tupperware and place in the fridge so it’s nice and chilled. This is the perfect snack to reach for whenever you get a craving.
5. Clean Out Your Fridge
Truth be told, if you don’t have sugar and junk food in your house, then it’s a lot harder to eat it.
Get rid of all the junk food in your house. Stop buying the processed foods that are full of sugar and corn syrup, and buy clean, healthy snacks.
Some alternatives snack ideas include:
- Cut up veggies and hummus
- String cheese and almonds
- Crackers and cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt and granola
6. Call Your Person
You know that one person who will keep you accountable? Yeah, call them.
Having someone who knows your goals is important when trying to stick to a new eating plan. They will help you stay on track when you’re ready to give up. So find someone you can call who will talk you off the ledge when all you want for breakfast is Pop Tarts and Whipped Cream.
Call and talk to them about how you are feeling. They can help you refocus and remind you of your goals. And remind you that bikini season is right around the corner.
7. Trade-In Your Scale
Everyone has that ideal weight they want to be, right? Well, forget that number.
Weighing yourself often is actually misleading because everyone’s weight fluctuates throughout the day. You weigh different amounts depending on the time of day. So focusing on a set number will throw you off track.
Instead, try on a slightly tight pair of jeans. It’s best to do this first thing in the morning. Trying on jeans is more “real” than the numbers on the scale. As you stay on track with your eating goals, your jeans will eventually start to fit.
8. Add Healthy Fats
Wait, what? Fats?
Yep, but healthy fats.
All fats are not created equal. The fats found in pizza are different than the healthy fats found in avocados or nuts.
It’s important to have healthy fats in your diet. These fats help satisfy you and when mixed with protein, you will actually feel fuller, longer.
So if you find yourself binging on burgers and fries, ask yourself if you’ve had enough healthy fats.
9. Stick to a Schedule
We’ve all done it. We start the day off in a dead sprint. Forgetting breakfast, eating a granola bar for lunch, then find ourselves starving by 4:00. And since you haven’t eaten all day, dinner consists of an entire box of Ritz crackers and Nutella.
When we don’t eat consistently throughout the day, we are more likely to binge eat at night.
Plan sensible meals and easy snacks and eat regularly throughout the day. This will help keep your blood sugar levels up and you’ll feel better. And if you need help keeping track, consider starting a diet journal.
10. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
We often pride ourselves on how much sleep we DON’T need. Ever hear your co-workers brag about how they can function off of only 4 hours of sleep?
Well, that’s not healthy. At all. In fact, the benefits of sleep go beyond avoiding those big yaws during your board meeting.
When you get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, your cravings will actually decrease. Individuals who get adequate sleep eat 250 calories less than their tired counterparts.
How to Stop Obsessing Over Food? Give Yourself a Break.
All these suggestions will help distract you from eating too much, but the best way to stop obsessing over food is to occasionally give yourself a break.
If you eat healthy 90% of the time, you’ll be doing great. Set up a certain time each week when you can just relax and enjoy some beer and wings with your friends without feeling guilty.
You are actually more likely to stay on track if you know that you can have your favorite junk food in the near future.
If you find yourself asking “how to stop obsessing over food” come and check us out. We can help you reach your goals and feel better than you ever have.