Do you enjoy television reality shows? Many people tune in week after week to watch excited players complete challenges and win prizes. Part of the fun is when you see how they still win despite the efforts of other players to stop them. Your efforts to lose weight may have a lot in common with these popular programs. You also have a test and hope to win a great prize. This prize is to lose weight and become healthier. This is hard to do if those around you try to get in the way of your success. Here are a few examples of how friends and family make it harder for you to win and some good ways to respond:
- They bring tempting foods into your home
Invite your loved ones to be part of your success. Ask them to change their treats for a single week. Suggest a different food such as baked chips and low-carbohydrate ice cream. At the end of the week, let them know how much they helped you. Ask if they would continue to help you keep your meal plan for another week.
- They take you out to tempting places
If dining out is part of your social world, you do not have to stay home or order a head of lettuce while others treat themselves. Try the following ideas:
- Suggest a restaurant that offers healthy food choices.
- Get a copy of the menu and decide what to order before arriving.
- Order first, so everyone else’s choices will not tempt you.
- Enjoy a non-creamy soup as your first course. It is a good idea to have liquids to help satisfy your appetite.
- Drink a glass of water before you eat. Like soup, water can also help fill you up.
- Ask for a healthierfood to replace a less healthy option. For example, ask for steamed vegetables instead of French fries.
- Ask foran extra plate. Use your meal as a serving dish and put a healthier-sized piece onto your extra plate.
- They make unhelpful comments
When the camera films, reality show players let those insults flow. In your own reality show, friends and loved ones may also voice their unhelpful thoughts. You might hear lines such as “I don’t see any difference”or “You must be cheating!”
These words can be hurtful. Tell these people that you are making sensible, small changes in your meal plan. You want to enjoy your foods. You do not think you have to lose out on enjoying food to lose weight.
- They remind you of past failures
If others bring up your past failures, thank them for their concern. Tell them that the situation has changed because you now have the help of a supportive health care team.
- They refuse to listen to your pleas for help
If they refuse to change, find help:
– Find a partner or support group. Health goals are easier to reach when you do them with a friend.
– Join an exercise class.
– Ask for help and support from your health care team.
At times, your weight loss effort may seem like an episode of Fear Factor, Survivor, or even Project Runway, but it does not have to turn out like this. Do not let others wreck your efforts. Take the steps you need to succeed and win the best prize of all – good health.
3 WAYS TO HELP YOU IGNORE THAT HARMFUL INNER VOICE
There it goes again. The voice that whispers all the things you do not want to hear: “Come on…another cookie won’t hurt you!” “You exercised yesterday…so skip today.” or “Finish the whole meal – you paid for it!” This voice comes from inside of you —not from a friend or loved one.
Our inner voice advises us on many different matters. It reminds us to turn off the iron, charge our cell phone, and lock the car after we park. Unfortunately, some of what we hear is not always helpful. When we lose interest in our weight loss program or exercise routine, our inner voice tempts us to do things that are not healthy. It persuades us to skip our treadmill workout. It urges us to take the last few pieces of candy before we toss out the box. It tries to lead us down the road to ruin. Sad to say many of us happily go along this road.
Here are some ways to help you ignore harmful messages that enter your head:
- Eat healthy meals and snacks often
When you feel full, you are less likely to give in and eat foods that are bad for you. If your present meal plan leaves you hungry and open to temptation, change it with the help of the registered dietitian on your healthcare team.
- Keep tempting foods out of your way
It is far harder to attack a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey if it isn’t in your freezer.
- Do not shop for groceries while hungry
You are more likely to load up your cart with foods that you crave rather than with healthier choices.
- Exercise often
Physical activity releases “feel good” hormones to help you stay in a better mood throughout the day. It lifts mild depression, reduces your appetite, improves your blood sugar control, and helps you meet your weight goals.
- Drink plenty of water
Water fills you up and satisfies your hunger, so you will, hopefully, feel less tempted to eat foods you want to avoid.
- Check your blood glucose level
Check your blood glucose level at 2 hours after the start of a meal. This provides helpful feedback about your food choices.The American Diabetes Association suggests most people aim for a post-meal glucose level of less than 180mg/dl.
- Fill your home with positive messages
When you keep a meal plan for an entire day, mark a star on a calendar. Post positive messages on your refrigerator and place reminders around your home and office.
- Chew sugar-free gum
A tasty gum keeps your mouth busy and satisfied. Just know that sugarless gum often contains sugar alcohol, which can have a laxative effect if you ingest too much ofit.
- Get help from a partner
Invite a friend to help you set and meet daily health goals.
Don’t let the voice inside you become your own worst enemy. When it sends you an unhealthy message, think of a better one. Do what you know deep down is best for you.