The red flags below signal major nutrition problems, which in all likelihood are are undermining your weight loss efforts. Here they are:
- Habitual snacking – which means snacking on high carb foods more than twice a day, and/or consuming more than the serving size recommended on the package (a very common occurrence, which often goes unnoticed and unchecked).
- Eating binges where you dig in the fridge and can’t seem to stop eating
- Turning to food for comfort or pressure relief
- Attachment to junk food (you simply love those highly processed high carb foods – crackers, cookies, potato chips, etc)
- Attachment to fast food (you love McDonalds and the like)
- Eating out (or carry-out) more than twice a week (regardless of the restaurant or eaterie you frequent, chances are you’ll do damage)
- Eating Pizza more than twice a week
- Attachment to cakes, pies, or ice-cream (eating one of these items more than 3-4 times a week, especially in large helpings)
- Eating fried food more than twice a week (french fries, fried meats or fish, etc)
If one or more of the above points are true, the likelihood is you have an eating problem. The more points are true, the greater the problem. Ignoring it is not an option – because chances are, effective weight loss won’t occur until the problem is fixed.
So the question is: How do you effectively fix such nutrition problems?
The answer is simple: BY REPLACEMENT. In other words, you will substitute either a different food, or a different activity for the one you currently engage in.
In practice, this can sometimes be tricky. Here’s why: In order for this approach to work, the substitute activity (or substitute food) you choose, should be enjoyable. It doesn’t work declaring: “I’m going to eat fruit instead of high carb snacks…”, if in fact you hate fruit. In order for you to sustain the “replacement measure” long-term, you must derive some pleasure out of it.
So think carefully what to choose as replacement. Making the wrong choice at this point is why most weight loss programs fail.
Of course, picking good habits that are also enjoyable long-term is no small task, especially if you have to rewire your entire previous lifestyle. Again, that’s why most weight loss endeavors end up in failure. If you find it particularly difficult to come up with healthy replacement habits, even after giving it the appropriate amount of thought, I would recommend turning to a support group for ideas (e.g., “Weight Watchers”). Seeing how others manage to cope with the same issue can be extremely helpful.
Or, to get the right ideas for a healthy nutrition plan, you may turn to a food provider such as “Nutrisystems”, which delivers prepackaged meal portions at your door. Following such a meal plan (at least for a while), gives you a good feel of how to budget your food and avoid nutrition problems. Additionally, it lets you know what works for you and what doesn’t, and most importantly, what healthy foods you actually enjoy eating. Those will be the foods to stick with in the long run.