How to Get Past a Weight Loss Plateau
Even the best-laid plans can falter.
Weight-loss plateaus happen to virtually everyone who is trying to lose weight. At some point, you may well find that your own progress has stalled, even if you’re continuing to exercise and eat well. The good news is, these are extremely common and are no cause for despair.
All it takes to get your body over the hurdle is the right push. It’s not just about physiology but also psychology. You may be experiencing this challenge because you have simply run out of the motivation required to reach your fitness goals.
This is also a very common experience and nothing to be ashamed of. Again, all you need is a jolt to get you going again. One of the best ways to jumpstart your fitness journey is with a fitness workout challenge.
A challenge with a strict time limit and structure, such as a 30-day challenge, is the ideal way to get things going again. The following are the very best fitness challenges to help you overcome this temporary roadblock.
30-Day Full Body Fitness Challenges
If you really need to feel the burn, then you need a full-body custom workout plan to reignite every muscle in your body.
There are many effective ways to do this, but the most popular ones involve you dedicated each day of the week to a different body part, with one day off for rest.
So Monday would be your lower body day, Tuesday your upper body, Wednesday your cross-fit, and so on.
30-Day Cleanse Challenges
One sure-fire way to get your weight loss back on track is with a 30-day cleanse. There are countless ones to choose from, from paid programs like The Clean Program and ones you can easily do yourself, such as the Master Cleanse.
If you’re on a high-protein diet or are bulking up, certain types of cleanses are best avoided until you can gradually adjust your diet. Alternatively, there are a number of high-protein cleanses which will whip you into shape.
30-Day Ab Challenges
Sometimes the most effective workout challenges are those with a visible and tangible goal at the end. Telling yourself, you want to get shredded within a month is a powerful visual motivator that will jump-start your weight loss journey in a heartbeat.
There are several highly-recommended ab challenges you can undertake without having to spend a single penny. Try the 30-day ab challenge app to start with, so you can game-if your weight loss and push yourself to the finish line.
30-Day Squat Challenges
This one is especially popular with the ladies, for a good reason. Workout routines that make you look and feel good in a rapidly short period of time are few and far between.
The simplicity and ease of most squat challenges are a key part of their appeal and a great way to build up your motivation again.
Start off with just a few squats and keep building until you’re doing hundreds a day by the end of the month.
It takes more than fitness challenges to reach the finish line and achieve the body of your dreams. You need support, expertise, and discipline to ensure your body is the very best it can be.
If you want the support and information you need to reach the top, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We’re here to get you on track – your success is our mission.
Will a Weight Loss Plateau Go Away on Its Own?
No. It’s challenging to lose much weight without some physical fitness or movement. If you’re not actively and constantly moving, losing the calories needed for weight loss becomes tough.
How Long Does It Take to Break a Weight Loss Plateau?
Studies show that weight loss plateaus happen after 7 Months of maintaining a low-calorie gameplan.
Is a Weight Loss Plateau Good?
No. It can be frustrating but keep in mind, this stage in your weight loss journey is normal. Almost everyone goes through this delay. Most important is to never give up or quit.
How Do You Speed Up Weight Loss?
Strength Training or actively moving is essential. It’s always a good idea to lift weights every day. Another important tip is to consume protein every day. Get enough sleep and don’t be afraid to gain weight. Keep in mind; fear is what attracts. Consume Fiber and Whole organic foods regularly.
Want to experience a 21-day transformation Challenge? Great! Click on the image below to learn more!
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By Midwestern Technology — 3 years ago
12 Brilliant Gym Tips For A More Efficient Workout
Do you think you’re wasting time at the gym? Efficient workouts equal fewer excuses. Here are some gym tips to help you trim the fat off your workout routine.
Do you workout regularly? If so, you’re already in an elite group.
According to new research, although more than 75% of people claim they want to get in shape and look great, only 31% actually make exercise a routine habit.
Yet, are you getting the most from your time at the gym? Do you leave with sweat dripping, adrenaline pumping and those exertion-fueled endorphins running in your veins? Or, are you still struggling to see the results you crave?
If it’s the latter, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re sharing 12 simple gym tips that can help you supercharge your workouts and bump up the ROI on that membership.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
1. Start with a Plan
You walk into the gym and take a long look around. There are treadmills on one wall, ellipticals on another and a giant weightlifting area. It’s inspiring. It’s exciting. It’s also incredibly overwhelming.
You spend more than a few minutes figuring out which area you want to visit first and which part of your workout you want to prioritize.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
If so, try planning out your next gym workout. Before you even get in the car and head out, jot down what you want to focus on, how long you want to spend there and in what order you’re going to tackle it all.
Doing so not only helps you stay organized and start your workout quicker. It also makes sure your heart rate doesn’t drop as you spend time perusing the options. One way to ensure you’re always ready to go? Have a backup plan ready in case the machines you want are full.
2. Shorten and Strengthen Your Workouts
It seems like simple logic: The longer you workout, the better you’ll look and feel, right?
If your usual gym session includes exercising for an hour or two at a slow, moderate pace, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Studies show that interval training, or working out in smaller, 10-30 minute bursts with rests in between, is more beneficial than marathon sweat sessions.
Why? You’ll increase your heart rate, build your endurance and maximize your speed when you focus on working your body to its top capacity. When you go for longer, something has to give and it’s usually your body’s performance.
So, the next time you’re looking at the indoor track and dreading that five-mile stretch you’ve been doing, try tackling one mile instead and see how much more powerful you feel.
High-Intensity Interval Training
A popular way to add shorter, more powerful workouts to your gym routine is to try high-intensity interval training or HIIT training. Put simply, this is the method of dividing your overall workout into blocks of intense exertion along with designated times for rest.
Focus on exercises that get your heart rate and lungs working to their top capacity, and sustain the movements for a few minutes at a time. Of course, if you have any cardio or health concerns, talk to your doctor before trying a HIIT routine. It is also recommended against for those just starting out in their fitness routine.
3. Add Protein
After an especially exhausting workout, your muscles need to rebuild themselves. This is true for both cardio-centric exercises as well as strength-building ones. To amplify the results you’ll see and improve your body’s ability to bounce back, it can be helpful to add an element of protein into your post-workout meal or snack.
A simple protein shake, made with either whey or soy, is a great way to recharge and refuel after your time at the gym. You can also find protein bars and other snacks that make refilling on the go both simple and quick.
While you sip or munch, you’ll be helping your body repair any damage it sustained during your workout. You’ll also give your immune system a boost, rebuild your stored glycogen, and regrow your muscles. It’s a simple trick that can cap off a great session and help you see results quicker.
4. Pump the Right Tunes
It might sound unimportant, but the idea that the right music can affect your workout is backed by science.
While there is no one-size-fits-all playlist that will make you magically grow those muscles you want, your best bet is to stick to jams that make you feel seriously inspired. From the soundtrack to Space Jam to Madonna, anything goes. One rule? If it puts you to sleep or makes you want to cry, save it for another time.
Instead, invest in a great pair of workout headphones and turn up the dial on those energy-infused rockers that make you want to holler, howl and show your strength. Start the playlist while you’re on the way to the gym and let that feeling follow you.
5. Do a Digital Detox
One surefire way to get less from your workout? Hop off the treadmill every five minutes to respond to that group chat, take a picture of your gear or post on social media.
Not only are you allowing your heart rate to fluctuate as you momentarily disengage, but you’re also losing that valuable mental focus. If you must have your phone on you, activate airplane or vibrate mode. Otherwise, leave it in the locker room.
6. Know Your Weights
You might be tempted to grab the heaviest weight at the gym to push yourself and look cool, but take a step back from those dumbells.
Using a too-heavy weight is just as ineffective as using one that’s too light. When you try to lift a boulder, chances are you can’t do many repetitions, if any at all. The ones you are able to manage are likely not executed properly.
On the other hand, a too-small weight isn’t activating your muscles effectively. The key is to find that sweet spot. Ideally, you want a weight that requires effort to lift and move but isn’t uncomfortable to curl.
It might take some trial and error but look for one that allows you to finish out your rep set. You want to challenged and struggling just a bit on the last few reps, but not throughout.
7. Journal Your Workouts
Just as a dieter monitors what he or she eats, if you want to get the most from your gym exercises, it’s helpful to write down your progress.
Keep track of when you exercised, what you did and how you felt. You might keep your notes in an old-fashioned notebook or on a fitness app. Either way, be specific. Note how many reps you did, what weights you used and any other important details.
When you go back the next time, take a look at your notes and see where you can push yourself a little. Add a few more reps, use a slightly heavier weight or incorporate a new machine you haven’t used yet.
8. Focus on Compound Movements
Wondering what to do at the gym? Your best bet is to find exercises that pull double or triple duty.
Known as compound movements, these are ones that work for more than one muscle group at a time and at least two of your joints. While there is a time and place for bicep curls and other routines that laser-focus on one area, compound workouts are a great way to maximize your time.
As you do these moves, you’ll build muscle mass, exert more energy, and burn more calories. Not sure where to start? Try a simple lunge or squat. Or, take that bicep curl a step further and flow into a shoulder press.
9. Find an Exercise You Love
It sounds simple, but one of our best workout tips is to find a workout routine you actually enjoy doing. If you aren’t passionate about something, your initial enthusiasm will only take you so far. After that, you’re just going through the motions, often to no avail.
Our interests and goals change over time, so don’t be afraid to reexamine your routine every so often to make sure it’s still enjoyable.
Whether you love running, biking, hiking, lifting or anything in between, find a workout that brings you alive both physically and mentally. That’s the only way to ensure you stick with it in the long run.
Still, need a little motivation to summit that mountain ahead of you? Try reaching out to a personal challenge coach who can encourage you to push ahead on your fitness journey.
10. Fine-Tune Your Form
All the repetitions in the world won’t give you results if you’re not doing them correctly. While it’s fine to add on more weight as you grow stronger, make sure you’re not sacrificing your form as you do so.
This is where a personal trainer can be valuable. Work with one at your gym to make sure you’re performing each exercise the right way. Doing so can help you prevent injury and safely engage all the muscles you’re supposed to be working.
While you’re still learning, stick with a lighter weight and focus on maneuvering it before you build up to a higher level.
11. Train Your Brain
Exercise is as much about mental strength as it is about physical. To this end, it’s helpful to focus your mind on each part of your workout as you’re going through it. Think about the muscles you’re activating, your posture, and the form you’re trying to maintain.
As you do so, you’ll automatically become more invested in the routine rather than just going through the motions. If you find yourself spacing out, talking with others around you or watching the television screen too often, take a break to re-center.
12. Get More Rest
If you think your muscles are working during your workout, you should see them afterward. As your body repairs itself from the exertion and strain you put on it, this is a valuable and important time in your fitness regimen.
If you’re pushing through back-to-back workouts without resting in between sessions, you’re denying your body that vital time. It’s no wonder, then, that you haven’t seen the immediate results you’re looking for. As your muscle fibers are put to the test, they develop small tears that must heal to grow.
Moreover, the next time you visit the gym, you’re not only sleep-deprived and sloppy, but you’re also setting yourself up for injury.
Though it might be against your nature to indulge in rest, it’s essential that you do so. If you suffer from insomnia or have a difficult time falling and staying asleep, it’s worth a call to your doctor to address any underlying health conditions that might be attributed to the issue.
Ace Your Next Workout With These Gym Tips
We all want to make the best use of our time at the gym. It’s why we make the trek up there, gear up and carve out space in our schedule to sweat. Yet, it’s frustrating to think that you can put so much into your workout and still feel dissatisfied with the results.
That’s where we come in.
Our team of coaches is dedicated to making sure you don’t run through your next workout aimlessly. We’ll work one-on-one with you to help you define, refine and achieve your fitness goals. From the foods you eat to the routines you perform, we understand that great health is a lifestyle, not a fad.
If you’re just getting started, our nine-week challenge is a great place to begin. You’ll transform your physique from the inside out, learn valuable gym tips and amaze yourself in the process. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions. Your transformation is our motivation!
By Midwestern Technology — 2 years ago
Tools of the Trade: 15 Must-Have Gym Accessories You Should Keep in Your Gym Bag
Are you just getting started in fitness? At least the kind of fitness that involves going to the gym or working with a trainer?
A lot of people never start because they feel intimidated. They feel like there’s a workout learning curve and they don’t want to feel silly. First of all – everyone looks silly at first and second, that’s why you need a plan from respected trainers.
Once you get past the anxiety, you learn that there are gym accessories you need as well. But don’t worry about figuring out what they are. We have thirteen essentials for you to throw in your bag below.
1. Gym Bag Dividers
If you’re the kind of person who gets serious at the gym: like changes and showers out of their sweaty clothes after, then you need dividers or at least a gym bag with good pockets.
You don’t want to be standing in the locker room hot and sweaty trying to find all the things you need to take to the shower. Instead, they should be in some sort of shower-friendly bag/kit.
Look for materials made out of mesh or netting, so if they get wet, the water can escape and dry. If they do get wet, wrap them in your used towel on your way home.
The towel will soak up any water and it won’t get anything else in your bag wet.
Dividers or pockets are also great for shoes so that the dirty bottoms don’t touch your other clothes. Ideally, you’ll have gym shoes that you only wear in the gym – but there are germs indoor too.
Yes, this one seems like a no brainer, but we all know that person in the gym that forgets it. You should have a separate deodorant that only lives in your gym bag.
When you use it, put it right back in its little pocket. This way, you’ll never be without.
But having deodorant on hand has another, less known use. If you forgot your chafe cream or you’re starting to rub a blister, you can glide deodorant on.
For a blister-to-be, the best solution is duct tape. But aside from that, you can rub some deodorant on the skin (under your sock) where you’re getting rubbed.
Some people like to rub deodorant on the outside of the sock over the spot, but that’s your choice.
If this happens to you a lot or you’re a bigger person (you’re welcome here), look into Body Glide. It’s a product made to prevent skin-on-skin chafing.
3. Hair Accessories
As long as you have hair, this point is for you. Whether that means a hairbrush, a comb, or both and some hair ties.
Being without a hair tie at the gym with long hair is only second to forgetting your headphones. A good trick to make sure you never forget them is to loop some around your water bottle.
Or, keep them around the base of your hairbrush. That way you’ll have them at hand. You can also throw in bobby pins, dry shampoo, and headbands if you’d like.
For shorter hair, don’t forget any styling products like gels.
4. Arnica Gel or Icy Hot
It happens to everyone — even us. You step wrong or you over-lift and you already know you’ll be hurting tomorrow. Prep yourself and decrease the inflammation with some pain-relief gel.
Some people like the sensation of Tiger Balm or Icy Hot — while others hate it. If you don’t want to tingle into tomorrow, try Arnica gel. It’s a natural remedy for soreness (and bruises).
5. Cleansing Wipes
In a perfect world, you should have time to shower after a workout. But we don’t live in that perfect world — do you? Many of us have to run off to another thing, lucky if we have time to change clothes.
Working out at home can help with the rush factor, but still, you shouldn’t run around all sweaty and smelly. Throw both some face wipes and baby wipes in your gym bag.
Neutrogena has a great product for this use, their Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes. We love the smell and their effectiveness. The wipes have cleansers in them, so they shouldn’t be used on sensitive body parts.
One of the most important places to wipe down (if you can’t shower) after a workout, is your crotch. A soggy crotch creates a perfect environment for bacteria.
That’s why our next item is on the list.
The baby wipes are perfect of wiping down those more sensitive areas and you can use them for all sorts of things too. Spill some protein powder in your bag? Now you have what you need to wipe it up.
6. Fresh Underwear
Yes, we said it. You should never, ever, stay in the same pants and underpants you just worked out in.
The yoga pants-type material most workout bottoms come in don’t breathe. That means whatever sweat that gathers there during your workout, stays there.
If you don’t change your underwear after a workout, you’re more likely to get both yeast infections and UTI’s.
Even if you didn’t bring a whole new outfit, make sure you stash a few pairs of clean underwear in your bag in case you forget.
And men – it’s not likely you’ll get those annoying conditions, but it’s still more sanitary to change after.
7. A Shaker Bottle
The two tips that follow this one aren’t any good on their own. You can “dry scoop” your pre-workout, but it’s not good for your taste buds (or lungs).
So, you want to make sure you have a good shaker bottle. The brand name Shaker Bottle came out around 2010. It has a little round ball in it which breaks up clumps of powder in liquid.
But there are other brands as well. The hurricane cup is a great one, as are bottles that have screens and shaker balls combined. You can find these at any large store near you.
Or check online if that’s more your jam.
If you do both pre and post workout drinks, look for a bottle that has a powder container. They usually screw on the bottom of the cup.
That way you can mix your pre or post workout fresh once you get to the gym.
8. Pre-Workout Powder or Drink
There’s one thing a lot of people don’t realize they need when working out – pre-workout. Pre-workout is a powder made of proteins, vitamins and some caffeine – all things that help you blast through your reps.
Right now, BANG is the big name in pre-workout, but it changes every couple of months. People like BANG because it’s low carb, which is great for people following the keto diet.
When you’re looking for pre-workout, make sure you read reviews online first. Some brands put too much caffeine and people note feeling jittery and anxious, not motivated to get through their workout.
If you’re jumping out of bed and running to the gym bright eyed and bushy tailed, then you can skip this. But if you’re trying to get through a workout after work and you’re already tired, try pre-workout.
The difference in your energy will surprise you.
9. Some Form of Protein (Post-Workout)
You need to eat protein within 20 minutes of finishing your workout. That’s what your muscles and your body needs to “lock in” the muscles you just built.
And yes, even if you’re not lifting large amounts, this applies to you too.
A lot of people take protein powder to the gym or keep it in their car for their way home, but that’s not the only option.
You can throw some almonds or pre-packed snacks full of protein in your bag as well.
Along with your protein, some people like to take amino acids after they workout. They find that they’re less sore the next day, so they can go just as hard as they did the day before.
You can look for those as post-workout or recovery drinks. Just make sure they have the essential amino acids in them before you buy.
10. The Right Shoes
We know that workout shoes are expensive, but think of them as a specialty item. Cross trainers are made/shaped differently than shoes meant for running.
And that’s a good thing! When you’re doing fast footwork, you don’t want shoes that have a big or tall bottom part. Why? If you move side to side in those shoes, you have more chance of rolling your ankle by stepping sideways.
Another example: runners need a lot of cushioning in their shoes. They are literally pounding the pavement after all. If you’re weight lifting, usually the gym floor (or your home carpet) is padded.
You don’t need as much cushioning as those continuously hitting the pavement.
If you use our program, look for some minimalist cross-trainers. They’re going to serve you best for the large range of exercises in our most popular programs.
11. Wireless Headphones
One of the best things about Bluetooth technology? Not having to be tied down to headphones in the gym. If you workout as hard as we do, you’re always accidentally yanking one out or the other.
And it’s annoying to feel that little bounce from the wires as you do cardio with headphones attached to your phone.
Go the route Google and Apple are already pushing people and invest in wireless headphones. The pair you choose shouldn’t have too long of a cord connecting them if there’s a cord at all.
Airbuds are the ideal solution, but they’re expensive and get lost easily.
If you don’t go the airbuds and look-alikes route, look for some that will hook over your ears. This will keep the buds in when you’re really giving those moves everything you’ve got.
And hey, when you’re done, wipe them down with a baby wipe to keep sweat and bacteria from building up on them. Good thing you already have those in your bag!
12. A Timer (or SmartWatch)
We already know that using some form of interval training is essential for burning fat. And to do interval training, you need some sort of timer.
Phones have timers, but they can be obnoxious to mess with and you can fall into looking-at-your-apps land. Instead, look for a smartwatch or fitness watch that has pre-set (or settable) timer/HIIT options.
These are also good to track your heart rate, potential calorie burn, and make sure you don’t miss an important call while your phone is in your pocket.
Fitbit is the big brand name, but there are plenty of other good options.
13. Portable Phone Charger
The worst thing that could happen (okay, at least one of them) is that your phone dies before your workout. Now not only do you not have your notes or exercises, but you don’t have any music.
Doing a hard workout without music isn’t something we’d wish on even our worst enemies.
So, make sure you’re never stuck in that position. Get a small portable charger and throw it in your bag. That way you have juice on the go.
And if you use it while you’re working out – plug it into the car jack on your way home. That way you remember to grab it and it’ll be charged next time you get out of the car.
Your Gym Accessories
Obviously, this list is going to change from person to person and from gym to gym. Maybe your gym doesn’t even have showers, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Or maybe you do all your workouts from home, in which case, there’s a different set of things you need (like hand weights).
But those are the basic gym accessories, at least according to us.
Ready to get started with your new, perfectly packed gym bag? Click here.
By Midwestern Technology — 2 years ago
10 Essential Tips For Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food
There’s no shame in being a foodie. Still, large portions or a junk food addiction can harm weight loss. Here’s to developing a healthy relationship with food.
Do you have a healthy relationship with food? Many people think that, just because they don’t struggle with an obvious eating disorder, such as anorexia or binge eating disorder, that their relationship with food is a healthy one.
In reality, though, a lot of people have issues when it comes to the food they eat.
They might be obsessed with eating clean and flinch at the sight of a doughnut. Or, they might have an aversion to anything remotely healthy and choose to eat only junk food. They might claim to eat whatever they want with no concern about the scale, only to turn around and spend hours on the treadmill working it off.
An unhealthy relationship with food can manifest itself in many different ways, and it’s not always easy to spot.
The good news, though, is that it’s never too late to turn things around.
Read on to learn more about what a healthy relationship with food looks like. You’ll also learn some important skills regarding developing a healthy relationship with food.
Why Does Your Relationship with Food Matter?
Depending on where you’re at in your health journey, you might be wondering why having a good relationship with food is so important.
First, let’s start with the facts. Approximately 71.6 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. And, at least 30 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of eating disorder.
Clearly, there are a lot of people in this country who have a hard time eating in a way that nourishes and fuels their body appropriately. They may be eating too much or eating too little, but, at the end of the day, the result is the same — a poor relationship with food.
If you have a poor relationship with food, you’re likely going to have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight.
You might go through binge and restrict cycles or fall victim to crash diets. Or, you may look physically healthy on the outside but feel bogged down on the inside by the stress associated with constantly worrying about the food you’re eating.
Before you can make lasting changes and work toward your health and fitness goals — no matter what they are — you need to make sure you’re also working on improving your relationship with food.
What Does a Healthy Relationship with Food Look Like?
It’s hard to pin down exactly what a healthy relationship with food looks like. It’s kind of like asking someone what it means to be fit. Everyone has a different definition in mind based on their past experiences.
You can’t tell, just by looking at someone, whether or not they have a healthy relationship with food. Instead, a more accurate measure is their habits and behaviors.
There may not be one definitive method for measuring a healthy relationship with food, but the following are some common, positive traits to look for.
Ask yourself honestly whether you possess at least some of these traits. If you don’t, it might be time to work on changing your relationship with food.
You Avoid Emotional Eating
You don’t eat out of sadness, loneliness, anger, or boredom. When something bad or difficult happens, you don’t turn to food for comfort.
You Can Eat Intuitively
You’re not constantly worrying about the number of calories or grams of carbohydrates in a particular food. You’re able to recognize hunger, eat what satisfies you, and stop when you’re full.
You Don’t Try to “Make Up” for Unhealthy Choices
In the event that you do indulge and consume something that isn’t technically healthy, you don’t feel the need to “undo the damage” you’ve caused.
You have a good grasp on the concept of being “cyclically fit.” You don’t try to burn off the number of calories you just ate or fast the next day to make up for your decision.
You Avoid Comparison Traps
You understand that, when it comes to food, everyone’s needs and preferences are different.
You don’t compare your body or your food choices to others’. Instead, you just focus on making decisions that make sense for yourself and your lifestyle.
You Focus on Other Things Besides Food
One trait that almost always presents itself in people with an unhealthy relationship with food is the amount of time they spend thinking about food. They’re almost always thinking about when they’re going to eat next, what they’re going to eat next, how it’s going to affect the scale, etc.
If you have a healthy relationship with food, you likely aren’t constantly planning your next meal. You see eating as a necessary part of life and you eat when you’re hungry, end of story.
You Don’t Eat Foods That Will Make You Feel Bad
In some circles, there’s a mindset that, if you avoid certain kinds of food, it’s because you have an eating disorder or an unhealthy relationship with food.
If you truly have a positive relationship with food, though, you understand and respect the fact that some foods don’t make you feel your best.
For you, this might mean avoiding sugar because you don’t like the blood sugar crash that comes with it. Or, you might avoid eating dairy because it upsets your stomach.
A truly positive relationship with food involves eating foods that make you feel good and avoiding foods that don’t, even if everyone else is eating them.
10 Tips for Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food
It’s okay if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point. It can be hard to acknowledge that your relationship with food isn’t the healthiest. It’s also easy to feel as though you’ll never be able to flip the script and make things better.
You absolutely can make a positive change in your life, though. Start by implementing these ten tips into your lifestyle to start changing the way you look at and consume food.
1. Eat Mindfully
How do you typically eat your meals?
Do you eat standing at the counter or over the sink? Do you plop down on the couch with the TV on while scrolling through Instagram, doing your best not to drop food on your phone or tablet?
Eating mindfully can help you get in touch with your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues. It can also help you enjoy your meal more and feel more satiated. If you have a tendency to overeat, this is an especially great benefit.
The next time you have a snack or meal, start by sitting down in a chair at the table. Don’t turn on the TV or look at your phone. Simply eat your meal with no distractions.
2. Express Gratitude for Your Food
Before you start to eat, take a moment to express gratitude for your food. You can do this out loud or silently to yourself.
If you’re a religious person, this can be an actual prayer. Or, you can simply say “thank you” and think for a minute about the work that went into the meal.
By pausing for a second before you dig in, you can get into a calmer, more mindful state. You may also appreciate your food more if you take a minute to think about where it came from and the work people had to do to get it to you.
3. Ask Yourself if You’re Truly Hungry
Many people start eating, not because they’re hungry, but because they’re experiencing a troubling emotion. They might be feeling lonely or sad, or they might be anxious or stressed out.
Before you reach for your food — especially if it is a highly palatable, processed food like chips or cookies — ask yourself if you’re actually hungry.
Another way to assess your hunger is to ask yourself if you could eat broccoli right now. If you’re actually hungry, broccoli will sound appealing. If you’re not willing to eat broccoli, you’re not really hungry, you’re having a craving.
4. Release the Need for Perfection
Accept that there are going to be times when you slip up. There will be times when you eat out of emotion or let yourself get distracted during a meal. It’s okay.
Once you realize where you made a mistake, take a step back and figure out why. Then, release yourself from shame and guilt and move on with your life.
Remember, you wouldn’t slash the other three tires on your car just because you got one flat.
5. Stop Labeling Foods as Good or Bad
Most people who have an unhealthy relationship with food have a tendency to label foods as good or bad. If this sounds familiar to you, try changing the way you talk about the food you eat.
Instead of seeing foods as good or bad, try looking at them as good, better, and best. Try to make most of your foods come from the “better” and “best” categories, but allow yourself to have some “good” foods every once in a while, too.
6. Don’t Keep Problematic Foods in Your House
When it comes to these “good” foods, many people find that it’s helpful not to keep them in their house, at least for a while. This is especially true for people who struggle with binge eating disorders.
If there’s a food that you have a hard time saying “no” to, do yourself a favor and reduce the number of times you need to say “no” to it. You’re less likely to overconsume ice cream if you don’t have it in the freezer at all.
Make ice cream an occasional treat that you have to go out to get. Then, when you have it, you’ll enjoy it, but won’t always be there in the freezer tempting you.
7. Keep a Food Journal
Keeping a food journal is another useful tool. Don’t just write down the number of calories or grams of carbs in the foods you eat, though.
Instead, pay attention to the emotions you experienced surrounding your meals and snacks.
Were you eating because you were hungry, or were you trying to cover up an unpleasant emotion?
Writing things down can make them more tangible. It also makes it easier for you to spot patterns and look objectively at your situation.
8. Try Cooking Your Own Food
If you have a tendency to order out several times per week, try cooking for yourself for a while instead.
Cooking at home can help you gain a better appreciation for your food. You’ll also appreciate yourself and the effort you put into cooking a nice meal.
Your meals will almost always be healthier when you cook them yourself than when you order out. You’ll save money, too!
9. Measure Out Servings
If you do keep certain foods in the house that you tend to overeat, measure out a serving instead of eating straight from the box or bag.
Even if you don’t actually put your food on a scale, just putting it into a bowl before eating will help you moderate your consumption and avoid overeating.
10. Learn to Differentiate Between “Snacks” and “Treats”
Finally, it’s important to learn the difference between a snack and a treat.
How often have you wanted a snack and reached for something that you knew wouldn’t be filling, like a cookie or a doughnut? That wasn’t really a snack. It was a treat.
Snacks should satisfy your hunger. Treats, on the other hand, are for pleasure.
If you’re hungry and have a couple of hours before you can make dinner, snack on a hard-boiled egg or an apple with almond butter.
Save cookies, doughnuts, and other highly palatable foods for when you want a treat.
Looking for More Inspiration?
If you’re not happy with your relationship with food, you can turn things around today. Now is the perfect opportunity to start.
Keep these ten tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to developing a healthy relationship with food.
If you’re looking for more information, check out our podcast for a variety of episodes related to health, fitness, and wellness.
Don’t forget to look into out our 9-week challenge, too. When you sign up, you’ll get one-on-one with a qualified coach who is dedicated to helping you achieve your health and fitness goals.