As much as you might wish it to be otherwise, maintaining an ideal weight is a constant, vigilant effort for many people. Temptations abound and society generally provides a more than ample supply of both good and not-so-good options to tempt your palate. You may think your gym membership, positive mental attitude and meal tracking efforts are enough to manage your weight in a manner that works for you. Maybe you’re right. But, if your results don’t seem to measure up to your efforts, you may be guilty of some undermining behaviors.
- Do you really write down everything you eat throughout the day? This includes those little tastes during meal preparation and those snacks you nibble on at the bar while having a drink with friends. Calories don’t disappear just because you choose to overlook them.
- Speaking of that drink with friends, just how carefully do you monitor your intake? All cocktails are not created equal. The calorie count on a glass of wine depends on the number of ounces you consume. Alcohol with a higher sugar count weighs in higher than alcohol with less sugar. As far as those mixers go, well, let’s just say you are probably underestimating the damages.
- Do you eat out often? If you do, you’re at the mercy of strangers when it comes to your diet. Restaurants are notorious for adding excessive salt, sugar and fat in order to optimize flavor. Even that healthy salad contains calorie bombs with croutons, dried fruits, nuts, cheese and salad dressings. If you aren’t in control of your food preparation, you’re not controlling your diet.
- Is your life a chaotic mess of impending disasters? Stress works against you and your weight. The whole mind versus body balance can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Healthy eating is about more than just the food you put in your mouth.
- Are your family and friends for you or against you? Having a strong support system, or at least a support system that isn’t out to undermine your efforts, is vital to your success. Your eating habits are a huge part of your overall social experience. It helps if like minds are the core of your relationships.
- Are you skipping meals in an effort to control your weight? This practice can sabotage your plans when hunger leads to binge eating at the next opportunity. Maintaining a steady, consistent eating pattern, without skipping meals, will work best in maintaining your weight.
- Are you a label checker? Before you pat yourself on the back for your diligence, double check your statistics. There are many food options in your grocery store that promise low-calories, low-fat or low-carb meals on the front of the package but show a different picture on the back nutrition panel. Read everything on the label before you decide if so-called diet food is for you.
You can maintain a healthy and sustainable weight range. You can do a better job at it if you can identify and eliminate those mysterious little life choices that seem helpful but really work against your ultimate goal.