Weight loss is a challenge in and of itself; but maintaining your weight can be just as challenging. Often times we do things out of habit (or just because) and it could contribute to difficulty with losing weight or maintaining current weight. At the end of October we attended an obesity management conference in Orlando through the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and obtained lots of useful information and ideas to help our patients continue to achieve weight loss success and maintenance.
Get Off Auto-Pilot
Most of us go through each day doing the same things over and over again and could probably do it in our sleep or at least with our eyes closed. Getting off auto-pilot can be as simple as changing up some of our basic daily rituals or routines.
If you typically park in the same spot at work, park in a different spot. You may spend a few minutes wandering around the parking lot looking for your car after work, but look at it this way, you are burning extra calories! Park on a different side of the garage or driveway at home, enter your house through a different door. You can even rotate seats around your dinner table once a week. Find small ways to vary your daily routine and you may discover you have been making poor food choices or bad habits without even realizing it.
Create a Rejuvenation List
Are you an emotional eater? Do you eat when you are sad, mad, bored, angry or happy? For most of us, activities with family and friends revolve around food. We eat to celebrate birthdays, holidays, job promotions, deaths, etc. This has become habit and second nature for most of us. It is crucial to our health and well-being to make changes to our daily routines.
I recommend to our patients creating a rejuvenation list. A rejuvenation list includes items or things you enjoy doing that do not involve food. On the list can be anything that brings you pleasure, comfort, joy and happiness may include reading a book, watching a movie, going for a walk, taking a bubble bath, working outside in the yard or garden, or even playing with the kids or grandkids.
The next time somthing happens or comes up that causes you to become an emotional eater, stop; pull out your rejuvenation list and try doing one or more of the items on the list. You may have to go through one or even several items on the list, but ideally this should help you change your behavior with regards to food and your emotions.
Keep working hard! Set your goals and strive to achieve them in some way every day!