The New Weight-Loss Math
Listen to your body talk Once you learn to “hear” your body’s signals, it’s time to really pay attention to the messages it’s sending you. “I believe we are all born with the wisdom that we need to eat well,” says Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based co-author of Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works (St. Martin’s Press). “We know what is satisfying, what we need and how we feel when we eat,” she adds. “We just have to tune in to our inner voice.”
Step one: Forget dieting. “Diets fail 95 percent of the time,” Resch says. “Give yourself permission to eat the foods you like, but eat them only when you’re moderately hungry, not ravenous, and enjoy them slowly, in a calm environment,” she adds. “Take time to check in with your hunger signals, and quit eating when the food is not tasting quite as good. Whenever you eat through a bag of chips, the first one is always better than the last.”
Put it in writing The advice to keep a food journal or diary is not new but bears repeating because it’s been proven to work. And here’s a twist on the traditional advice, from Paula M. Pavelka, R.N., a Tennessee-based certified health counselor and founder of Body Mind Soul Living Inc.: Write down what you ate and when, and how you felt as you ate it, then go back and record how you feel an hour or so later. For example, Pavelka says, “An entry might be, ‘I ate a Starbucks scone with a latte. At first I felt energized, then a little nervous and jumpy. Two hours later, I felt blank, dumpy and sluggish.’ When you write things down, they click in your head.” Review your journal frequently to chart your progress (or lack thereof), look for unhealthy patterns and continually update your goals.