One of the biggest enemies of weight loss and healthy eating, in general, is your own mind. We all have those inner voices that often encourage us to eat things that we know we’re going to regret later. It can seem impossible to turn off those inner voices and get food off your mind so you can start losing the weight you want.
Here are some simple things that you can do to stop thinking about food all the time, so you can take control of your life and your eating habits to get the body that you’ve always wanted. These tips are not only simple, but they’re also effective and were created by Dr. Stephen P. Gullo, Ph.D. who wrote the weight loss book “The Thin Commandments Diet: The Ten No-Fail Strategies for Permanent Weight Loss.”
1. Take Over Your Senses of Smell and Taste
Even if you’re not hungry, just smelling somebody else’s food can make you want to eat something, so take over your sense of smell and taste by choosing peppermint. You can pop in a piece of sugar-free peppermint gum or breath strip, and let the mint drown out all other smells. This will immediately stop your craving for the food that’s in front of you and let you just focus on the minty goodness that’s happening in your mouth.
2. Bust Boredom
When there’s nothing to do, your stomach along with those little voices will often offer a suggestion: eat something. Studies have shown that many people tend to eat more when they get bored. So, if you find yourself with nothing to do and start feeling hungry, take a moment to ask yourself if you’re actually hungry or just bored, and then get up and do something productive.
3. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If you’ve got chocolate sitting out on the counter in a clear glass jar, it’s going to vanish a lot more quickly than if you have it in a paper bag up in the cupboard. We’ve all been there, not even thinking about grabbing a piece every time we pass by the jar, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By putting sugary foods in hidden places and promoting healthy foods to the eye-level shelves in the fridge, it’s easier to make healthier food choices, and it’s even easier if you don’t let unhealthy foods into your house in the first place.
4. Budget Your Calories
Start thinking of your calories like money, and then budget them accordingly. Each person is allowed to “spend” a certain number of calories on food every day without gaining weight. Consider this budget before indulging in a huge plate of pasta and think if there was something more filling that you could spend your calories on such as a piece of grilled chicken.
5. Always Have Healthy Snacks Ready
When you get hungry in between meals, it’s easy to reach for something convenient like a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar, but those are obviously not the most healthy choices. Instead, have healthy snacks already prepared and ready in bags or Tupperware containers that are easy to take with you. By devoting even 1 day a week to preparing snacks, you can always have a healthy snack on hand. This can also help you limit the amount that you’re eating, since too many of even healthy foods can increase your calorie count. Carrots or other vegetables or nuts and seeds are great for those mid-meal snacks.
6. Keep Your Hands Busy
This is especially important when you are sitting in front of the TV and don’t have anything better to do with your hands other than eat. By picking up a hobby that involves your hands like knitting, or painting, you can keep your hands busy without eating. Plus, while you’re working, you won’t want to get your hands dirty by eating. As an additional bonus, these types of hobbies can help reduce stress which in turn reduces stress eating.
7. Call Food What it is
Food is just food, and romanticizing it can lead to it becoming more powerful in your mind than you think. By referring to it as treats, goodies, or “comfort” foods, you may begin to think of food as the answer to your problems, but that isn’t the case. Instead, just refer to food as food, and don’t let it be the answer to anything other than providing energy so you can live your life to the fullest.