Find a Weight-Loss Buddy
Eating smart and exercising regularly are much, much easier if you’re not going it alone. That’s why you should find someone who can take this challenge on with you: your spouse, your best friend, even a cooperative co-worker. Having a partner gives you someone to call when temptation strikes or when the couch is calling you away from the gym. Buddy up!
Make It Fun
Not wanting to get sick and die before your time may seem like a good enough reason to eschew fattening foods, but that can only take you so far. Instead, fight off that craving for barbecued wings by concentrating on the good stuff that comes with losing weight: more energy, greater well-being, a better sex life…and feeling damn good about that thinner you in the bathroom mirror.
Sweeten Your Coffee with Stevia
Often it’s what people use to flavor their daily java that makes it so unhealthy, like loads of sugar or synthetic sweeteners. If straight black coffee isn’t your thing, try the herbal sweetener stevia, which has no calories and is 10 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia can have an herbal aftertaste, so use it sparingly or try a flavored variety.
Avoid Emotional Eating
Unhappy emotional states can lead to unhealthy binge eating, which in turn can sabotage weight-loss efforts. Instead of stuffing emotions such as depression, frustration and anger—and diving into a box of cookies as a result—learn how to be aware of them and how they affect you, and then show yourself some love. Psychologist Christopher Germer, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion (Guilford, www.mindfulselfcompassion.org), suggests taking “self-compassion breaks”: Place your hand on your heart and take three deep breaths, then tell yourself that you are in a moment of suffering, that suffering is part of everyone’s life and that you want to be kind to yourself.