Everyone knows how to lose those extra pounds – just eat less, exercise more, and use good old fashioned willpower, right? But what if you're trying that and it just isn't working? The truth is that if weight loss were really that easy, there wouldn't be a need for so many diet products and plans. Sometimes, those stubborn pounds just won't come off – and sometimes willpower is pretty hard to come by. It may take more than just telling yourself to eat less to keep the pounds off. Take a look at some strategies that can help.
Limit Your Variety
Restaurants, grocery stores, and most likely your own kitchen all offer a dizzying array of food choices. And you know that you're supposed to eat a variety of foods including grains, vegetables, fruits, protein, and dairy. But can too much variety be a bad thing?
It seems the answer is yes. Variety may be the spice of life, but it turns out that that spice makes food more appealing. Researchers found that when they split a group of adults on similar diets into two groups and restricted one of those groups to only two types of junk food for a year and a half, the group with the restrictions ate less junk food overall than the group without any restrictions. Presumably, they became less inclined to eat to excess because they were bored with the same two choices for months at a time.
Studies have also found that people tend to overeat when offered a buffet of foods rather than just one food and that there is a positive association between having a variety of snacks available and being overweight. So, if you want to help yourself resist the lure of junk food or overeating, your best bet is to limit the types of junk food and snacks that you bring into the house – stick with one or two constants instead. And don't serve too many dishes at any one meal. You still need to eat a variety of healthy foods overall, but they don't all need to be included in every meal.
Switch Your Plates
Another simple trick you can use to help cut your food consumption is to use smaller plates to serve foods higher in fat. There's an optical illusion that occurs when you dish up food onto a large plate – the size of the plate and the empty space around the food make servings look smaller than they really are and could cause you to eat more. You will actually feel less full than you would if you ate the meal off of a smaller plate.
The trick works the same way in reverse, however. A portion size that would look large and leave you feeling satisfied on a smaller plate looks less significant on a large plate. This means that you can trick your brain into eating more vegetables and fewer meats or sweets by serving salads and veggies on large dinner plates and serving higher fat foods on lunch or dessert plates.
Get Outside Help
Too often, you can feel like you can't ask for help with your weight problem. You may feel like you were the one who packed on the pounds, so you're the one that has to take them off. Some people also find that their primary care physicians aren't entirely helpful when it comes to creating diet and exercise routines.
But there's no shame in needing medical advice or oversight to lose weight in a healthy way. You may find that a medical weight loss clinic is just what you need to effectively shed those extra pounds. At a medical weight loss clinic, they can monitor your progress, prescribe weight loss medications and supplements and create a personalized diet and fitness regimen that will meet your individual needs.
Losing weight isn't always easy, but it doesn't have to be impossible either. Sometimes you just need a new trick or a little help to put you on the path to better health.