Congratulations! You have made a decision to manage your weight I assume otherwise you would not read this blog post. In the last years research has uncovered many easy to use tricks to make losing weight a stroll in the park, automatic and keep the new target weight unconciously. Actually I call those little tricks the magic micro lifestyle adjustments which impact your waistline. You can use those tricks without even following a diet plan or excersice regime or you can add them to your new diet you would like to try out. It doesn’t matter. These tricks alone will have an impact on your weight management.
Have your read anywhere the word change yet even though I worked myself in change management for over 20 years? No, because there is nothing dramatic you need to change to get your weight down. The most people fail because from one day to the next they want to change their lifestyles or their diets completly. It is always better to work with incremental steps and allow flexibility. All what you need is to make adjustments in the sense of more of that and less of that until your many micro adjustments bring you below your weekly calory threshold that decides over gain or loss.
In the following I will take you through a pleasant journey to help you make some minor adjustments to your lifestyle. The journey already started since you are here. You came here for a reason and the reason is your weight. What is it about your weight that makes you think or feel this is not the right weight for you?
Now is the best time to think and notice why you want to lose weight. It is this trivial question which has already an impact on your weight management. Was it you that judged and decided about your weight, was it someone else who told you to change your weight ? What was the trigger ?
Take the time if you like now and answer these questions. Maybe you would like to talk with a friend and explain to her your reasons or you have done it already. It would be also good if you write it down for yourself.
These are already a few suggestions for little magic life adjustments. Below is a list of all the tricks. These suggestions are all scientifically proven to have an impact on the success of weight management. But wait the real effortless magic comes into play when you select the tricks that would work best for you. You do not need to implement all of them. The magic is that you identify the ones that are very easy to do and you can follow those from today onwards. You don’t have to follow a precise order. You can also try any of those tricks and if you realize that it is still not easy to do just try another one until you have a portfolio of micro adjustments you do automatically during a week.
For each of the following suggestions rate those from 1-10. 1 means it is so easy I do it without real effort and it is fun and 10 means I need all my strength to implement those and it is very very hard.
Using Reflection (see research by Jacinda B. Roach)
1. Talk to a person you trust and would support your decision to lose weight
2. Identify what your heart says to your decision and not your rational – what is the emotional part that triggers your decision See examples
3. Write it down – put on paper See examples
4. What is your goal and by when would you like to reach it? Write it down
5. What will you eat and do after you have reached your goal? Write it down
6. What is your goal in one year time? Write it down
7. Reflect on previous weight changes – what went well, how much did you lose, how long did you do it, why did you stop – write it down
8. Reflect on weight gain – how much weight did you gain since your last diet, in what period of time – write it down
9. Where do you eat during a week ? Where do you have breakfast, lunch, dinner, snags during the week? At home, in the office, outside, at a friend’s house?
10. What are your places connected to food and how often do you use those ? Do you eat in front of the television, when you drive in the car, do you eat at your desk, dining room table, kitchen?
11. With whom do you eat during a week and how often ? Family, friends, colleagues, alone, father, mother,….?
12. At what day(s) of the week is it most easy for you to follow your weight management plan?
13. At what day(s) of the week is it most easy for you to follow your diet?
14. At what day(s) of the week is it most difficult to follow your weight management plan?
15. At what day(s) of the week is it most difficult for you to follow your diet?
16. When do you consume the most food during the week? Mostly on the week-end?
17. At which times of the day do you eat the most food? Rather during the morning, in the afternoon or in the evening?
18. When do you reward yourself with eating and drinking? Is it with friends on the week-end, is it Friday evening after a work-week? Who is present when you reward yourself?
19. When do you enjoy eating the most? Candle light dinner in the restaurant? The Turkey with the Family on Thanksgiving?
20. What is the hightest caloric food you enjoy and when in what quantity do you enjoy it?
21. What food or drink do you use as reward and for what?
22. What type of food and drinks would you never give up? Are they connected to a place or time during the day or to a person?
23. Do you eat with people who have a BMI larger or smaller than your current one?
24. What was the history in your family on weight management?
25. Have you followed a diet for more than 4 weeks and which one was it and how much weight did you lose?
26. Which diets have you stopped to follow before 4 weeks were over, which one were those and what was the reason?
27. Do you get bored and how often and do you eat then and when?
28. Where do you snag the most? At home, at work, with family or friends?
29. What were the three strategies to lose weight that worked for you in the past ?
30. What were the five strategies that have not worked in the past to lose weight?
31. When do you eat without thinking about it?
32. At what specific time and place during the day would you consume the majority of your calories?
33. Who would sabotage your diet?
34. Who decides what you will eat today or at a specific meal or occasion?
35. What do you eat on the weekend from Friday to Sunday?
36. Do you know your resting metabolic rate?
Establishing Rules and Rituals
1. Do you weigh yourself daily at home and write your weight down? If not daily can you do it more often and at what days of the week? See Scientific Research here
2. Do you eat breakfast regularly? Can you do it more often?
3. Do you eat mainly at the table? Can you do more of it and less in front of the television and at what days of the week?
4. Do you eat and drive? Can you do less of it and at what days of the week?
5. Do you read the food labels? Can you do more of it during the week?
6. Do you cook? Can you do more of it or would you learn it if not?
7. Do you read books about weight management ? Can you do it more often?
8. Do you write down what you have eaten ? Can you do it at least for three days?
9. Do you have a partner or a group of people who also want to loose weight ? If not can you find one?
10. Do you wear regularly a belt or a type of clothes that lets you feel the size of your waistline ?
11. Do you use smaller plates ? See right portion sizes: Webmd and Pinterest
12. Do you close your kitchen 1,5 hrs before you go to bed ?
13. Do you brush your teeth after every meal?
14. Do you use words like never, always, every day? Can you use less of those and replace them with most of the days in the week, less than or more often than now during the week?
15. Do you blame others for failure of your weight management? Can you do less of it and look at your own responsibility?
16. Do you blame yourself for failure of your weight management? Can you do less of it and more take failure as your opportunity to learn about yourself without judgement?
17. Do you go outside in the morning to get some fresh air? Can you do more of it?
18. Do you plan in one to two days a week where you allow yourself to watch less over your diet at a certain meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and plan on the day after or on your best day(s) of the week to do more for your diet?
19. Do you accept your emotions as they are? Can you do more of it during the week?
20. Do you forgive yourself for a failure to manage your weight and write it down afterwards?
21. Do you accept to fail and then eat until you feel satied instead of over-induldge out of frustration? Can you do it more often during the week?
22. Do you stop eating when your hunger is stilled and leave the rest on your plate? Can you do it more often during the week? See right portion sizes: Webmd and Pinterest
23. Do you eat the rest of the food your partner or kids leave on their plate? Can you do it less often during the week?
24. Do you look at your mobile phone several times a day? Could you do it less often and rather after your meals than before your meals?
25. Do you write about your weigth loss on social media?
26. Do you make your bed regulary in the morning? Can you do it more often during the week?
27. Can you defer to consume high calory snags or meals to a later date in the week?
28. Can you prepare a budget for your planned calory intake for the week? Can you do it more often?
29. Do you reflect in the evening how many calories you have consumed today? Can you do it more often during the week?
30. Do you have fixed time windows for meals during a day? Can you do it more often during the week?
31. Do you read empowering books?
32. Do you think you can you maintain your chosen micro lifestyle adjustment for more than a year?
33. Do you have a plan for the moments you fail on your weight management and how you will respond to it?
34. Do you buy smaller size food packages? Can you do it more often?
35. Do you use a steamer? Can you do it more often?
36. Do you use a nonstick pan? Can do it more often?
37. Do you use a kitchen scale? Can you do it more often?
38. Do you use a rotisserie ovens? Can you do it more often?
39. Do you use small cups? Can you do it more often?
40. Do you use small bowls? Can you do it more often?
41. Do you use a tall narrow glass? Can you use it more often?
42. Do you eat some of your meals blindfolded? Can you do it more often?
43. Do you have a snack-free zone at home or work?
44. Do you eat at your work desk? Can you do it less often?
45. Do you have a snag and food free work desk? Can you do it more often?
46. Do you keep food or snags in your drawer at work? Can you do it less often?
47. Do you have snacking guideline?
48. Do you eat at restaurants? Can you do it less often?
49. Do you eat in fast food reastaurants? Can you do it less than three times per week?
50. Do you change your route to and from work to avoid any tempting fast food restaurants on the way back? Can you do it more often?
51. Do you keep your most tempting food and snags at home? Can you do it more often?
52. Do you shop in the supermarket after you have eaten before? Can you do it more often?
53. Do you eat while watching a movie in the cinema? Can you do it less often?
54. Do you multitask while you eat? Can you do it less often?
55. Do you maintain your weight management during the weekend? Can you do it more often?
56. Do you maintain your weight management during a holiday period? Can you do it more often?
57. Do you clean your house? Can you do it more often?
58. Do you have subgoals? Can you set more of those?
59. Do you have learning goals rather than performance goals? Can you set those more often? (Learning goal: can I find a different route from home to work to avoid tempting situations rather than a performance goal: can I loose 5 pounds in two weeks)
60. Do you have a hobby that gives you great pleasure? Can you do it more often?
61. Do you take three deep breaths before you eat? Can you do it more often?
62. Do you plate your food individually in the kitchen rather than at the table? Can you do it more often?
63. Do you know the proper serving seizes for your favorite foods? See Portion Sizes: WebMd and Pinterest
64. Do you keep track of your micro lifestyle adjustments and report the progress against for a week? Can you do it more often?
65. Do you give your best to achieve your set goals for your micro lifestyle adjustments? Can you do it more often?
66. Do you leave bones on the table until you have finished eating? Can you do it more often?
Start with the most easiest adjustment or adjustments and see if you can do this adjustment more than 4 weeks. Over time incrementally add your micro adjustments until you have at least 27 that you follow automatically during a week.
If you have further tricks please share in the comment below.
If you have a medical issue with weigth management please consult your doctor or a psychologist for advice.
A very good resource to read is:
The Automatic Diet by Charles Platkin
The Magic Systemic Diet