When people decide it’s time to lose weight, they often invest in pricey items like treadmills and body-mass scales.
While those expensive tools can be helpful, you might not be aware of some terrific weight-loss tools …
… YOU ALREADY OWN.
Yes, they’re probably sitting on your shelves and in your cabinets right now.
Want to know what they are? Read on.
#1 A pad of sticky notes
Put them on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator door, your front door, with motivational sayings — perhaps “You’ve lost 10 pounds already!” or “Don’t you feel great at a thinner weight?”
In one study, university researchers completed a nationwide survey of more than 1,100 adults who successfully lost excess weight and kept it off.
Participants were asked about their typical habits, including their thoughts or self talk.
Among the habits significantly linked to successful weight loss was thinking about progress made and goal weight, as well as thinking about how much better they’ll feel when they lose weight.
What better way to keep your focus on these skinny thoughts than to write them down and post them in plain sight!
#2 Picture frame
Dig out the family photo albums, or, if they’re more recent, click through the photos saved on your computer. Find a picture of yourself when you were at a healthy weight and put it in a beautiful frame.
Keep it in the kitchen or your bedroom, and use it as inspiration. You CAN look like that again!
#3 The DVR remote
Unfortunately, the boob tube is full of commercials peddling sinfully seductive treats. Whether they’re selling your favorite chocolate bar or a local restaurant’s calorie-packed signature dish, commercials can derail anyone’s resolve.
In one study, researchers found that women who watched television commercials about food were more likely to think about food. Among women who were overweight, watching food commercials not only increased thoughts about food, but triggered food cravings and the desire to eat.
Technology is good for one thing … to fast-forward through those bad boys and get to the next part of the show.
#4 Snack-sized containers
I’m not someone to pass up a bargain. But bringing home mega packs of even healthy things — like nuts, unsalted popcorn or fresh berries — makes it too easy to overdo it.
So I’ve found that instead of keeping food in its original container, I divide items into snack-size reusable plastic containers (BPA-free, of course) for instant portion control.
Some good portions:
- About 15 raw cashews
- About 3 cups of popcorn
- About ¾ cup fresh blueberries
- About 15 pretzels
#5 Digital kitchen timer
When you’re stressed and reaching for a double fudge brownie sundae, this dollar item is a great tool to use for deep breathing exercises.
Any time you feel the need to stress eat, set your timer for 30 seconds. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, and hold for 2 seconds, then exhale through your mouth.
Repeat 4 to 5 times until your timer goes off. When you hear that buzzer, you probably will not even crave that ice cream anymore.
My personal favorite? I like to stash a few nonperishable noshes in snack-sized containers in the car or my desk drawer. Almonds are my favorite. What are your favorite snacks?
Steven Sisskind, M.D.
1. Sciamanna CN, Kiernan M, Rolls BJ, et al. Practices associated with weight loss versus weight-loss maintenance results of a national survey. Am J Prev Med. 2011; 41(2):159-66. PMID: 21767723.
2. Kemps E, Tiggemann M, Hollitt S. Exposure to television food advertising primes food-related cognitions and triggers motivation to eat. Psychol Health. 2014:1-14. PMID: 24773418.
3. Wansink B. Environmental factors that increase the food intake and consumption volume of unknowing consumers. Annu Rev Nutr. 2004; 24:455-79. PMID: 15189128.