Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating is not exactly the same as intuitive eating, but it’s another psychological practice that’s “equally as helpful when shooting for sustainable weight loss,” says Markowitz. As the name suggests, the number one goal of mindful eating is to be fully present and aware of food and how it makes your body feel as you eat it.
Before diving head first into lunch, for example, take a few moments to truly notice your food. This means paying attention to the smell, texture, and sensation of your food before your meal—as well as during and after. Notice how your body feels and if your emotions change.
The theory on mindful eating is simple. “When you take in the whole experience of eating—which can even extend to buying and preparing your food—and also take time to appreciate this as an act of self-care and investment in your health, you tend to enjoy food more and actually be satisfied with less of it,” explains Markowitz.
In other words, it’s about appreciating quality over quantity. “Even though the goal of mindful eating isn’t weight-oriented,” says Markowitz, “it’s a fantastic, sustainable method to keep weight in check.”
Stock your pantry and fridge wisely
Create an arsenal of fresh and convenience foods at home that you know fit your diet goals, recommends Markowitz.
“So much of what we put in our mouths is simply out of convenience, triggered by a quick glance and not fueled by hunger or desire,” she explains.
Instead of chips, candy and other processed snacks, pad your pantry and fridge with low-calorie, high-fiber and high-protein eats, like nuts, cut vegetables, fresh fruit, hummus and salsa. Keep sweet treats and other indulgences off of the counter and in the back of the cabinet.