8 Steps to a Fitter Body
By Charles Glassman, MD , FACP – CoachMD
In many areas, the warmth of the Spring season is an opportunity to shed layers of clothing. For many, this can be uncomfortable, especially if our bodies are less fit than we would like. In my career, thousands have come to me with the frustration of not being able to achieve a desirable body weight.
To interrupt the pattern of undesirable eating patterns, you must take action and a few simple steps can get you started.
Firstly, don’t bring into your home food that you need to restrict. For example, I recall waiting in a checkout line at Costco (the large warehouse shopping chain in the US). In front of me was a gentleman at least three times my weight. As the cashier completed his order, he briefly left the line and came back with a case of Milky Way bars (a popular candy). He was almost at the finish line. If you find yourself at the finish line, cross it without purchasing such items. To prevent them from entering your wagon in the first place, don’t go to the market hungry. Be careful not to feel badly and think you can never enjoy yourself again. Defining food that is better for you as somewhat sabotaging to your overall happiness is a surefire way to flee a fit body.
When you eat, be cognizant of the fact that it takes about 12 minutes for your brain to detect that your stomach is full. The Okinawans have a cultural habit of finishing their meal when they feel about 80% full. The Okinawan people are among the longest lived people on earth and in fact restricting calories is the only intervention that has been shown to extend life in mammals. Eating and chewing slowly is crucial, because you will give your brain time to know that you are full.
Try eating with your eyes closed (of course, my children laugh at me when I do this!) This will not only assure that you savor what you eat but you will end up eating at a slower pace and ultimately eat less. Using a smaller plate also is helpful.
No matter what, restricting caloric intake is a central part of achieving a fit body. Here is a review of what you can do right now:
1. Don’t go to the store hungry
2. Don’t bring home any items that you are looking to restrict
3. Don’t view your choice to restrict your calories as a punishment it is a way to extend your life
4. Use a smaller plate
5. Eat and chew slowly
6. Eat with your eyes close
7. Finish eating when not quite full
These 8 steps will get you started in having more control over your eating and the ripple effects will extend into other aspects of your life.
He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Brain Drain, which helps explain and fix self-sabotage. It is the winner of the 2011 Independent Publisher's Award and 2011 Eric Hoffer Award as the best Self-Help and Health book, 2010 Pinnacle Book Award for best Self-Help Book, and 2009 LA Book Festival Best Spirituality Book.
To new subscribers on his website, he is now offering his free, new EBook, Destiny Diet. Weekly, Dr. Glassman hosts Medicine on the Cutting Edge, which gives a voice to pioneers in medical research and development. Dr. Glassman lives with his family in Rockland County, NY.
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