One of the key factors for those who have lost and then maintained weight loss, is a simplified eating plan. One of the reasons the Optifast program works so well is that it is simple and structured. Beyond Optifast and into maintenance, this concept works well for long-term weight maintenance. Snacking and grazing may work for a little while but the lack of structure to an eating plan may lead to an excessive calorie intake. In fact an individual may feel that he/she is not eating much at all, but at the end of the day, the calories can easily add up to well over a maintenance level! Here are some ideas for simplifying your eating plan.
- Have a meal/snack structure. Follow it as best you can! The diet may be somewhat repetitive, but you may be less likely to overeat. This concept is called stimulus narrowing! Work with a dietitian to make sure it includes what you need for your long-term health!
- Plan ahead. Know what to carry with you and/or pack your lunch.
- Having protein with each meal may also help your hunger as well as increased fiber in meals/snacks.
- Know what you will order when you go out to eat. Have a few meals that you consistently order so you stay within your plan!
- Use food as fuel and your body’s need for nourishment as opposed to all the emotional reasons for eating.
- Prepare grocery lists and shop from them.
- Keep tempting foods out of the house!
- Keep bread off the table in restaurants!
Simplicity can be a very helpful idea when thinking about your food intake. It may take the guesswork out of what you should and should not eat.