Weight Loss Strategies For Convenience Eaters

If you’re a convenience eater, you need a diet that works with your lifestyle. Fast and easy meals and snacks can be lean and delicious if you learn to plan ahead. Use these techniques to eat light at home and dining out even on your busiest days.

Weight Loss Techniques To Use At Home 

  1. Stock up on nutritious foods. Replace frozen dinners and instant soups with whole foods that are better for you. Toss fresh pasta with extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts. Dip baby carrots in your salsa instead of corn chips.
  2. Master simple recipes. Many satisfying meals can be prepared in 10 minutes or less. Browse online for easy recipes or borrow cookbooks from your local library.
  3. Cook ahead. Use weekends or evenings to cook a batch of chicken breasts or black bean chili. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers to use in the days or weeks ahead.
  4. Work as a team. Your kids are likely to pick up on your eating habits, so set a good example. Take turns making breakfast or brown bag lunches for each other. Talk about the importance of eating whole grains, fresh produce, lean proteins and healthy fats.

Weight Loss Techniques For Eating Out 

  1. Search for alternatives to fast foods. Look around your neighborhood for places that will serve you healthier foods just as quickly as your usual drive through window. Collect take out menus from ethnic restaurants or assemble a fast meal at your supermarket salad bar.
  2. Bring along snacks. Carry cut vegetables and whole grain cereals with you instead of relying on the office vending machines. Keep a small cooler in your car with yogurt drinks and soy nuts.
  3. Learn to spot healthy keywords on menus. It’s easy to order lighter dishes if you master a few common terms. Look for entrees that are steamed or grilled rather than fried. For dessert, choose the sorbet instead of donuts.
  4. Ask your server for advice. With so many people trying to lose weight, many servers are experts at guiding you to the leanest choices. Let them count calories for you.

Additional Suggestions

  1. Drink water. Get a steel water bottle and keep it filled up so you can sip water all day long. Staying well hydrated will help you feel more energetic and suppress your appetite.
  2. Eat more frequently. Many convenience eaters get caught up in other activities and forget to eat. Small meals and snacks throughout the day will make you less vulnerable to overloading when you suddenly notice you’re starving.
  3. Analyze your favorite convenience foods. Figure out what attracts you to your favorite fast food and you can usually find a substitute with fewer calories. Sprinkling a little cinnamon in your cafe au lait could make you forget about powdered hot chocolate.
  4. Make exercise a habit. Physical activity is essential to losing weight the healthy way. Develop an exercise routine you can stick with. Maybe you need a trainer or gym buddy to remind you to stay on track. You may also want to sneak more exercise into your daily routine by climbing stairs or doing leg lifts during TV commercials.
  5. Manage stress. A fast paced lifestyle may expose you to higher levels of stress. Meditation and other relaxation techniques help lower stress hormones so you metabolize foods more effectively and store less fat.

Indulge your love for convenience eating while you reach your weight loss goals. Make your diet easy to follow so you can break the fast food habit. As a bonus, you’ll probably save money and enjoy eating more.

Interior Design Techniques That Reduce Stress

The way we design our home and work environments can have a dramatic impact on our stress levels and emotions. Learn to make your surroundings more peaceful and calming so you feel at ease all day long. Here are some decorating ideas that will soothe all of your senses.

Visual Techniques 

  1. Opt for warm colors. Warm colors tend to advance toward your eye to create a more intimate feel. Colors have different degrees of warmth, depending on the shade you pick. Warm colors will help to heat up adjoining cool colors. This means you can include any of your favorite colors as long as you pick the right shades and coordinate carefully.
  2. Get organized. Clearing away clutter will instantly make any space look more serene. Plus, it won’t cost you a penny! Return everything to its proper place. Sell or donate stuff you no longer use.

  3. Layer your lighting. Take advantage of as much natural light as you can get. Trade in your harsh overhead lights and high wattage bulbs for a variety of floor and table lamps that provide a softer effect. Mirrors will also brighten things up.

  4. Work with the space you’ve got. If you need to tie together a big area, consider decorating with patterns. A striped couch will make your living room look cozier. On the other hand, when you’re trying to feel less cramped, select furniture with legs and cutouts and clear tops to maximize your air space.

Sound Effects

  1. Get a water fountain. The sound of running water has appealed to people for centuries. You can even get desktop fountains for your office or solar powered versions for your garden if you want something environmentally friendly.
  2. Put up chimes. Try hanging a few on your back porch. If you prefer bird song, put out a feeder. You’ll get serenaded every morning.
  3. Play digital files. Wherever you live or travel, you can now access pleasant sounds with your laptop or any media player. Browse online or buy a CD full of recordings of falling rain, splashing waves, or the natural music of the Florida Everglades.

Scent Appeal

  1. Pick up a diffuser. Diffuser kits with natural reeds will disperse scent for months. That way you can avoid the safety risks of leaving burning candles unattended.
  2. Rely on traditional scents. Oils like lavender, chamomile and sandalwood are old favorites because they work well for calming the mind. If you have a green thumb, try some living herbs. Lavender is easy to grow yourself and requires little maintenance. Just cut a few sprigs and take them indoors whenever you need to bring freshness to a room.
  3. Experiment with new fragrances. If you want more variety, shop around for new oils. Neroli is becoming increasingly popular. This fragrance is produced from Bitter Orange blossoms and has a subtle but complex flowery aroma.

Textural Elements

  1. Put something unusual on the walls. There’s more to wall art than framed paintings and photographs. Try an unusual object that will make you want to touch it, like a twisted rubber sculpture.
  2. Pay attention to your bedding. You spend about a third of your life sleeping, so turn your bed into a comfort zone. Stock up on feather beds, soft flannel sheets and plush comforters.
  3. Use accent pieces to add interest. Unusual and inexpensive accent pieces can add textural interest to any room. Knit your own throw blanket for a sofa or make small pillows covered in soft velvet or chenille.

Transform your home and office with design choices that will help you breathe easier and reduce your stress levels. Especially if you’re coping with a demanding schedule, create rooms that accommodate all your senses and help you feel composed. This will bring you peace not only at home, but everywhere you go.

How to Banish Negative Thoughts

Who doesn’t have negative thoughts now and then? But what if you had a negative thought which was pervasive and constant? Would you know how to get rid of it? Fortunately, there are many methods available to get rid of incessant negative chatter in our heads.

Here is an effective step-by-step process that will work if you use it regularly. As our ongoing example in this process, we’ll use the negative thought, “I’m too dumb to do anything right.”

  1. Turn the thought into a mental image. Imagine looking and acting completely silly. Create the most exaggerated image of yourself you can. Start by envisioning yourself in ridiculous clothes that don’t match.
    • Maybe you’re also banging your head against the wall or doing other foolish things. You could also be shouting silly phrases that don’t make any sense. The image should be clearly visible on your mental screen. Include sounds, smells, and physical sensations as well. Keep at this until the original thought brings up this new image.
  2. Choose an alternative thought. For our example, a good replacement thought would be, “I’m so intelligent I can do anything.”Choose something that is the opposite of the original negative thought. Select a phrase that feels right to you, through your whole body.
  3. Turn the new, positive thought into a mental image.You might imagine yourself dressed like Albert Einstein, shouting, “I’m brilliant. I can do anything.” Again, make the image outrageous. Keep at it until the positive thought automatically brings up that image.
  4. Link the two images together. Now, imagine a way to get from your negative image to your positive image. This is almost like you’re the director of a movie; you want to find a way to connect the opening and the closing scenes.
  • Perhaps in the first scene, you could imagine the image of the “dumb” version of yourself being struck by lightning and catching on fire. Then the new, Albert Einstein version of you rises from the ashes and goes into his “I’m brilliant. I can do anything”routine.
  • Keep practicing until you run the entire scene in your mind quickly, with no hitches. This should take fewer than 2 seconds from start to finish.
  • Test out your new mental connections. When you think the original negative thought, the entire scene should flash through your mind. Your mental process should end with the moment where you’re thinking, “I’m so brilliant. I can do anything.” If you’re not there yet, repeat Step 4 until you are.

Although this may seem silly to you, this is a common mnemonic technique. The imagery must be outrageous. This makes your memory’s work much easier.

Also, play around with the perspective. Most people find it helpful to view everything in the third person, as if they were spectators watching themselves in a movie. But you may prefer imagining things from a first-person perspective, in which everything happens to you, as it would in everyday life. Try both perspectives to determine which works better for you.

If you systematically deal with all your negative thoughts, you’ll eventually find that you have very few left. Imagine how your life could change! What might you do that you’ve always been too afraid to try? Now you’ll have the courage to do just that.

How Journaling Can Benefit Your Self-Development

Journaling is a fantastic way to supercharge your self-development efforts. When your thoughts are still in your mind, they can be challenging to analyze objectively.

Getting things out of your head and down on paper provides a totally different perspective.

Thinking tends to be very sequential; one thought leads to the next, which leads to the next. We get caught in a linear track and miss out on the bird’s-eye view of the whole thought process. With journaling you gain the ability to see things from a third-person view versus a first-person view.

Three Great Benefits of Journaling

  1. Solve complex challenges. When you write the issue at hand down on paper, the solution for a complex challenge often suddenly becomes obvious. The ability to re-examine the issue from a third-person perspective can make all the difference.
  2. Increase clarity.One of the best times to lean on your journal is when you’re filled with uncertainty about what action to take. Many things become clearer when you can get them down in writing.
  3. Validate your progress. Sometimes we feel like we’re spinning our wheels and not making genuine progress. When you’re feeling this way, go back and review your old journal entries. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you’ve made since then. And you’ll also probably realize that you’re taking huge strides right now, too!

How to Start a Journal

You might envision creating a journal in a one of those blank books you can pick up in the bookstore. While this option certainly has a romantic feel to it, you might want to consider keeping an electronic journal.

  • Electronic journals can be essentially free; you could start a blog on a free website or simply use your word processing program.
  • The big advantage with electronic journals is the ability to search for things. Imagine going back through 10 years of written records, trying to find a specific entry.
  • Additionally, if you type faster than you write, an electronic journal can be beneficial when you’re trying to get complex thoughts out in a short period of time.
  • Also, there are several software programs available specifically developed for journaling. If you can spare the $20-$30, they’re worth checking out, and provide a lot more flexibility than the traditional pen and paper approach.

Habit-forming: Make Journaling a Daily Activity

Even if you think that there aren’t enough interesting things happening in your life on a daily basis to bother recording them, don’t let that deter you. New habits are much easier to implement if the activity is performed on a daily basis. Even getting down a couple of sentences every night is a great idea. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll write much more.

This practice can even help make your life more exciting and fulfilling. Just knowing that you have to journal each night may compel you to make your life a little more adventurous, just so you have something interesting to write. Try it! During the day, you’ll notice that little thought in the back of your mind wondering what you can write about tonight.

Get started with your journal today. It’s an activity that has little to no cost but provides numerous benefits. You’ll see your clarity increase and have a much better sense of just how much progress you really are making in your life. Start journaling today and watch your self-development take on a new perspective.