These 3 habits help you lose weight faster and keep it off FOREVER (Part 1)

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Happy New Year! As you try to lose weight and improve your habits this year, I ask that you start with a beginner’s mind.

You may have tried to lose weight several times before and you know what you’re supposed to do. You know all the tips and tricks. You know what you’re supposed to eat and what you shouldn’t eat.

Today, I ask that you let go of that and open your mind up to the new information that is coming your way.

There are some strategies that go beyond diet and exercise that can accelerate your results and help you keep the weight off FOREVER.

I don’t say that lightly.

It’s not just about how much you eat, what you eat, and how much you exercise. Maintaining weight loss requires that you have a healthy relationship with food.

Only about 5% of people who lose weight keep it off, so pay attention.

The three habits you must master to maintain weight loss are mindful eating, emotional hygiene, and sleep.

Mindful eating means going slow while eating. Really slow. As in, take small bites. Put your fork down between bites. Breathe and enjoy your meal.

Mindful eating means never eating in the car while you’re driving to work. It means turning off the TV and putting your computer, tablet, and iPhone away when you eat meals. It means not working or multitasking while trying to eat.

Now let’s do a thought experiment. It’s kind of silly but stay with me here.

Imagine you are on a first date with your meal. Would you ignore your date and scroll through your iPhone the whole time? Of course you wouldn’t!

Pay attention to the sensual features of your meal. Colors, textures, mouth feel, smell, and of course taste.

Mindful eating means paying attention to your inner fullness and satiety cues and stopping when you are just satisfied–not full or stuffed. There is a name for this, it is the Confucian practice called hara hachi bu. This Japanese phrase roughly translates to, “eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full.”

If there is food left over on your plate when you reach hara hachi bu, stop.

Even if it is just vegetables. If you are uncomfortable with throwing away food, then put it in a container and save it for later.

Don’t be afraid to stop eating. Food is plentiful and there will always be more later when you are hungry for it.

When you reach the point of hara hachi bu, your stomach does not stretch out, but you are satisfied with the meal you ate and do not feel weighed down by it.

Consciously practice hara hachi bu every day until you no longer have to think about it.