Weightloss: 8 Ways to Stop Obsessing About Weight (cont.)
If you need a little motivation for giving up your scale, keep in mind that often minor weight fluctuations aren't as real as the numbers would have you believe. "Quick weight loss is rarely fat loss that stays off but rather a loss that is a mixture of water weight, lean protein mass, and some fat," says Susan Mitchell, PhD, a registered dietitian working with a program to help promote the dietary intake of fruits and vegetables.
Eat Based on Nutritional Value Instead of Calories
"Portion size determines total calorie intake, but if all the calories are from marshmallow peeps, your body will not run like the fine-tuned machine it is designed to be," says Mitchell. "You may lose weight but you may also lose hair, have dry skin, awful nails, and that's just what you see on the outside." Mitchell says you can also lose muscle and bone mass from vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can lead to osteoporosis.
Stop Playing Survivor at Home
If you're trying to lose weight, especially a significant amount of weight, do it gradually. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. In fact, starvation or rapid weight loss can actually trigger weight obsession, says Beckman. Long-lasting weight loss takes time, so planning to lose weight for a party or wedding or prior to a life change like starting college can also trigger obsession and lead to an eating disorder.
Beckman says if you're starving yourself or not eating enough you're also more likely to trigger binges. Instead, try having smaller meals more frequently or three meals a day, with snacks in between. "The metabolism does better and actually speeds up if you eat regularly," says Beckman. If you're struggling with an eating disorder or obsessive dieting, you should make sure you eat even more regularly to avoid an intense and sudden urge to eat large amounts of food. Try focusing on making smaller, more long-lasting, and less extreme changes. Just make sure that those small changes are in balance with the rest of your life instead of your primary focus.
Pass the Bread Basket
It's not a good sign if you start sweating and feel overwhelmed with anxiety every time you see, or even dare to eat, a doughnut or some other food chock full of carbs and sugar, especially around special occasions. You want to be reasonable in your consumption of all foods and eat some healthy foods and some junk foods, says Beckman, especially around the holiday season. Too much restriction can lead to late-night bingeing and obsessive thoughts about certain foods. If you're going to a holiday party, for example, check your food anxiety at the door and plan on enjoying a treat. That doesn't mean you have to camp out by the buffet table all night, but plan to enjoy some treats in moderation. Avoid going to the party hungry, which often leads to overindulgence.