By Barbara Bishop

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Not Just Diet and Exercise.

Diet and exercise. Exercise and diet. There’s got to be other things that can help me lose weight. I am now dieting, eating less sugar, more protein, less carbs, more veggies. I walk every day for half an hour. It’s helping. But I need more suggestions.

I searched online for an hour. There are so many “lose 100 pounds in 1 day” ads, finding information that is accurate and helpful is tough. But I did pick up some things that I liked, and didn’t really know about that I want to share with ya’ll.

Slow Down – Set a timer for 20 minutes and reinvent yourself as a slow eater. I became a fast eater in high school, because I had a half-hour to eat lunch. It took me 5 minutes to walk to where I was going to eat, 10 minutes to order and receive my lunch, and 5 minutes to walk back. That meant I had to wolf down my lunch in 10 minutes. The habit continued through college and my first few jobs, still only having that half-hour for lunch.

I found out that this is one of the top habits for slimming down without a complicated diet plan. Savor each bite and make them last until the timer bell chimes. Paced meals offer great pleasure from smaller portions and trigger the body’s fullness hormones. When you eat your food down in a hurry, your stomach doesn’t have time to tell your brain it’s full. That leads to overeating. Uh, yeah!

Sleeping an extra hour a night could help a person drop 14 pounds in a year, according to a University of Michigan researcher who ran the numbers for a 2,500 calorie per day intake. I thought that was amazing.

His scenario shows that when sleep replaces idle activities – and the usual mindless snacking in front of the TV after 8 p.m. (yep), you can effortlessly cut calories by 6 percent. There is also evidence that getting less than 7 hours of sleep revs up your appetite, making you uncommonly hungry.

Women who do yoga tend to weigh less than others, according to a study in the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association”. What’s the connection? The yoga regulars reported a more “mindful” approach to eating. For example, they tend to notice the large portions in restaurants but eat only enough to feel full. Researchers think the calm self-awareness developed through yoga may help people resist overeating. OK, ok, Naam Yoga. I’ll be there this week!

Eat home-cooked meals at least five days a week. A Consumer Reports survey found this was a top habit of “successful losers.” I love to cook at home. I used to eat dinner at restaurants all the time, being a foodie. But got tired of the long waits to get a seat, rude peeps and extra calories. I have been BBQ-ing and making yummy salads. I’ve been bringing my lunch to the office. That ought to help. Now eating at restaurants is a treat for me since I don’t go to them all the time.

Stop when you’re 80 percent full. Americans are conditioned to keep eating until they’re stuffed, but residents of Okinawa eat until they’re 80 percent full. They even have a name for this naturally slimming habit: hara hachi bu. We can adopt this healthy habit by dishing out 20 percent less food, according to researcher Brian Wansink, PhD. His studies show most people don’t miss it.

Burn 100 Calories Extra a Day. Lose 10 pounds in a year without dieting by burning an extra 100 calories every day. It’s easy. Why am I not doing it?

  • Pull weeds or plant flowers for 20 minutes. (I have a gardener.)
  • Mow the lawn for 20 minutes. (I don’t have a lawn.)
  • Clean house for 30 minutes. (I have a cleaning person.)
  • Walk 1 mile, about 20 minutes. (This I can do!)


Celebrate! When I’ve made it through the day without overeating, I give myself credit. And it’s starting to show when I step on a scale.


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