If you do not already know, losing weight is largely about calories in versus calories out. That should be no secret. Now how you accomplish this task, is where things can get a little tricky. So today I would like to share with you a simple trick or environmental manipulation that I use to help me reduce the amount of calories I take in without giving it a second thought.
Mint and Chip Ice Cream
I love ice cream, especially the mint and chip variety. In fact, it is for this reason that I indulge in that creamy goodness every night! I know…shocker right?? Not really, for those of you reading this that know me, that is not a far stretch AT ALL. What can I say…I love my sweets. But too much of anything is not a good thing, and when it came to eating ice cream I was approaching that “too much” mark exceedingly fast–so I needed to make a few adjustments.
During my ice cream escapades I started to notice that the lifespan of the ice cream tub was lessening every week. It went from lasting me about a week, to about half that. Which could have only meant one of two things–A) I was eating more than I thought or B) My GF was eating some of it too. But option B wasn’t much of an option, because my GF does not share my same enthusiasm for ritualistic ice cream eating in the evening hours. So I was left with myself to blame.
Whenever it comes time for me to change a habit I am always thinking of ways to make my decisions easier; therefore, I do not have to expend much of my willpower energy to accomplish what needs to be done. With that being said, I always look to manage three areas of influence.
- Things–items that can help me accomplish my task.
In this case, “things” by way of bowls, utensils, and ice cream cones, made a huge difference in helping me reducing the total amount of calories I ate during the week.
I started off by using a smaller bowl. This had a positive effect for a bit, but then I found that was starting to compensate for the reduction in bowl width, by adding more ice cream to the top, effectively negating the whole concept of using a smaller bowl to begin with. So then I decided to shrink the bowl EVEN MORE. This helped a bit more because, the visual of seeing such a small bowl stacked with SO MUCH ice cream on top served as a reality check, because there was no excuse for having that much ice cream in such a small bowl besides the fact that I was just trying to stuff my face. So gradually the amount of ice cream started to fit in the way a bowl of that size should be utilized.
So I figured the bowl out. But then I ran into another issue. I like to eat it while I am winding down watching TV, but I started to notice that my ice cream wasn’t lasting that long in terms of amount of time it took me to it eat it, which was leaving me a little dissatisfied to say the least. I felt that desert was not serving me in the way that it should be. So to resolve this issue, I knew that I needed to eat slower, but I did not want to be mindful of my eating, because it would defeat the purpose of being able to watch TV AND eat dessert at the same time. So guess what I did? I got a smaller spoon! Smaller bites would mean that it would last longer, and I was right. It did last longer, and as a result my desert time became a little more pleasureable. By this time I was into it. I wanted to see if I could improve my dessert eating experience AND keep myself in line with reducing my overall caloric intake. Enter the ice cream cone…BOOM!
By placing my ice cream in an ice cream cone I was forced to lick my ice cream to death, like a damn tootsie pop..and how long does it take to get to the center of those things again?
By manipulating the way I consume my dessert I was able to reduce my overall caloric intake by 1500 to 2100 cals each week, and when this is combined with my other efforts such as making better food choices and exercise it can make a big difference.
In conclusion, sustainable weight loss is largely about finding out what is going to work for you. It is good to think in terms of how you can influence yourself to make better choices. Managing these three areas of influence–relationships, environment, and tools–can markedly improve your chances of success.
So ditch the idea of diet cults and trending fads, and get creative with the solutions to your problems and figure out what’s going to work for you.