How to Lose Weight – 3 Simple Eating Tips
I get questions all the time from martial artists wondering how to lose weight. Why do they ask me? Probably because I’m skinny!
To be clear, I’ve never claimed to be a doctor or a dietitian, but I have gone on record sharing my personal experiences with food on my podcast, Fight for a Happy Life. If you’ve got the time for a more in-depth discussion, check out Episode #44: Black Belt Diet Tips.
If you’re not interested in the podcast, no problem—here’s a video instead! You can watch my advice on how to lose weight or skim the transcript below. Either way, take it slow and steady and let food be thy medicine! 🙂
How to Lose Weight:
3 Simple Eating Tips
Let me admit right up front that I think I’ve been blessed with good genetics. That’s a significant advantage in the battle to lose weight. But it’s also true that I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I eat clean (most of the time!), and I work out every day.
To be honest, that might be everything you need to know right there! But if you want a little more guidance, here are three tips that might help you lose weight.
Tip #1: Food first, fitness second.
How many times a week do you work out? Three times? Five times? Let’s say you work out every single day. That adds up to seven workouts per week.
Now, how many times a day do you eat? Let’s say you eat three square meals a day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That adds up to 21 meals per week, three times the number of workouts!
So, if eating and working out are both methods of shaping your body—and they are!—which one of the two is having the greater effect?
Let’s get real. Most people aren’t working out seven days a week. Most people also snack between meals. That means that most people are shaping their body three to five times a week through exercise and 28 to 35 times through what they’re eating!
So, if you really want to change the shape of your body, focus on cleaning up your diet first. Because it doesn’t matter how hard you work out, if you’re only working out three to five times a week, that’s not going to outweigh what you’re eating 30 times a week.
Eat the right foods for you in the right portion sizes for you, and then you’ve got a chance of having those workouts make a difference. Food first, fitness second.
Tip #2: Put it on your body.
If I put a cherry pie right up next to my face, it is very likely that I’m going to eat it. That’s because my eyes, nose, and tongue all tell me that pie is GOOD.
But if I put that same pie down by my stomach, I get a different feeling. That’s because my stomach can’t see, can’t smell, and can’t taste. It just wants fuel. Nutritious fuel.
So, when I put a plate of fat and sugar next to my stomach, it actually makes me feel kind of sick. I think, “Do I really want this garbage sitting inside my body?” No!
“Do I really want my organs working for hours to process this unhealthy food that only tasted good for a few minutes?” No!
It may sound kooky, but try that little trick to lose weight. Instead of putting all of your food right in front of your face, put it on your body. Imagine it actually sitting inside you.
Your tongue may lie to you, but your body will tell the truth.
Tip #3: Slow down.
Let’s say you’re craving some ice cream. You rub some on your belly and your belly still says, “Yes, please!”
Okay. How long will it take for you to satisfy that craving? Please note, I’m not asking how much ice cream it will take, I’m asking how long it will take.
Let’s say you usually take 15 minutes to eat one full pint of ice cream. Is it possible to still enjoy ice cream for 15 minutes but only eat half the pint? Yes! Just slow down.
- Maybe you put the spoon down between every mouthful… or maybe you put down the whole container.
- Maybe you take a sip of water in between each mouthful… or just take a deep breath.
- Maybe instead of swallowing the ice cream as fast as you can, you roll it around in your mouth a little longer so you can enjoy the flavor and appreciate the texture.
Slowing down not only helps you cut calories and enjoy your food more, it also gives your stomach time to communicate with your brain.
When you shovel pizza and wings down your throat as fast as you can, your stomach gets full before your brain knows about it. There’s a satiety delay. That’s why you end up feeling stuffed and uncomfortable even when you promised yourself you weren’t going to eat too much.
The problem isn’t always what you’re eating, it’s how fast you’re eating.
So, slow down and give your brain time to catch up with what’s going on in your stomach. If you do, I think you’ll find yourself enjoying food more and eating less.
Food is a lot like martial arts— you have to keep experimenting to figure out what works for you. It’s also true that what works for you today may not work for you tomorrow.
So, pay attention to what your body is telling you and keep updating your diet. Then you’ll never be stuck wondering how to lose weight again.