Shape Your Path For Weight Loss

I had a great conversation with one of our members last week that I thought I would share. They were having some trouble losing weight. We talked about a few things and they felt their main problem was portion control. We talked a little while longer and they mentioned that, when eating dinner, they would bring all the food over to the dinner table in serving bowls and help themselves.

I made the suggestion that they might leave the food on the kitchen counter and prepare the plates there. The idea was that by having the food in a little more inconvenient place it would make them less likely to eat after they were actually full.

Well, fast forward one month and they’ve lost 8 pounds.

I’ve heard this referred to as “Shaping The Path”. (Thank you Precision Nutrition!) Essentially it means that you change your surroundings to better reflect your values and goals. In this case, it was pretty easy for them to just keep refilling their plates with all the food right in front of them so they just made it harder to do that. This is a very powerful concept and as you can see, it can result in some big results with just a small effort.

Today I’m just going to give you a few easy ideas on how to shape your path.

1. Get The Bad Food Out Of The House Let me ask you a quick question.

Are you more likely to eat bad food if it’s in your house or out of your house?

We all know the answer to that one, don’t we? You can tell yourself all you want that you’re not going to dive into that ice cream or bag of chips, but if it’s in your house it will eventually be eaten. I’m not saying you can never bring ice cream home again, but maybe instead of buying a half gallon you just go to The Ice Creamery and get a cone or buy a single serving size? Who cares if it costs more that way. Isn’t it worth a couple of bucks to be healthier?

2. Use Smaller Plates. All sorts of research has shown that using smaller plates causes you to unconsciously eat less food. Take a look at the picture below.

Same portion, smaller plate

You can see how you’d be more likely to put more food on the bigger plate, right?

3. Bring Healthy Snacks to The Office. What about when you’re at work and they have that bowl of candy or plate of cookies out for everyone? You can’t just toss that out or you’d have Mabel from HR furious at you! (I know from experience that you NEVER want anyone from HR angry with you!)

One thing we know is that when you try to change an activity you need to replace it with something else. In other words, just telling yourself not to eat one of the cookies is a tough way to go. A better way is to replace that habit with another one. Bringing some healthy snacks to the office, like some fruit, is a better way to go. When you’d usually go for the chips just reach into your bag and grab an apple instead. If that does’t work than find something you’ll do that will work.

These are some easy things that anyone can do with just a little effort but as always, it’s really about finding what’s right for you and your life. The possibilities are endless! Many times it’s just about figuring out what’s really getting in your way. This can be tough sometimes so if you need any help, please drop me a line and let me know. We’ll talk it through and get you Shaping Your Path in no time!

Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Mitch Rothbardt Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
Castro Valley’s Premier Fitness Facility
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