13 Simple Changes That Lead to Huge Weight Loss

13 Simple Changes That Lead to Huge Weight Loss

Sandra Hassink, M.D., has been studying childhood obesity for more than 30 years. And the most important thing she’s learned— applicable to kids and grown men alike—is this: “All the willpower in the world,” she says, “can’t overcome an obesogenic environment.”

In other words, to lose weight and keep it off, you have to adjust your world so it’s not constantly tempting you. Instead of putting yourself on a diet, put your environment on one.

You can’t make good health decisions if your environment is always working against you, because then you have to be on alert 24-7,” says Dr. Hassink, founder of the Nemours Weight Management Clinic in Wilmington, Delaware. “You get tired. Things come up. It’s hard to [be successful] without creating a healthy environment in the first place.”

With the help of Dr. Hassink and other weight management experts, let’s start fat-proofing your world.

1. Do a Sunday evening junk-food dump.
Like lint on a black sweater, unhealthy foods and snacks can accumulate in your home without your realizing it.

Pie from the church bake sale, caramel popcorn from the Boy Scouts, a pork-kraut roll from Mom. And before you know it, you’re shoveling it into your mouth. Start the workweek fresh by taking a few minutes to rid your kitchen of crap and shake the airline stroopwafels out of your briefcase.

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“It’s amazing how much food can creep in,” Dr. Hassink says. If you don’t have the heart to toss Mom’s signature dish, just divide it into smaller portions to freeze and reheat later. And don’t get doggie bags at restaurants anymore—unless they’re actually for your dog.

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