- Diet & Weight Loss
Tips To Dieting And Weight Loss
Before we get into planning our meals, there are some important tips that I thought would be necessary to share with you.
Dieting And Weight Loss
Tips On Eating Slowly
Research has shown that if you eat slowly, you are more likely to eat less. This may be because it takes the brain a little longer to be able to recognize that you are no longer hungry. However, we tend to pass that mark by eating faster and not giving the brain enough time. Remember we are aiming at eating less so that you lose weight. You really don’t need to struggle to make this possible. You can follow the tips below:
Note: Ensure to practice mindful eating every single day by scheduling it into your day. Write this down in your calendar, write some notes on your fridge, and ensure to send yourself some reminders just before your meals telling yourself why you need to eat mindfully. In the long term, you will actually notice that everything becomes more automatic. You will take about 3-4 weeks to develop such habits.
- Sit at a table when eating: This will definitely tell your brain that it is now time to eat. Multitasking, especially when eating can make you lose track of how much food you are eating. And even if you eat more (especially while standing), you might still not feel as if you’ve not really eaten that much.
- Ensure to serve small portions: This is probably the very basic and most important of all. You don’t want to “test” yourself by serving more only for you to eat mindlessly and clear everything. As such, you will need to serve small portions in the first place if you want everything else to work. You will need to uses smaller plates for this if you don’t want to create the feeling that you are not really eating enough food.
- Work on distractions: While TV or reading can help you to start eating slowly since you are distracted, they might also make you mindless in eating making you to end up eating more food even if you’ve eaten it for a long time. Start by working on eliminating distractions if they make you mindless then after you’ve mastered how to eat mindfully, you can then start introducing distractions to help you to eat slowly – I will show you how in a subsequent point.
- Count your bites – You should aim for a certain/ minimum number of times you should chew food before swallowing. As you chew, try to notice the texture of what you are eating, the taste etc in every bite. As you do this, you will ultimately end up eating less and slowly.
- Begin by learning to stretch your meal for the longest time possible. This will prove to be a difficult task but can be accomplished. If you usually take 15 minutes, you can start by stretching it to 20 minutes.
- Ensure to drink between bites: Try to consciously sip a drink as you eat. This will force you to put down the fork, chew, then swallow the food before you eat more. Additionally, this simple act helps you to add liquid to the stomach, which ultimately helps you feel full. Although water is a good option, if you want something else like wine, feel free to go for it.
- Ensure to put down the fork: This works magic in getting you to be more mindful as you eat. Think about it; when you don’t eat mindfully and are holding the fork throughout the meal, you simply shovel without even thinking about it and are actually likely to take another bite before you can even swallow everything in your mouth. On the other hand, if you put down the fork, you force yourself to relax a bit and focus on chewing whatever food you have in your mouth.
- Take time with all the eating phases; ensure to give each phase its proper timing. For instance, after the first bite, put all the utensils back on the plate and finish up what is in your mouth. In simple terms, get to do something else besides just eating but ensure this other activity does not make you eat mindlessly. For instance, you can try reading a page or half a page of your favorite novel or book between bites. But for this to work, you must have served a small portion to ensure you don’t end up eating too much food. You could actually count the number of bites you take by just comparing that with the number of pages you’ve read. If you notice that your portions take more bites, in subsequent meals, you can reduce the portions so that you take lesser bites and read lesser pages. Ultimately, you will still feel full, and will be able to control how much food you take without even noticing it.
- Take small bites; Ensure to place only a small amount of food in your mouth. Take time to wipe your mouth after each mouthful before the next spoon.
- Try to chew all the food before swallowing. It is not only a good method in slowing you down but also helping with the digestion process. You could also incorporate a beverage into the meal and take a sip after every mouthful.
- Talk- Proper table manners demands that you don’t talk when your mouth is full of food. So essentially, if you want to talk in between swallowing and the next bite, you end up slowing yourself down and this ultimately helps you to achieve the goal of eating less.
- Eat with slow eaters- given that humans have an unconscious tendency to want to fit in by imitating others, you are unlikely to eat sloely when everyone around you is eating slowly. The same case applies to fast eating; you will often find yourself eating very fast when you eat around people who eat too fast.
- Dimming the lights- this is a very effective way of inducing a feeling of calmness, which ultimately makes it easy for you to slow down on your eating speed. Too much lighting is recipe for super fast eating!
Tips On How To Eat Less
Eating slowly may be one of the ways of ensuring that you eat less but there other tips that could assist you in this venture. Here are some very effective tips to get you to do this:
- Do not wait to eat; it is impossible to get yourself to eating slowly if at all you are starved. Try to prevent being starved by eating frequent small meals – you can eat snacks like almonds. Schedule them properly and eat them slowly. But even as you do that, it is important to keep in mind that it will take time and patience to change the habit.
- Maintain and count your calories; eating slowly not only helps you in eating less but it also takes some self control in it. Remember that your brain had been conditioned to respond to a specific portion of meals that you are now trying to change. So keep counting your calories and scheduling your altered portions.
- Choose foods that are high in water and fiber; being full with less is your goal but you still want to make sure that you are taking nutritious foods. To achieve this, eat foods that are high in fiber and water because they will get you to have the feeling of fullness. Some fruits that are high in water are like melons. As for veggies, these include eggplant, red cabbage, spinach, peppers etc.
- Drink a lot of water during the day. Aim for 8-10 glasses a day. Water not only nourishes your skin and cleanses your body but also gives you the feeling of being full for some time making it easy to avoid having to introduce large amounts of food to achieve the effect.
- Only eat meals that you have selected and make sure you plan for the meals that are ahead. If you tend to grab anything and eat, then it becomes very difficult to monitor your diet and you end up eating more than what you expected.
- Keep a food diary; just as you kept a food diary for the meal habits that you had, you need to keep one for the ones that you have changed into. Try to keep a diary of your meal plan and the changes that you make to keep track of everything
- Decide on the method of planning your meals that best suites you. The traditional plan is that you eat three meals a day with snacking after each. But this is bound to change if it does not fit your style. Consult a nutritionist to help you come up with a meal plan that you can keep.
- After taking your meal or last snack at night, make sure you brush your teeth so that you do not nibble anything before you sleep. This works well especially if you are strict on your oral hygiene. It also sends a message to your brain that you should not eat any more food. You will definitely not want to mess your freshly brushed teeth with snacks!
- You can decide to join a program or a group of friends who are also trying to eat less so that you get motivated through the journey.
- When you get thirsty, you could try some warm water with lemon and honey, or you could make the water cool.
- Make sure that you do not skip meals because this will eventually make it even harder to lose weight.
- Serve on small plates; this creates the illusion that you are eating a lot of food given that your mind will simply register that the plate was full at the time of serving.
- Use taller glasses: height makes drinks to seem more compared to width. As such, serving drinks on thin tall glasses is a good way of making you to drink less of that.
- Eat protein: they are filling and take longer to digest, which means you will end up feeling full for longer hence the urge to overeat is minimal.
- Stop eating from the package: When you eat from the package, you cannot notice that you are actually overeating. Serving food on a plate helps you to know how much you are actually eating.
- Wear fitting clothes; you will not want to feel too uncomfortable when you overeat!
- Spice up your food; Some like chili are known to help you to curb appetite.
Even as you go through with your dieting attempts, ensure to check/ track your weight. It is not advisable to lose more than 2 pounds a week or 8 in a month.
Get The Most From Your Diet
To get the most from your diet, here are some tips you need to keep in mind:
- You have to take note of everything you eat. Keep track of the carbohydrates, fruits, proteins, veggies, dairy products and sweets that you consume daily.
- Do not cut out the carbs but make a point of limiting them. We will get to discuss this later in the book.
- Increase your fruit and veggie intake, as they are very rich in the needed vitamins and nutrients.
- Make sure that despite your meal arrangement, you have three main meals and two snacks unless otherwise.
For weight loss to be healthy, you need to include exercises in your regime. By eating less, you reduce the number of calories consumed while by exercising; you burn the excess calories that might have been stored in the form of fats. As I already mentioned, the idea is to push your body to create a calorie deficit in order to force it to start burning stored fat. Exercising is a great way to make this possible since it increases the rate at which the body burns calories, which means that you will end up burning more stored fat. So how do you know how to perform the exercises and when exactly do you get to do them? Well, don’t worry because I will show you how to do just that in the coming 12 weeks plan. I just want to discuss some simple aspects about exercises.
Aerobic exercises; these should be done at a regular basis. The nice thing about them is that they can be incorporated to your daily activities. Examples of aerobic exercises are walking, jogging, swimming, hiking, and biking.
Try out strength training weekly; these are things like weight lifting and resistance training. You could also try to do push-ups or crunches. They are a nice way of building your muscles and ensuring they don’t wear off.
Try different types of exercises; exercises can get very boring but you could keep it going by doing a variety of them. This in turn ensures that you do not overuse any muscle. You could decide to take a break from the aerobic exercises and visit the gym. Remember that you do not have to be very rigorous in the exercises.
Make a point of finding a workout partner; at times, having someone do the exercises with you is a lot more motivating and keeps you going. If you could get someone, who is also trying to diet just like you are, then the better. This person could be a friend or even a family member. Just as long as you have the same goal, then you could keep each other going.