Because of all the fad diets out there, it's hard to tell what really works and what doesn't. We've compiled a list of 10 tips to effectively aid in helping us shed those extra pounds. Let's take a look!
A what? That sounds like a lot of work...however, research has shown that food journaling for weight loss is quite effective! In fact, one study showed that those who kept a food diary six days a week lost about twice as much as those who kept a food log once a week or less. Why is this so effective? Well, keeping a log of what you eat helps increase your awareness of what, how much, and why you are eating what you are eating. Having a food diary can help us determine what changes we need to make in our diet to help prevent us from simply snacking mindlessly. It can also help us to see how much calories we are putting into our bodies and keep us from overeating.
A lot of people, because of their busy schedule and habit, may tend to eat quickly. However, when we eat too fast, we may take in much more calories! Why is that? Well, it takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals that you are full. When you take the time to savor and enjoy each bite, you tend to feel full sooner, which can result in eating less and taking in fewer calories. Find it hard to slow down? Try chewing each bite of food 20 times or more before swallowing. Put down your fork in between bites to prevent yourselves from shoveling down food. Sip some water in between bites. Putting in the extra effort to slow down your eating habits now can help you in the long run in your weight loss plan.
Yup, you can't skip this step. No matter what, if you want to lose weight in a healthy way, you must add in a bit of exercise. Doing anywhere from 15-30 minutes of exercise every day can significantly help you burn calories. Find something that you can manage doing on a regular basis and commit to it. Even if you don't want to move at all, doing at least 5 minutes is still better than nothing.
How does my sleep habits affect my eating habits? Well, when you lack sleep, your hunger hormone increases, which can contribute to weight gain. Our bodies crave more salty and sweet foods to give us more energy throughout the day when we feel sleep deprived. Just as getting a good night's sleep can help us think more clearer throughout the day and make better choices, it can also help us eat when we are truly hungry. So sleep deprivation may inhibit our ability to lose weight even when we are exercising and eating well.
Study has shown that those who drank one or two glasses of water prior to eating lost more weight than those who didn't. Why does this work? Well, first off, sometimes when you are thirsty, you may think that you are hungry, which can cause you to overeat. And secondly, drink water itself can also make you feel fuller, which can help you to eat less during mealtimes. It's also a great way to make sure you are stay hydrated enough throughout the day.
Aka, only eat until you feel just about 80% full. Avoid thinking that you must finish everything that is on your plate. Don't be scared to pack away leftovers and eat it later. If you think you're starting to feel full, then put your fork down, wait a bit, and then decide if you absolutely need to shove in that extra five bites of rice and chicken. Doing so can help you avoid overeating. In many cases, we overeat simply because the food tastes so good, we just want to keep tasting it, but in reality our body is actually already full and doesn't need the extra helpings of food.
To fix this, simply don't buy it. If you don't have a lot of unhealthy foods lying around the house, you can't eat it. So instead, replace your usual go-to snacks with healthier alternatives such as nuts and seeds, fruits, etc. Don't try to test your self control by keeping a stash of junk food to "reward" yourself "once in a while", cause we know sometimes it just doesn't work that way. In most cases, we end up eating it all within a few days. So...if you must have it, just buy one serving of junk food to enjoy at a time. This will help you limit how much junk food you eat on a regular basis.
Use a smaller plate or bowl. Believe it or not, this can help reduce the amount of food we serve ourselves and give us the impression that we already at too much if we go back for more servings. Studies have shown that people who used a 1-3 inch smaller plate ate up to about 22% less!
To help you avoid overeating later in the day, such as dinnertime, make sure that you don't skip breakfast! Make sure you eat a nutritional and filling breakfast in the morning. This can also help get your metabolism started for the day. When people skip breakfast and/or lunch, they tend to overeat and indulge during dinner and dinner time is the worst time of the day to eat a lot.
Instead of making rice, pasta, or potatoes a large portion of your plate, make it a smaller portion and have your veggies take up a larger portion of your plate. You will still think you are eating the same quantity, however, eating more veggies will help you eat less high calorie foods and can aid you in your weight loss.