There is a lot of advice on what to eat and what not to eat
in order to lose weight, leading to people to go on some form of diet or
another. However most nutritionists point out that it shouldn’t be so. It is
very possible to still lose weight while eating you like and here are ten tips
on how you can do it.
1. It is all about
Yes, you can eat all the foods you enjoy but the key is to
do it in smaller quantities. The problem with weight gain is that many of us
tend to over eat, and by having smaller portions, we reduce the chances of that
happening. At home, instead of dishing your food on a large plate, use a saucer
sized dish or a bowl to have your meal. In addition, using smaller dishes tricks
your mind that the amount of food you are having is sufficient than if you
served a similar sized portion on a large plate.
2. Always have a plan
If you have to eat out, be careful not to get swayed by the
restaurant menu, especially when you’re hungry and everything looks good. You
don’t have to order the plain grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables—boring.
Instead, order what you’d like, but balance the meal out with the rest of the
day. If you know you’re going out for eba and beef for dinner, go easy on the
meat and starch at lunch time. Make sure you’re also fitting in healthy items
like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds in the other meals and
snacks that day. That way a mound of eba with some beef won’t ruin your diet
and you’ll leave happy.
3. Forget the fad
Don’t get sucked in to those diets that have you counting
calories or have you stick to eating
only certain types of food. Instead focus on foods that are good for you, says
Frank Lipman, MD, integrative and functional medicine physician, and author of The
New Health Rules. Instead of how many calories, ask yourself where the food
came from and if it’s nutritious. “Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will keep
hunger at bay, help maintain stable blood sugar levels, minimize cravings, and
help your brain signal your belly when you’re full,” he says. In other words,
you don’t have to go through all the trouble of counting.
4. Your food doesn’t have
to be boring
Nutritionists are always saying to eat more vegetables and
let us face it, they can be boring. A way of increasing the amount of
vegetables you eat is to jazz it up a little. Experiment with flavours, like
sautéing with olive oil and garlic, or spraying them with olive oil before
throwing them in an oven with salt, pepper, and curry powder. There are also a
number of spices that can be quite aromatic and research has shown that smell
has a lot to do with the taste of food. You can also add some meat or chicken
to feed your meat loving instincts.
5. Rehydrate constantly
Sometimes when we are dehydrated, our body tricks our mind
to make us believe that we are hungry, and we tend to grab something to eat
instead of getting some water. Always have a bottle of water handy as this can help to ward off being dehydrated. Also a trick to eating less, will be to down a tall glass of water before you have your meal and another in the middle of the
meal. This will help you feel full faster without eating as much food.
6. Eat lunch like a
You may have heard that breakfast is usually the biggest
meal of your day, but you may not be that hungry when you wake up. In fact,
“your biggest meal should be around noon when your digestion is at its peak and
you can feed your body when it actually needs fuel,” says Dr. Lipman. That
means you don’t need a huge meal at dinner, only to sit and watch TV and then
go to bed. In fact quite the opposite, you should actually have a light dinner
as your digestive system tends to slow down at night and it is not very
effective in digesting food while you sleep. But “big” doesn’t mean burger and chips. At lunch, emphasize protein and greens, like beans with a good helping
7. Colour up your
Greens, oranges, reds, purples, yellows …. eating a variety
of naturally coloured food will supply your body with a range of
disease-fighting phytonutrients, and will naturally fill you up to help you reduce
the unhealthy foods you consume, says Dr. Lipman. Plus, most adults struggle
with getting the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A
worldwide study in 2014 found 58 to 88% of adults don’t hit that mark. Aiming
for a diverse intake of produce from all colors will help you boost your
intake. In another study, adults who were offered a variety of vegetables ate
more of them without increasing the calories at the meal.
8. Know your snacks
Sometimes you don’t know what you’ll be in the mood for
later, and if will you even be hungry. Increased snacking has been fingered as one the reasons behind
the rise in calorie intake over the past few decades, according to a 2011 study
in PLOS ONE. Often, when you leave your office to go find something, that’s when bad
choices are made. Doughnuts, meat pies, sausage rolls are just
some of the bad choices we make. It is okay to have them as a treat once in a
while but not on a daily basis. Make sure your desk (or fridge) is stocked with
an emergency stash of snacks, like Greek yogurt, individual packs of nuts,
dried fruit, and carrot sticks.
9. Follow the 80/20
There are two ways you can think about 80/20 eating. One:
eat healthy 80% of the time and the remaining 20% for indulges. That’s great
because it stresses how eating is not about perfection, and as it also needs to
be pleasurable, too. This could mean having a 150-calorie treat daily or saving
it all up for a big meal out on the weekend. Make it work for you rather than
stressing out about percentages.
Another look at the 80/20 rule is to stop eating when you’re
80% full. That means slowing down and checking in periodically throughout the
meal about what your body is saying. If you feel that you are getting full,
then you should stop. Thinking 80/20 as you eat can help slow you down and be
more mindful. Being in tune with your body prevents overeating.
10. Stop the sugary
I know I said you could have whatever you want but if you
had to drop one thing, it would sugary drinks. They add no nutritional value
and are piled with empty calories. When you have a sugary drink, you release a
lot of sugar into your blood stream and your pancreas work really hard to reduce
the amount in the blood by releasing insulin. In some people, over time, the
pancreas just give up and stop producing insulin, leading to type II diabetes.
You can reduce the risk of this happening to you by controlling the amount of
sugar you consume. Sugary drinks are jammed packed with sugar, a 330 ml can of
your favourite “soft drink” can contain as much as 12 cubes of sugar. Just think about that the next time you reach that can of sugary liquid.