Weight loss, weight maintenance, diets and every other synonym for keeping track of how much you weigh and its effect on your overall health makes up for a larger portion of your overall life than you might realize.
Talk shows hawk cure-all products, pharmacy shelves are stocked with dozens of products that promise to blast away fat and melt away pounds, exercise routines rise and fall every few months and there’s always another diet trending that promises to help you bleed away excess weight. Some work, some don’t, but they all need to focus on one core concept: healthy eating habits.
At its very core weight loss is the simple science of knowing how many calories your body needs and adjusting your eating habits to reflect that fact, but it’s not always as simple as eating a little less here and there. It’s not uncommon to have serious difficulties when it comes to finding an eating routine that doesn’t spiral out of control. If going cold turkey isn’t cutting it, there may still be hope yet with these five key ways to help curb your hunger pangs while still shedding pounds.
1. Eat In, Not Out
Most households are eating out far more often than they did a few short decades ago and that’s not always a good thing. Fast food and quick meal options often have serious repercussions on our health when used as a primary food source.
Eating out here and there won’t wreck your diet, but spending more time in a restaurant than in the kitchen will obliterate the eating habits of all save the most stalwart of calorie-counters. Instead, finding meals that are easy for you to cook while providing important nutrients without excess sugars, fats or massive portion sizes is one of the first steps to reclaiming your waistline.
The initial cost of acquiring high-quality cookware between non-stick pans and time-saving appliances might seem high but your costs will almost certainly go down compared to eating out on a regular basis. If you’re interested in getting a qualitative cookware primer, read more about Scanpan kitchenware, it might be just what you need.
2. Don’t Skip Breakfast
If anything, eating less often seems like a quick solution to a weight problem. What better way to shed pounds than by simply not eating? Unfortunately, our bodies often don’t work quite as we imagine them to: skipping breakfast might make you binge eat later which can be far worse for you than having a light morning meal to kickstart your metabolism and get you through the day.
Even something as simple as a morning parfait or a bowl of oatmeal can provide essential probiotics, nutrients, fiber and a full stomach that will keep you from overdoing things when lunch rolls around.
3. Slow Down
Sometimes you’re going to have to eat on the go, which is understandable. Time is often the enemy and you have to do what you must to keep yourself from keeling over during work and social outings. Eating quickly, while distracted or while standing up can all have very strange but noticeable effects on your eating habits and none of them are terribly healthy.
Mindful eating is more important than you think. Take the time to sit down with your food, chew it slowly and try not to lose yourself in internet videos or television if possible. If it does take the brain up to twenty minutes to realize you’re full, blocking out those signals with outside stimulus is a sure way to overeat without realizing it.
Studies show that eating slower means that you will feel satiated faster. This happens because leptin, the hormone that communicates satiety to your brain when you’ve gained enough nutrients from a meal, has enough time to work.
Furthermore, leptin also interacts with dopamine to generate that pleasurable sensation after a hearty meal. Thus, the processes it goes through are intricate and need time to occur. By eating slowly, you are giving your body the time to do just that.
4. Make Cutbacks, Not Deprivations
The crux of many a diet involves giving up foods you enjoy or pulling back on how much you eat at a given time. Depriving yourself of foods you like, or any other cold-turkey method may not be as healthy for you as simply taking it easy instead of quitting sugary or fatty foods outright.
You might have to reward yourself for eating properly through the week and there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, a small reward to keep you on your healthy eating habits is a better route to take than breaking down a diet and gorging wildly the next time you pass by a bakery.
This is supported by recent studies which demonstrate that cheat days are essential to maintaining a successful diet in the long run. Out of the 36 participants in the research, those who allowed themselves a few “planned hedonistic deviations” stayed motivated for longer and were overall more optimistic about their fitness goals.
5. Track Your Eating Habits
If you aren’t sure why your weight loss programs are panning out in a way you didn’t anticipate, track your eating habits either through writing them down or just taking a good, hard look at when you eat and why. If you spend a lot of time finishing uneaten food for your kids or snacking after big meals, you might be wise to make small changes to your major mealtimes to save some calories.
According to research, people who keep track of their eating behaviours are far more likely to lose weight and never gain it back again. You can do this by either getting an app to help you or just keeping an old-fashioned meal journal in which you record every single food that you eat in a day.
For some, a diet is more than just restricting certain foods or getting in more exercise, but building your diet upon a solid understanding of the foods you eat and the way you eat them can be even more beneficial for you than trendy fad diets or pushing yourself to exhaustion. Eat carefully, develop healthy eating habits, track your calories and you’ll almost certainly come out with the waistline you’ve been waiting for.
Author Bio: Amanda Wilks is a passionate writer, cooking enthusiast and sports advocate. She believes that a balanced lifestyle is based on two core principles: a daily exercise routine and a healthy diet. Amanda enjoys writing on these topics with every occasion she finds, hoping that her vision will inspire others to lead a healthy life. Visit Amanda’s Twitter for more of her writings.”