Author -- Dayna Hicken, NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Here are a few weight loss tips regarding eating habits that just might help you find your edge on your weight loss journey! The saying is true, “Abs are made in the kitchen”.
1) Have meals scheduled
Eating meals at regular times helps to keep your metabolism high while also helping to keep your caloric intake lower. 3-6 small meals a day, 3-4 hours apart, is recommended for best results. Research says that eating larger portions of low-calorie, high nutrient foods, helps people to feel full longer. Also be sure to get plenty of veggies, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats. Try eating a salad once a day.
2) Eat slower
Make sure you taste your food! By eating slower you will notice “full” signals sooner. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to tell your brain that its full. Eating slower can help with this and prevent overeating and bloating.
3) Shop with limits
Make a shopping list and stick to it. Only bring home foods that will help with your diet and meal plans. Avoid sweet and salty snacks, they only bring empty calories and unneeded sugar. If you avoid buying junk food you won't have to deal with the temptation everyday. Remember, don't go grocery shopping when you are hungry.
4) Learn to cook
Learning to cook is important when trying to eat healthy. It’s so hard nowadays to find food that isn't processed and full of unwanted ingredients. Cooking your own food is healthier and can also be fun. Try cooking with your friends or that special someone and see what delicious, nutritious meal you can make together.
5) Don’t clean your plate
As children we are usually taught to eat everything off our plate. But don't feel like you have to eat everything in front of you. Especially once you start eating smaller meals and eating slower you will naturally feel full sooner. Don’t feel guilty about wasting food, just save the rest for tomorrow.
6) Plan ahead
Don’t let “being too busy” be your excuse for not eating healthy. Meal prep is key. Cook when you have time and plan ahead for your week. If you know you always get really hungry around 4, try eating a healthy snack around 3:30.
7) Don’t read or watch tv while eating
Most of us are guilty of this one. Try to avoid turning on the television or reading while you eat any meal. These can be huge distractions from focusing on your food and stomach signals. Many people tend to overeat while distracted.
8) Don’t eat out of the pot or dish
This is a big one when it comes to portion sizing. Don’t eat straight out of the pan the food was cooked in. This can cause overeating. Make sure to watch portion sizes and high calorie foods. Smaller plates mean smaller portions.
9) Have a plan when dining out
This can be a tough one, especially in a social setting. But I suggest only eating half your meal and placing the other half in a to-go container beforehand. Try ordering sauces on the side or ordering veggies instead of greasy french fries. Also be sure to order water instead of soda or other sugary drinks.
10) Burn more calories than you consume
The most important part of losing weight is creating a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. This is the best and most successful method to lose weight, regardless of specific approach taken. Now this does not mean cutting your intake to 500 calories a day, this will kill your metabolism and as soon as you start eating normally again the weight will come right back. This can also lead to malnutrition which can be very harmful to your health.
Don’t completely cut out the foods you love or else it will be very difficult to stick to your diet. There is nothing wrong with having a piece of cake on your child's birthday, just not everyday. Having a balanced diet and getting enough exercise (at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week), will help you create and live a healthy lifestyle.