It is unhealthy to obsess about the way we look, and counting calories is not for everyone, but if you’re interested in losing weight and you really love food, is there anything you can do to lose weight while still eating? We think there is. Here are our suggestions to help you lose weight without dieting.
We’re throwing this one in straight away, because you knew it was coming, right? It isn’t rocket science. If you burn more calories than you consume you will lose weight. If you hate exercise this can be a problem, but there are plenty of exercises you can try. If the gym is a no-go, what about a dance class, or Pilates or Zumba? Failing that a brisk walk is a good one. You’ll expend more energy if you take hilly walks, or walk on shingle. If that sounds too public, exercise along with a YouTube video at home. Whatever you do, if you have fun, it won’t feel like hard work!
This sounds ridiculous but it is true. Serve up what you would normally eat but on a smaller plate. You won’t be able to eat as much and you won’t want to. The small plate sends a message to your brain, fooling it into thinking the portion size is larger than it is. When you’ve finished you won’t want seconds! Of course if all you want to eat is lettuce, you can use a much bigger plate.
Another odd trick is chewing more slowly. Your brain takes time to process that you’ve eaten and then it will tell you that you’re full. If you eat too quickly the brain doesn’t have a chance to chip in, so slow down and listen to what your stomach and your brain are saying. Fast eaters tend to gain weight more readily than slow eaters.
Health, sleep, stress and your weight are linked. If you suffer with stress and don’t sleep well, this can seriously affect your weight. Research shows that a lack of sleep disrupts the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin, while the hormone cortisol becomes elevated when you’re stressed. When these hormones are elevated you may suffer with hunger pangs and cravings for the wrong foods. Chronic sleep deprivation and stress may mean you may be at risk of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity.
There are a number of diet plans out there that recommend swapping carbs for protein. Carbs can leave you bloated, particularly if you are sensitive to wheat. Protein affects your appetite. You don’t need to eat as much to feel full, so hunger is reduced and you’ll consume fewer calories. Swap your grain-based breakfast for fruit and yoghurt, or eggs.
It stands to reason that if you have unhealthy foods in the house, you will eat them. Don’t buy crisps, snacks or sweets. These are heavy in calories and actually increase hunger pangs and cravings. You’ll eat more that helps you put on weight. Instead, fill your fruit bowl and nibble on bits of cheese. If you must have unhealthy food in the house, store it out of sight.
Research has shown that drinking water can help you eat less and lose weight, particularly if you drink it before a meal. Drinking water reduces hunger, and in fact we sometimes feel hungry although we are actually thirsty.
One of the main reasons we overeat is that we don’t engage with the process. We eat while we watch TV or fiddle with our phones. By paying attention to what you eat you will not lose track of what you’re eating and you will consume fewer unwanted calories.
One major firm have recently announced that sales of their fizzy drinks have fallen. This may be in part because people are more aware of the amount of sugar contained in every can of fizzy drink consumed. Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in your diet and has been associated with many diseases in the West. Swap your fizzy drink for water, tea (especially green tea) or even coffee.
Keep a journal and write down what you eat. The guilt of having the whole packet of chocolate biscuits may actually mean you only have one or two next time.
Take a packed lunch to work, or a picnic on a day out, and you’ll be able to pack something healthy and not give in to a high-calorie lunch with too much salt and sugar.
Your body is the only one you have or will ever have so you need to treat it like a high-end car, a limousine perhaps. Give it all the love and attention it needs, and nourish it with the best foods. Bin the junk food, the sweets and the sugary drinks. Reduce stress, take time to exercise gently and combine a mind body approach that nourishes your body.
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