Weight, the ever-new topic. Somehow, at some point in life, we will worry about our weight. If not for how we look, then for how we feel.
Gaining too much weight is a bad situation. It can tell how inactive we are and how our health is going to be affected. I think we are all well aware of how putting on extra weight signals the imbalance cholesterol level in our body, leading to cardiovascular diseases.
Other than that, we might be concerned about our fat rolls for other reasons. For instance, its impact on our physical activities or even our looks.
The bottom line is we might want to shed the pounds now and then. So here are 7 easy changes to make in our diet when such desire comes.
Cut Processed food
This is quite a popular opinion, isn’t it? Anybody who’s been on their weight-dropping journey will tell you this. This is not merely based on a myth or a belief. In fact, there are studies indicating that processed food can definitely pack you up with pounds and pounds.
Weight gain comes from the imbalance between the calories you take in and the energy you spend. So to not gain weight, you need to spend more than take; and processed food can get in the way of that, calories-wise.
These types of processed have way more calories than you realize.
Potato chips, processed meat and sugar-sweetened drinks are all connected to unintentional weight gain. The most obvious reason is that they are all rich in calories. Not only that, they are prone to make you crave for more food. As a result, you’ll have to eat way more than you actually need compared to other types of food, aka wholesome food.
|Just cut the crap out of your system!|
Replace sugary drinks with water or juice:
Sugar is not bad. No doubt about that. However, excessive is ALWAYS bad. The question is “how much is excessive?” To answer that question, let us look at some scientific fact and recommendation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American should keep their added sugar consumption to less than 10% of their usual calorie input. For example, following the 2000 daily calorie diet, under 200 calories from added sugar is okay. That is about 52 grams of sugar.
Do you know how much sugar is in one 20-oz bottle of coke? 65 grams! That means if you want to keep or lose weight, nothing sweet is allowed for the rest of the week after five of those.
Not to mention the many drinks with added sugar that you are not aware of like latte, cappuccino… pretty much any sweet beverage that you can’t control sugar input. Chunks of fat is definitely coming to get your belly, face, and thigh if you are not conscious about this.
So instead, turn to water for a quencher. If water is too dull, which is not a lie, try juices. There are many nourishing and quick-to-make juice recipes. You might want to start stocking your refrigerator with veggies/ fruits now and find a best juicer for your kitchen
|Water and green juices are so much better. But if you must, know the sugar input of your drinks.|
Healthy snacks when hungry:
Having snacks between main meals are no unusual business. We’ve all been there. Sometimes, hunger just comes like a cold, swirling wind that sweeps our stomach empty. Sometimes, we snack when we are bored, when we are doing house chores…
To many of us, scratching snacks completely out of our system is somewhat impossible. But we don’t have to do that. What we should do is to change to healthier types of snack. Snacks that is low in calories yet with the same or more space occupancy.
Fruit is both delicious and good for weight loss
Let’s see, instead of french fries or potato chips, we can prepare some smart snacks from vegetables and fruits. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and and store them in your fridge. If you feel like something salty, use sauce or salt and pepper to spice up your bland veggies and fruits.
Fruits and vegetables are extremely helpful in terms of controlling your weight. The water and fiber contents take up more stomach volume. You’ll feel fuller with fewer calories.
Soups can also do the trick. However, they tend to consume more time than normal snacks. So here’s a tip: make them at the same time you cook your main meals, store them, then eat them when a crave surfaces.
Besides, soups are SO good.
|Switch to low-calorie choices if you must snack|
Eat slow and control portion
“Eat slow? What does that have anything to do with losing weight?” Actually, it does, not with the calories in your diet but with your eating habit, which is a huge contributing factor to your weight management.
Numerous researches and studies have found that changing your eating behavior, in this case slowing it down, has direct influence on your appetite and energy intake.
In details, low-paced eating will help your body timely and accurately recognize the level of energy that you consume. This leads to more satisfied appetites and gradual strokes of hunger. Simply put, you’ll be less hungry between meals if you lower your pace at the table.
Another thing you can do to reduce the number of additional meals is to control your portions. There are a few tips that I have found to be more than helpful:
- When eating out, split your food with a friend or ask for a “to-go” box in case there is too much served on your plate. Most restaurants tend to make more food than one might need in one’s meal.
- When eating in front of the TV, having a meal or snacking, estimate the amount of food that you need and put it in a bowl instead of eating right out of the package. When you are distracted, it’s not hard to overeat without even knowing.
- Hide the food! The less you see food or the less convenient it is to get to food, the less you’ll eat. Store the excess food out of immediate sight, like in high cabinet or behind the freezer.
|Don’t take eating slowly and controlling meal portions lightly|
Increase dietary fiber intake
Vegetables and fruits are extremely nutritious, I think we all know that. They are both big suppliers of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. Dietary fibers alone have a handful of benefits. Let’s talk about how it can help us drop some fatty fat.
Fiber and water in fruit and vegetables fill your stomach quicker.
Fiber in veggies and fruits occupy more intestine space, filling us up without needless calorie absorption. Besides, studies also reveal that dietary fiber can in fact offer quick satiety and cut down subsequent craving.
Subsequent hunger is one of the most major causes that bring about extra weight, by the way.
Adding fruits to our diet is not a challenge, maybe it is to some for its price or availability, but in most cases, no challenge. Why? Because most fruits are tasty. Having a few slices of fruit is definitely enjoyable. Sneak them and some vegetables into your eating routine to raise your fiber intake.
The biggest problem here is vegetables. They don’t taste as good as we want them to taste, do they? So we can eat them everyday and everyday. But how you cook them is really the main issue. Here’s a tip: try asian style stir-fried vegetables. You can thank me later.
Vegetables and fruits are all-around wonderful. Just have them!
Plan meals and don’t skip breakfasts
“Plan your meals” may sound a little too hard. It sounds like you have to do calorie counting or something. It’s not that. It’s great if you can spend time calculating the calorie you eat each day. But it’s not what I’m going to talk about.
When I said “plan you meals”, I mean plan what, when and where you are going to eat. When we spontaneously go for a bite, especially during work or school hours, it’s much more likely for us to end up having fast food or junk food.
Alternatively, prepare your meals at home; or if you’re too busy to do so, scout the area for good restaurants nearby and order takeaways. Keep from fast food restaurants and vending machines. If there are no other choices, read the label and nutrition facts first.
Know your food, control your portions.
As for the when, it is possible that you don’t have much time for breakfast, and you might think that it is okay to skip it. “Less food, less weight”. But that cannot be further from the truth.
When we skip a meal, breakfast in this case, the most important meal of the day, we won’t have sufficient energy to work or study. To make it even worse, our appetite for the next meal will increase substantially, resulting in excessive consumption.
Therefore, eat your breakfast!
Still, if you really don’t have the time to buy a healthy breakfast and enjoy it, here are my suggestions:
- Make or buy food for breakfast the night before, saving the time of waiting for it in the morning. Preferably light foods like sandwiches, which you can eat on the go or when you’re waiting for the train or the bus.
- Make two small portions, eat them whenever possible, but must be two hours prior to lunch. One between 7-8 and one between 9-10 a.m. It’s not the best option, but it is the best you’ve got if you’re that busy.
- Bring some fruits with you, a banana or an apple would do just fine. It is always good to have a piece of fruit, ensuring daily nutrient criteria.
|Plan meals to avoid discretionary food and don’t skip meals.|
Get enough sleep
This is not a change in your diet, but it is a crucial step in keeping your weight in check and diet balanced. In recent years, the link between sleep deprivation and higher risks of weight gain has been supported by various studies.
In this particular study, it is once more stated that lack of sleep does cause people to eat more. The study finds that when sleep deprived (less than 4.5 hour of sleep), people crave for unhealthy snacks between meals, which is in relation to pleasurable eating.
The researchers explain that when you are well-rested, you’re in more control of your natural responses to junk food. When you’re not, such control will be impaired and you pack on the pounds in no time.
If you are having trouble falling asleep and getting enough quality sleep, there are things you can do. Try exercising or practicing outdoor activities during the day or before bedtime. Setting a early bedtime routine may help as well.
|Sleep deprivation ruins your diet management. Go to sleep, dear.|