It may sound silly but simply using smaller plates, dishes and bowls can help you limit your portion size and thus less calories per meal. Even though you are getting less calories, it doesn’t seem as so because of a simple mind trick that this plays on your brain. The idea behind this is even though you are using a smaller plate it has less negative space and thus looks like there is more food than there actually is.
Chewing slowly allows your brain adequate time to receive that “full feeling” that comes with eating enough food. Not only does chewing slowly help you to feel more full, it also ensures that you mechanically break down all that food you are eating so that your body can chemically digest the remaining nutrients. Foods that have a cell wall which are found in any plant based food cannot be chemically broken down so in order to get to the good stuff we have to chew properly.
-Substitute with vegetables
Vegetables have been long associated with fighting obesity, diabetes and other health ailments that are associated with obesity. Vegetables can be easily incorporated in to our diets, the simplest way is to snack on raw carrots, bell peppers, celery, etc. Vegetables can also be substituted for high energy complex carbohydrates to combat additional weight gain. Vegetables like zucchini can be substituted for pastas. Pureed vegetables are another way to easily incorporate vegetables to sauce, dip or even breakfast foods like pureed pumpkin in oatmeal. Adding these nutrient rich vegetables which are packed with fiber will leave you full and satisfied.
If you are planning on going out to dinner with friends or family, having a snack beforehand can help to curb cravings and reduce the amount of calories you would consume had you done otherwise. Picking either a fruit or vegetable paired with a nut butter is usually a good idea because it has a balanced nutrient profile and won’t have you craving food before the entree comes. This seems like common sense but a lot of people end up making dinner plans, inevitably something delays the plans and they are left starving in wait for their dinner. What do these people do? Typically they will gorge on appetizers which usually are some high caloric food like bread with no fiber. This doesn’t do much to curb the hunger, yet those calories are still consumed. Grabbing a snack beforehand keeps you full and you will gain less weight because of it.
-Give the pantry a good cleaning
Not eating junk food and thus losing weight can be made a whole lot easier by simply eliminating our access to them, don’t buy these foods, and if you already have them get rid of them! Again this may sound silly but if you wake up in the middle of the night looking for something to eat and there is no junk food available, you will eat something else or nothing at all. Instead, stock your pantry with healthy snacks that don’t need to be prepped. Foods like raisins, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, trail mix, granola etc. are all great healthy snacks to have handy.
-Cook your own meals
This along with eliminating junk food in your pantry are two of the easiest and most effective ways to easily lose weight by only changing your diet. The fact of the matter is we don’t know what is in our food unless we prepare it ourselves, leaving our health in the hands of whoever was preparing our food that day. Most restaurants are not required to disclose what ingredients they use in their dishes, nor the calorie, fat or cholesterol content of these foods either. This makes it extremely difficult to portion ourselves and makes it difficult to have an idea of how many calories we are eating in a sitting. One meal can exceed the entire recommended daily allowance in calories so knowing what is in our food is important. Picking and cooking your own ingredients not only helps us to understand how many calories we are consuming daily but also helps us maintain a good balance of micro and macronutrients in our diet as well.
-Eat more fiber and protein
This ties in to our last suggestion, that cooking your own meals can help you lose weight fast. Protein and fiber are two major contributors in making sure you feel full and satiated so that you don’t continue to go back for seconds and thirds. Protein is important because it is needed by the body to perform routine maintenance and repairs. In western culture due to the diet of high sodium and sugar, the majority of the time when someone feels hungry it is because they are craving protein. Fiber also plays a similar role in that it fills us up. This is because fiber consists of cellulose, or the cell walls of plant material. We cannot digest this material, hence it fills us up. Fiber doesn’t have a lot of nutiritional value like protein does but it is useful in filling satiated.
-Eat Healthier Fats
Switching from saturated fats found in animal products like red meat, dairy and eggs to unsaturated fats will help improve overall health especially the heart and cardiovascular system. Plant based fats like the ones found in olive oil, peanut oil, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil etc. contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats associated with good health.
-Stay away from simple sugars
Simple sugars provide an almost instantaneous way that our body can get energy. This can be beneficial, but due to the abundance of calories and energy found within our diets today, it is more so detrimental. This is because if we do not use this immediate source of energy, it is converted in to fat and stored in our cells for later use. It is not difficult to quickly pack on the fat through the consumption of these simple sugars which we have evolved to crave. The best we can do is eliminate our access to them and to substitute complex carbohydrates in their place. Complex carbohydrates will provide us with a more stable consistent flow of energy for a longer period of time, thus providing us with more benefits.