1. Stop Eating When Your Belly is 80% Full
Slow, mindful eating will help you sense your level of fullness. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that the stomach is full. Research indicates that eating slowly also enhances satiety. Plus, it allows you to better enjoy the flavor of the food.
Along with this, delve deeper into your eating habits to explore some basic diet rules like:
Eat only when you are hungry —not out of boredom, stress or loneliness. Remember the old saying, “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips!”
Do not eat food or drink a beverage on the go, such as drinking your coffee while driving to work. You end up consuming more calories this way.
Do not eat late at night. Enjoy your last meal of the day 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
After eating a snack, wait 3 hours before your next meal or snack. Likewise, wait 5 hours after eating a heavy meal.
If you skip a meal, load up on fruits and vegetables first so that you do not overeat when you finally sit down to eat. Research shows that after fasting for about 18 hours, the body craves more fattening foods to load up more calories per volume.
If possible, go on a detox diet once a week.
2. Keep an Eye on Portion Sizes
To reduce your portion sizes and avoid mindless eating, follow these tips:
Downsize your dishes by using smaller plates, bowls and even serving spoons. In a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, participants were asked to serve ice cream for themselves in 17- and 34-inch bowls. Researchers found that people, even nutrition experts, who used larger bowls served themselves 31% more ice cream than those who used smaller bowls.
Serve beverages in tall, narrow glasses instead of small and wide ones as they appear to have more liquid, thus making you think that you are drinking more.
Do not eat chips and other packaged snacks straight from the bag.
When at a restaurant, request a half order or smaller portion of your chosen entree.
3. Detox Drinks
Start your day by drinking warm water mixed with the juice of 1/2 lemon. It improves digestion, flushes out toxins, balances the pH levels and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Another option is to mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a tall glass of water and drink it once or twice daily. You can also add raw honey or a natural sweetener like stevia to these drinks.
Although lemons and apple cider vinegar are acidic in nature, they have an alkalizing effect on the body. However, they may trigger heartburn if you drink them in excess or are prone to acidity.
You can also drink delicious detox smoothies to support your body’s natural detoxifying abilities. Plus, it will count toward your servings of fruits and vegetables. Needless to say, kick unhealthy habits like drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes.
4. Get off the Couch
You do not need an intense workout. In fact, you can enjoy a physical activity of your choice like brisk walking, running, jogging, swimming, dancing, aerobics or cycling. Even gardening can be great exercise as it helps you burn more than 300 calories per hour.
Regular, moderate exercise will also improve your mood and reduce stress. Once you figure out the activity of your choice and fit it in your daily routine , you will enjoy your exercise and do it regularly with enthusiasm.
Also, try some simple yet effective ways to increase your physical activity, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking your car a mile or so away from your destination so you can walk that distance.
5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Studies have found that those who skip breakfast and eat fewer times a day tend to be heavier than people who have a healthy breakfast and eat 4 or 5 times a day.
Scientists also believe that a high-protein breakfast could be the key to slimming as it keeps you feeling full, and thus improves appetite control. Plus, it has been found to reduce evening snacking on high-sugar and high-fat foods.
Try some protein-rich breakfast recipes, such as:
a high-protein smoothie
cottage cheese and fruits
fortified cereal with milk
You can also eat fiber-rich foods like oatmeal and sandwiches on whole-grain bread. Plus, replace your morning cup of coffee with green tea as it contains powerful antioxidants and promotes fat burning.
Another very important aspect is to prepare your food at home using organic and whole food ingredients. If you are not used to eating a proper breakfast, it may take you a few days to adjust to this habit.
6. Identify Your Hunger
To determine if you are hungry or thirsty, drink a glass of water and wait at least 15 minutes. If your desire to eat subsides, then you were probably thirsty, not hungry. Symptoms like headache and fatigue may also signal the need for more water in the body.