Most people associate diets and organic weight loss with denying themselves something: the food they love, the social life they’ve grown used to, the feeling of being full or satisfied throughout the day. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to eat healthy, lose weight and still feel like yourself, no temper tantrums or breakdowns necessary.
Savor Each Bite
Even if you’re starving, try to truly savor the first three bites of your meal (at least). These are the bites that people tend to scarf down when they’re very hungry. Deliberately go slow and think about the texture and flavor of the food. You won’t just end up eating less, but you’ll feel satisfied throughout the whole meal, not just at the end.
Breathe Between Bites
This is a good thing to do even if you’ve mastered the art of savoring each meal. To make yourself slow down, or to eat even slower, take a deep breath in and slowly release it after every bite. This type of mindful eating will help you figure out how truly hungry you are. Plus, it’s easy to do this even if you’re out in public, because you’re really just breathing!
Shut the TV
It’s common for people to watch a TV show or movie while eating, even if it’s one of the main meals of the day (which should be eaten at the table). When you’re watching TV, you’re distracted by what’s on the screen and you’re not paying attention to your body when it’s full. Instead, sit at a table and focus on each bite you take.
When Snacking, Sit Down
Snacking while you’re doing something else is a good way to lose track of how much you’re eating. It’s also easy to miss the cues when your body tries to tell you you’re full. Always make a point to sit down while snacking, preferably at your kitchen table instead of in front of the TV. When you’re sitting down in the same way that you do for a meal, your body’s satiety levels increase, meaning you’ll feel full or satisfied more quickly.
Avoid the Low-Calorie Menu
Restaurants love to offer “healthy” options without customers realizing how truly not healthy those dishes are. Often, when carbs or calories are cut, they’re replaced with fat or sugar. Whole foods are almost always the better choice and they’ll keep you full for longer.
Get Your Own Meal
Sharing food when you’re out with friends is a good way to consume much more than you would if you had your own meal all to yourself. When you split things like pizza, nachos and wings family-style, you end up eating a lot more than you would normally. It’s common for people to match the eating habits of the people who are around them, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily feel like eating all of that food.
Write it Down
Keeping a food journal can be as simple as jotting down what you had for your meals and snacks. Sometimes seeing what you ate is enough to make you feel satisfied. For example, if you’re hungry and you check your food journal and realize you ate a big meal an hour ago, you may realize that you’re thirsty instead and reach for a glass of water.
So much of weight loss and healthy eating is about paying attention to cues, many of which don’t have much to do with the food in front of you. In order to get your weight under control, you need to listen to your gut as well as your brain.