Weight Management Tips
It is important to savour your food and enjoy what you are eating. If you are inclined to rush food at meal times, you will tend to overeat as you will still be feeling hungry, even after you have consumed a plateful of food, as it takes the brain 20 minutes to register satiety (feeling of fullness). Eating in company will encourage you to reduce on the amount of food you are eating in one mouthful, as you will be chatting. Also get into the habit of putting your cutlery down between each mouthful and giving the body time to digest the food.
Timing of Meals
In the evening, unless you exercise after a meal or participate in some form of physical activity for example housework, your metabolism will slow down and your body will store the excess calories as fat and in turn increase your overall body weight. Avoid having a large meal late at night and in particular avoid meals which have a high fat content. The reason for this is it takes the body longer to digest this nutrient and slow digestion can have an impact on your sleep patterns. Also fat contains double the amount of calories compared to protein and fat. Instead have your evening meal earlier when possible, perhaps around 5pm or 6pm and snack on low calorie foods such as; a piece of fruit and a natural yoghurt, at least a couple of hours before bedtime. By planning structured meal times when you can, eating about every 3-4 hours with small snacks in between each meal, will reduce the risk of eating additional calories due to feeling hungry.
Ensure that you are eating a variety of foods in your diet but pay close attention to portion size. Use the palm of your hand as a guide for protein foods including; chicken, fish, steak, turkey, if these foods do not fit on the palm of your hand, it is larger than a portion size. A baked potato should also sit within your palm size. A quarter of a mug of cooked rice, couscous, noodles and quinoa all count as a portion of carbohydrate.
Eat Your Favourite Foods
Do not deny yourself the foods that you enjoy as you are likely to constantly think about them, crave them and then binge on them. Have your favourite foods one or twice a week so you will look forward to them and will enjoy them more than if you were eating them every day. Remember to eat them slowly and taste them, enjoy what you enjoy eating!
Plan a Day Off from Healthy Eating
Very often we decide to diet on a Monday but by Tuesday the diet goes ‘pear’ shaped so perhaps a Monday, for some, is not the best day to decide to start the week off healthy. Decide when you are going to have a day off from healthy eating as the week progresses. One day a week treat yourself to a meal out and a couple of glasses of wine with a friend or colleague, or entertain friends or the family at home with a meal and a few drinks. Make sure you get back on track the following day. This will prove that you have achieved something, that you are self-disciplined and it creates a positive outlook on life for you.
Remove Yourself From Temptations
We are only human but if temptation is put in our way, most of us will give into these temptations. Reduce the risk of temptation by only buying small portions of unhealthy foods or at times, do not stock them in your cupboard or fridge. If they are not there, you cannot eat them! Avoid binging on food on special occasions by having a meal before attending a function so you are full and satisfied and are less likely to want more. If you want food, choose to snack on crudities and tomato based dips or low fat dips. Avoid walking past the buffet table to reduce temptation.
Participate in Activities That Are Not Food Related
When we are bored, upset, nervous or stressed we can often turn to food to comfort us and this can result in our food intake getting out of control. This behaviour may repeat itself every time you experience some of these symptoms. Instead of turning to food, think about other activities which you enjoy to distract yourself from food, whether it is going for a walk with a friend or a family member, listening to your favourite music, indulging yourself in a pamper day or reading a book.