It seems that there is a different diet for every day of the year. But often, weight management is as simple as not overeating.
Except, of course, it’s not simple. If it was, the Dukan Diet wouldn’t even exist. People overeat for lots of different reasons: emotional reasons, stress, lack of energy and often, just a straightforward love of food.
Eating enough but not too much is often key to unlocking easy weight loss. There are several tweaks you can make to your lifestyle that can help you to achieve it, and what’s more, they’re backed by science.
Don’t Get Distracted
If you eat your meals – or snack – while fiddling around with your cellphone or computer, then the chances are that you will consume more food than you otherwise would. Scientists have found that mindfulness is a key part of overeating, and if you regularly eat in front of the TV for example, then your eating habits will reflect it.
Fortunately, it’s an easy one to fix: eat your meals at the table, away from screens or other attention-grabbers and you might find that you lose weight without trying too hard.
“Evidence indicates that attentive eating is likely to influence food intake and incorporation of attentive-eating principles into interventions may aid weight loss and maintenance without the need for conscious calorie counting.”
Robinson, Eric et al, “Eating attentively: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating.”
The science behind the reasons for slow eating = weight loss is still emerging, but studies have found that people who eat more slowly tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and need smaller amounts of food to feel satisfied than people who speed-eat, or do not deliberately eat more slowly.
Again, this is an easy tweak to make to your diet that simply requires you to take a little more time over every meal and reap the benefits!
Keep to a Routine
Don’t skip meals and try to keep to regular mealtimes, to aid weight loss, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Break ‘bad’ habits such as the aforementioned distracted eating and rushing mealtimes, and foster ‘good’ ones. Eating when you’re hungry, keeping snacking to a minimum and putting your knife and fork down when you’re full are all good places to start.
Eat More Fiber
Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and scientists support the idea that eating more fiber-rich foods can help you to feel more satiated and fuller. This in turn means that you’re less likely to overeat.
Add these into your cooking and mealtimes:
- Nuts and seeds
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole grains
- Beans and legumes
- Whole fruits and smoothies containing whole fruit, including skin (not fruit juice)
Drink Water NOT Soda
Different bodies of clinical research and meta-analysis tell us that drinking soda is a poor choice for health overall and for anyone hoping to lose weight. One of the reasons for this is that soda is not satiating and, as a liquid carbohydrate, doesn’t make you feel full.
“Recommendations to reduce population soft drink consumption are strongly supported by the available science.”
Vartanian LR et al. Effects of soft drink consumption on nutrition and health: Am J Public Health. 2007;97(4):667-675.
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