If you’ve never heard this before; sit down and relax for a second, it could make your day. You can lose weight by changing the way you eat. It’s true. Improving your eating habits, according to the Center for Disease Control can dramatically improve weight problems. If you are serious about improving your weight, keep reading.
The First Step:
The first step is to identify your eating habits. What meals do you eat, how many snacks per day, and how and where do you dine? For instance, do you always eat a healthy breakfast? If so, don’t change that! Do you eat healthy except for that one candy bar a day (that’s me). Do you always clean your plate because your mom used to make you sit there until you did? Do you eat in the car on the way to work? Many of the eating habits we have as adults were taught to us as children. If your parents were always working, you may still be in the habit of pizza and Chinese takeout as an adult. Identify and write down your eating habits.
Create a Food Diary:
I had to do this after an intestinal surgery I had. I needed to figure out what foods were causing problems for me. It really helped, but I made some other discoveries too. I found out that I always wanted coffee in the mornings, craved chocolate around 2 p.m. everyday, and ate dinner around 8:30 each night. I also identified that most of the foods I eat are pretty darn healthy. You’ll see why this matters shortly. Pay attention to habits you notice over and over.
Changes You Can Make Now:
1. Stop eating everything on your plate. You aren’t ten and odds are good you don’t live with your parents; you don’t have to clean your plate. Give it to the dog, start a compost pile for gardening, or invite friends over if you cook too much food.
2. Chew your food thoroughly. It tricks your brain, so to speak. If you inhale your food, like a 13 year old boy who’s exercising all day in football practice, you won’t feel full when you really are. Chew your food and relax. Remember what it’s like to enjoy dinner without rushing?
3. Don’t skip meals. In fact, eat small meals more often. I eat six per day when possible. I’m a few pounds underweight but I’ve always had a high metabolism. Small, frequent meals or snacks will actually boost your metabolism and promote a healthier blood sugar level.
4. Learn about portions! I went to a fast food restaurant yesterday. I ordered a small ice tea. Guess how big the cup was? Easily a liter. It was bigger than any glass I have in my kitchen cabinet. The small drink barely fit in my cup holder. America, I love you, but come on; no wonder 69 percent of us need to lose a few pounds. Even a regular size candy bar (if you read the label) will say there’s more than one serving there.
5. Give your oversized dishes to charity. If you use smaller dishes, you will eat less; simple but true.
6. Eat before 7 p.m., seriously. Why? Your body naturally slows down when it’s dark. Your circadian rthym is set and if you eat late at night, you won’t burn off anything. I’ll come clean here, I eat cereal every night around 10 or 11 p.m. and I probably won’t ever change that. A little snack probably won’t hurt, but a meal that late would definitely be a bad idea.
8. Don’t eat standing up in the kitchen. Ok, I love my teenagers but it’s such a pet peeve of mine to see them standing with the refrigerator door open nibbling cookie dough, or my son drinking out of the orange juice container. If you eat standing up, the CDC says it promotes a sort of ‘mindless’ eating. You probably won’t really think about what you eat at all.
9. Put away candy dishes, replace chip bags and unhealthy snacks that are visible in the kitchen with a bowl of fruit or a box of granola bars. Seeing food for some people can be a trigger to munch. Munching or grazing (cancer patients do this), can be good for you if you eat healthy foods.
10. If you do the emotional eating thing: you have to change your way of thinking about food. Some people stress eat, sad eat, guilty eat, happy eat, and so on. Try to eat when you actually feel hungry.
Best of luck to you! Wishing you health and happiness.
More from Carrie:
Three Vegetarian Thai Recipes You’ll Love
Three Delicious Spring Salads Ready in Five Minutes or Less
Vegan Diet: Losing Ten Pounds in Two Weeks