Life nowadays can be busy. So busy, in fact that most people prefer to eat out and eat take-out. Problem is while this saves time, it wreaks havoc on people’s weight loss goals.
Most fast foods are prepared with copious amounts of unhealthy fats, sugars and preservatives to help them last long and prepare quickly
On the other end we have serial dieters, calorie-counters who are so lost in a myriad of details that they forget that healthy eating need not be so complicated. Let’s face it, our ancestors managed to eat quite well using nothing more than simple recipes and some common sense.
Here are some simple tweaks anyone can make to make their eating weight loss plan much more effective. And the best thing is they take less than 5 minutes and in as little as 5 dollars.
A lot of people are intimidated by workout and diet regimens and it’s hard to argue with them. Many come across as a punishing, unmerciful exercise in self-denial leading to low energy, mood swings and the inevitable hunger pangs. And once it all becomes too much, it leads to cheating and the whole point of the exercise is lost (insert picture)
If this sounds familiar to you then rest assured, you are not alone and you don’t need to do this to yourself. Losing weight and staying fit should be a fun endeavour. In fact, one key observation I’ve made about just about anyone who’s become successful at what they do is that,
They all love to do what they do and can’t wait to do it some more
This little piece of everyday wisdom should be enough to make people question the accepted wisdom behind the majority of diet and exercise regimes.
Most people also miss the fact that there is a significant psychological component that affects one’s hunger. These include the perceived amount of food in one’s plate, a person’s level of activity on any given day, among many others.
Optimizing these features before you get down to the specifics of what you eat on a daily basis shall prepare you for success while allowing you to eat what you want and enjoying the summer on your own terms
Plate/ Portion Size
When trying to figure how we can lose weight while still eating what we want, it pays to focus on the “want” part. Problem is humans are far less attuned to their body’s needs than animals are (and a lot less active too). Unlike them, we rarely eat based on what our body needs but based on the idea that we must fill our plates (regardless of their plate size) and finish the food on our plate.
Now if you think about this is no different than letting the quality of your own vision or windshield dictate the speed you travel at, rather than the actual speed limit.
While no one is asking you to bring in the measuring cups and scales just yet, there are a few tips to get you started:
- Invest in smaller plates. This is actually cheaper and less expensive than most people realize and is a great way to get the whole family involved, especially if everyone needs to cut some calories
- Eat in Halves. “Draw” an imaginary line through your plate and play a game with yourself that the total amount of food in your plate shouldn’t cross the boundary you’ve just made. This will force you to eat less without actually requiring you to make a promise to eat less.
And it makes for great presentation besides. With a little practise you can get used to creating some pretty slick dining designs.
In the end, the best thing to do is realize that these strategies are just for re-training your mind and body to accept smaller food servings and still “feel” like you’ve had a satisfying meal.
Sort of like the way, a toddler gets the feeling of “balance” using trainer wheels before he/she can actually ride a bike.
After 4-6 weeks of doing them, the size of your food servings will automatically go down.
Let Mileage Dictate the Poundage
One of the worst things about most popular diet programs is their rigidity. A casual glance at the life of an average person will reveal one constant:
That it varies!!!
Yes, a day spent at the office or grocery shopping is going to be very different from one spent playing soccer, at the gym or gardening. Your body will have a different set of metabolic demands on days where you work harder.
This is common sense but a lot of diets do not address this intuitive truth of eating well. Many a born-again weight-loss enthusiast has begun a diet program with the best of intentions only to realize that while they may shed a few pounds, they feel completely depleted and unable to do much more than wait ruefully for their next bland serving.
Don’t be like them!!
Here’s how to eat smarter:
- Fill the fuel tank only when you expect to be using the Afterburner: That’s right. The protein shakes, meatballs and gi-normous portions of food can and should be kept for the days you expect to be working out hard or engaged in a great deal of labour/ movement in general.
- Before a workout, you want to give your body enough time to digest the food you’re eating to ‘fuel’ your workout. This requires both (1) enough time for the body to digest and (2) food that can easily be broken down by your digestive system. My personal favorite at this point is to make a fruit and vegetable smoothie
- After a workout, you want to begin replenishing your depleted energy reserves with protein and carbohydrates within 15-20 minutes of cooling down. The reason for this is that . Your body will thank you for this and you’ll greatly cut short the time needed for recovery and reduce the exhaustion commonly felt right after a hard workout.