Exercising regularly burns calories but if you want to shift pounds you may need to adjust your diet too. Try these simple weight loss tricks and you’ll feel energetic and satisfied without depriving yourself of your favourite foods.
Lean on protein
When you take in fewer calories you risk losing muscle mass. So you need to (slightly) up your protein intake –include a portion of fish, chicken, turkey, low fat cheese, eggs, quorn, soya, beans, lentils or yoghurt with each meal. Studies have also shown that protein blunts your appetite more than carbohydrate or fat. If you skimp on protein you could find yourself still hungry after you’ve eaten.
Snooze to lose
Aim to get at least 8 hours’ sleep every night to stop yourself from snacking. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found those who were restricted to just 5.5 hours of sleep ate significantly larger amounts of high-carb snacks during their waking hours than those sleeping for 8.5 hours a night. A lack of sleep boosts levels of ghrelin, the ‘hunger hormone’.
Watch those evening nibbles
Overeat in the evening and most of the calories will be stored as body fat. It also increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Aim to eat the majority of your daily calories during the morning and afternoon – spread over breakfast, lunch and two or three snacks. This will help boost your metabolic rate and promote fat burning.
Rule of three
If you’re presented with a wide variety of high-cal foods you’re likely to eat more, according to research from Tuft’s University in the US. So when you’re faced with a glorious choice, opt for just two or three types rather than a bit of everything.
Drink before you eat
Drink before you eat. Women who drank a large glass of water before breakfast or lunch consumed 13% fewer calories, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Water distends the stomach, leaving you feeling full and less likely to overeat. Knock back a glass of water 15 minutes before you tuck into your spaghetti bol and you might even leave a few spoonfuls!
Make your first course a bowl of veggie soup, some fresh fruit, or a salad with fat free dressing. Eating low-cal, fibre rich foods before a meal can help reduce your total calorie intake. A 2004 study at Pennsylvania State University found that people who ate a 100-calorie salad before their meal consumed 12 per cent less – 107 calories fewer overall than those who skipped the leafy appetizer.
Stop looking at food
Turns out it’s not our bottomless bellies that are to blame for our penchant for second helpings, but our eyes. “Vision is a huge appetite stimulant,” explains Marisa Peer. “Studies show we eat 50 per cent more if food is left within our field of vision. So next time you have a Chinese takeaway, dish up your plate in the kitchen rather than leaving containers in tantalising view on the table in your dining room.”
Practice portion control
It may sound obvious but eating off a bigger plate makes you eat more. Researchers at Cornell University, New York, found that people ate 45% more food when given a large portion, even when they disliked the food. Also, the size of the plate you eat from, the bowls you serve yourself from and the utensils you use can make a big difference to amount you eat. A 2005 US study found when people serve themselves from bigger bowls and use larger serving spoons, they serve themselves at least 31 per cent more. Try using large bowls for foods like salad and small ones for ice cream.
Fruit not juice
Fruit juice is healthy but actual fruit is better. Down a glass of orange juice and you’ll take in about 120 calories but if you eat an orange instead (60 calories) you’ll save calories, get more fibre and still get your daily vitamin C quota.
Sit down and slow down your meal rather than eating on the hoof. People eat up to 15% more calories when they rush at mealtimes. Scoffing your meal means that your hypothalamus – the part of the brain that senses when you are full – doesn’t receive the right signals and explains why you may feel hungrier sooner.
Read more…..Slim Secrets by Anita Bean (Virgin Books)