Koslo's Nutrition Solutions

Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 Easy Tips to Lose Weight

Gaining excess weight and realizing the health implications is not always the easiest thing to do. And taking it off may seem like an impossible job and a painful undertaking. But losing weight doesn’t have to be an exercise in denial. All it takes is a few targeted lifestyle changes that you practice consistently until they become habits.

1.     Practice mindfulness

Are you on autopilot and wolf down your food when you eat? Then before you know it, your plate is empty and you aren’t sure what or how much you have eaten?
Learning how to maintain a healthy weight really starts with getting attune with your body. Do you know what you feel like when you are truly in need of food and how you feel when you have had enough to eat? All too often we eat based off of cues, like when we see a television commercial for pizza and then we just have to have it for dinner. Or maybe the cue is a place, like being in the mall where there is a food court, or an activity like the movies with the concession stands.

If you want to lose weight, practice slowing down at meals and being mindful of where you eat, what you eat, and how much you eat. A good trick is to set a timer for 20 minutes and see if you can stretch out your meal until it goes off. It takes the signals in your stomach about 20 minutes to reach your brain to register that you have eaten enough. And while you are at it, leave a few bites on your plate and practice eating until satisfied and not stuffed.

2.     Add, don’t subtract

When it comes to losing weight, adding foods in may sound counterintuitive, but not if you are adding in the right types of foods. Most vegetables and fruits are high in water and fiber and they fill you up without adding in a lot of calories. Try starting your next meal with a bowl of a broth based soup or a nice big salad (watch the dressing) and see if you eat less during the meal. Snap peas and carrots are great crunchy snacks and fresh cherries make a great swap for chocolates.

Deprivation never works, so work on adding in a few more servings of fruits and vegetables to your day. Choose foods that are low in calories but high in nutrients. You’ll be filling your plate with more food but eating less calories. Think of it as more bang for your buck.

3.     Eat at home more

Sure you are tired after a long day of work and picking up dinner by going through the drive through sounds appealing, but cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time. Do some menu planning, grocery shopping, and food prep on the weekends. Have a dinner plan in your mind when you walk in the door after work at home. Not only will you save yourself a lot of calories and unwanted ingredients by avoiding fast food but you will actually burn calories making the meal! A 140-pound woman burns an average of 100 calories when cooking for 30 minutes. Cutting just 100 calories a day for a year results in an average 10 pound weight loss!

4.     Practice using the Plate Method for meal planning

Are your meals balanced? Are you carbohydrate heavy and a little too low in the vegetable department? Or does meat take center stage. One way to control hunger and keep your energy up is to be certain that each of your meals is balanced. Include a portion of lean protein, vegetables and/or fruit, and if you need the calories some complex carbohydrates like brown rice or a sweet potato. Too many people eat meals that are mainly carbohydrates and end up hungry in an hour and reaching for junk food. Think balance and see if you can tweak your meals and snacks so that each one has some lean protein, a fruit or a vegetable, and a small portion of complex carbohydrates.

5.     Size matters

Eating less without feeling deprived is as close as your dinnerware. If you serve less food on a big plate you are left craving more, whereas a smaller plate gives the visual that you have more. It is an optical illusion but one that you can work to your advantage. The same idea applies to bowls, cups, glasses and silverware. Use smaller dishes for all of your meals and snacks, but load them up with nutrient dense low calorie foods.

The majority of overweight Americans have no idea how risky carrying around a few extra pounds is, and how it increases their chances for developing a number of chronic diseases. Losing weight can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be that way. Think in terms of strategies that you can start practicing as part of your routine and turn them into habits. Everyone deserves to look good and feel great so give these tips a try and see how easy eating healthy can be.


At June 26, 2014 at 5:50 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

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