While many of us don’t have the privilege of having enough time to sit down and relax every time we eat a snack or meal, you might want to try it if you are trying to shift some weight. The stomach takes about 20 minutes to send a signal to the brain that it’s had enough. When you eat too fast the body doesn’t have time to register you are full, so you end up eating many more calories than you need.
Sit down in a relaxing environment without any distractions and savor every bite of your meal. Chew each mouthful of food around 30 times, ensuring you thoroughly enjoy both the texture and taste before swallowing.
Your whole meal experience will be so much more satisfying when you don’t gulp down your food, and you’ll be less prone to mindless overeating. Eating slower is also better for your digestive system. Digestion starts in your mouth so if you don’t chew your food well you could end up with bloating and gas.
In the United States and many other countries, we’ve lost sight of what a healthy sized portion should be. Portions sizes have steadily increased over the years, and our clothing sizes have unfortunately kept pace! In the past when you ordered a cup of coffee it was a standard 8 ounces. Now a Grande at Starbucks is 16 ounces (double the size) and comes with your choice of high calorie syrups and whipped cream added on top. In fast food restaurants too the portion sizes have continually grown. These days a salad at somewhere like Chili's can contain 1300 calories and more than 80 grams of fat! You may not realize it, but even if you make the healthy choice on a menu you could be consuming a lot more calories than you realize.
Watch your portion size by using a smaller plates, bowls, cups and spoons. Eating on a smaller plates will trick your mind by feeling satisfied with less food. If you are eating out or ordering takeaway, either split it with a friend or doggie bag half of it and eat it later. Read labels carefully too. If the label gives the calories for a portion size of 50g the bag is 100g, be sure you double the calorie count.
Foods containing sugar are addictive - the more you have, the more you want. But although they make you feel great, chocolate, cookies and other high glycemic sweets wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. When you eat these kinds of sugar, insulin is released to bring your blood sugar levels down. While your insulin levels are high, your body is unable to metabolize fat into energy. So if you are trying to lose weight, keeping your blood sugar stable is really important.
Wean yourself off sweets completely. It may sound impossible at first, but once you break your sugar habit you just won’t want or need it any more. Throw all the junk food out of your house and make sure you carry a piece of fruit with you when you go out (so you will be less likely to give in to temptation). Within a week or two, the sugar cravings will subside and you will wonder what the fuss was all about!
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