Have you tried to diet and failed? Has the weight you lose come back? Maybe what you need is not diet but practical and realistic ideas how to change eating habits to lose weight.
Step-1: Eat 500 kcal less by eating just a little bit less.
If you feel that going on a diet or changing what you eat is the last thing you want to do, then simply try to eat a little less at each meal. Start paying attention to how much you are eating and make a conscious decision to change eating habits and cut back what you usually eat by any amount you feel like. Start gradually by eating less at one meal. Then apply this to all your meals. By the end of the week you will end up eating from 200 up to 600 less calories per day while still enjoying your favorite foods.
So by eating quarter less bread in the morning and you lose up to 80kcal, eating half of your mid morning blueberry muffin instead of a whole one will end up to 120kcal less, eating 5 less tablespoons of meat food during lunch and save up to 120kcal. This little cuts add up to 500kcal less per day. Do this everyday and you will lose weight up to half kilo per week.
Practice eating and chewing slower. The “I’m Full” signal will reach your brain quicker and you will stop eating earlier.
Step-2: Get rid of more calories without cutting back on the quantities you are eating.
When you feel you have cut back enough in the quantities of food you eat, start cutting back on calories only. Just switch to smarter versions of food you already eat. Instead of consuming full fat milk, switch to low fat milk, the gradually to 1% fat skimmed milk. This way you get to the new lighter taste gradually.
Apply the same to dairy products such as laban, yogurt and cheese. It will save you up to 90 calories each time you consume these lighter versions. Look for bread with lower calories. Most bread, even the brown and whole grain bread is high in calories. Check the nutritional information labels and compare. You can save up to 60kcal per sandwich. As for meat, choose leaner cuts. Replace high fat meat such as lamb, fried chicken with skin, eggs and fried fish with leaner meat such as beef with fat trimmed off, skinless chicken breast, grilled fish and egg white.
Other high fat meat to cut back on is prime rib, processed meat such as salami, bologna, sausages, hot dogs (chicken or turkey) and bacon. Make sure you consume fish twice a week. This will save you up 200kcal during lunch and dinner. Switch from drinking sweetened beverages to diet versions or simply drinking water. Flavored water is a great choice too. You’ll save up to 150kcal. Use lower calorie dressing such as “lite” mayonnaise and save up to 50kcal. Such changes add up to more than 500kcal per day. That’s an extra 500kcal over from what you achieved in step-1.
Changing your eating habits to lose weight involves understanding more about the nutritional value what you eat. Most people don’t know how many calories they eat. Everyday choose one item of food you consume regularly and find out its calorie and fat content. Then, identify the food items that contribute the most to daily calorie intake. This can be your mid morning snack.
Increase your vegetable intake. Most people don’t consume their daily recommended vegetable intake. Set a goal to eat portions of food that contribute the highest energy to your daily intake and add 2 cups of raw vegetables or I cup of cooked vegetables instead. Make sure finish your vegetable first, it will make you feel fuller but still you will lose weight.
What happens if I overeat? Sometimes you will lapse at a family or office function. If you start taking a lots of food the reason might be that you are hungry in the first place. Maybe you reduced your last meal a lot or delayed your next meal later than your usual timing or both. No worries this lapse does not mean you failed. Just plan or prevent it. One way is to divide your meals into smaller portions and let yourself get too hungry. The trick is do not allow yourself to become too hungry. You will be more successful with gradual changes in your eating habits to lose weight.
Finally make physical activity part of your daily routine. Being active will burn out part of your energy intake without the need to cut back on your food even more. Get involved in 40~60 minutes of physical activity at least 4 times a week. Just remember to have fun and not to stress.