You can’t go against counting calories simply because there is a very nice logic behind it: if you burn more than you consume each day and you’ll never get fat. That doesn’t mean that you need to spend the rest of your life like a calorie accountant.
We offer you 16 tips how to start dropping weight while keeping your hunger satisfied:
1. Make a plan
Everybody that thinks he/she is going to make it without a plan is risking making poor diet decisions, that usually translate to ordering take-out after work. Having a plan also means that you don’t need to waste time at the end of your day on figuring out what to make for dinner. This end of the day dilemma is a sure way to reaching for a cookie or fast food. Planning is one of the easiest ways to cut calories. If all of this looks like a huge operation to you, begin with few go-to meals that you can consume regularly, and start adding after a month or so.
2. Cook your meals
Preparing your own food means you are in control of the amount of calories you are going to eat. So it’s not up to the restaurant chef or owner to decide how many calories you are going to have in your meals. Plus, it’s not going to be produced on industrial scale, it’s not going to be full with sugar or trans fats or corn syrup. People who regularly cook at home consume 16 grams of sugar and 137 calories less every day than those who eat out.
3. Cut the added sugar (as much as you can)
This one should be a common sense: limit the products with absurd amounts of added sugar. First, these foods don’t have almost any nutrients (which is why they are called ’empty calories’), this leads to the second problem that without nutrients you are feeling hungry and there is a bigger risk of overeating, which finally leads to the problems with your insulin response, and problems with diabetes and obesity. Replace cookies with fresh fruit (but don’t overdo it), or try pure black coffee instead of you liquid cake with coffee flavor.
4. Begin your day with glass of water (or water with lemon)
As the nutritionist explain “every process in your body takes place in water”, including efficiently functioning metabolism. Water deficiency can lead to dehydration that can seriously impact you energy levels. Every morning open your eyes, drink your water (with lemon), and start the day.
5. Eat without distractions and slowly
If you want to stop overeating, then focus on your eating. Don’t eat and multitask at your desk. Leave the smartphone, tablet or remote away, and spend some time just – eating. The key to know when to stop eating is to listen to your body, because the stomach sends signals to your brain to tell you when you are full. For this to work you need two things: eating slowly, since this signal needs 20 minutes to get to the brain; and minimal distractions, so that your brain can notice the signal.
6. Go for a snack
It’s no problem as long as you don’t eat the wrong snacks, that will stay in your waistline. This is supported by research results showing that participants that included high-protein / low-sugar snacks into their daily diet had signficantly bigger weight loss. The key here is in high-protein / low-sugar combo that works on maintaining blood-sugar levels, which prevents you from going after high energy foods.
7. Remember that the fats are not the enemy (the sugar is)
Fat is a complex and large group that gets its bad rap because of one member (the trans-fats). But, there are healthy kind of fats: avocados, olive oil, nuts and fish, that fill you up, and play the crucial role in your body absorption of essential vitamins that are fat-soluble. Also, they may help you burn fat, by stimulating the production of adiponectin, a metabolism-boosting hormone.
To be continued in part 2.