Donít starve yourself
Cutting calories can send the body into a starvation or slow-metabolism mode.† Metabolism is the rate at which your cells take in nutrients. Slower metabolism means the body burns fewer calories each day.
The food solution is to ensure that you are taking in enough high-fiber carbohydrates and proteins.† Eating less carbs can slow your metabolism and lowering your protein can lead to muscle loss.
Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner
When you skip meals, your body goes into storage mode rather than burning mode.† Thatís the primary reason that deprivation diets donít work.† Your body panics about going into a famine, so it slows metabolism into emergency storing mode rather than a stead rate of burning.
Breakfast eaters are on average thinner than those who skip breakfast because they keep their metabolism genes turned on.† This means more calories are more likely to be burned off before they can turn into fat.
Eat moderate amounts of food every three or four hours instead of having one or two large meals with long periods of time between them.
Prepare food ahead of time. It makes your meals quick and easy to prepare and makes snacking on the correct foods much easier.
Drink enough water. It will help satisfy those urges that you think are hunger but are actually thirst.† Drink at least 8 8-oz glasses a day.
To curb cravings for sweets, chew sugar-free gum.
Eating out.† If you have plans to go to a restaurant, look over the menu ahead of time and make your choices when you’re not starving. Then, when at the restaurant, don’t even look at the rest of the menu.
If ordering a big meal, ask for a take-home box right away and put half the meal in the box before starting to eat.
Control Food Cravings
If you find yourself giving in to cravings too often, the following can help.† And, if you can cut your cravings, you can put yourself in the right direction toward looking good, achieving your goals, and feeling the way you want.
Food cravings may be nagging feelings that can be triggered by boredom, stress, or even by habit (like munching on cookies when-ever your favorite TV show is on).
They can also happen when your body’s blood sugar levels decrease. Your body may crave certain foods like chocolate at these times because they contain ample sugar, which can be broken down quickly and sent into your bloodstream to help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
More Helpful Strategies
Staying active by doing things you enjoy can take your mind off of food.
When selecting sources of carbohydrates to eat, choose complex sources such as brown rice and whole wheat breads and pastas.
Eat protein and healthy dietary fats with your carbs at meal times.
Choose your calories wisely and consider snacking on a meal-replacement bar instead of a candy bar when you get cravings.
Analyze your diet
Keep a food diary and check it with a dietician.† Are you really only eating as much as you think you are?
A registered dietitian or nutritionist can be a big help.† Professional help can tell you how much of what you are actually eating and drinking each day.
Use smaller dishes
Hereís a surprise.† If you want to lose weight, downsize your tableware.
A Cornell study found that reducing the size of bowls, spoons and other tableware can drastically cut how much you eat.† Researchers held an ice-cream social at which people were randomly given either 17 ounce or 34 ounce bowls and either two-ounce or three-ounce scoops.
The results were striking.† Just doubling the size of someoneís bowl increased how much people ate by 31%.† People with larger scoops (but the same size bowls) at 15% more.
So be aware, a treat in a smaller bowl looks more satisfying than the same amount in a larger bowl.
Analyze your life
Losing weight is not just about diet and exercise.† Without addressing your emotional and psychological attitudes toward food and activity, you program may not work.
You want to assess how others influence your eating and exercise habits.† If people at your work place bring in donuts regularly, they make it hard for you to avoid these empty calories.† If youíre married to a spouse who likes high calorie meals, that can rob you of motivation.† So, look around you.
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