Quick Weight Loss Tips (keep reading, #5 is a lot of fun, too!)
- Outsmart Your Hunger Hormone
Even the most motivated and focused dieter will struggle to be successful at weight loss once hunger takes over. Our bodies secrete a hormone called ghrelin, which controls hunger and drives our appetite. If we don’t understand, monitor, and control our ghrelin, we can forget about losing weight. Science tells us that the best way to control ghrelin is to eat SMALL, balanced meals about every 3 hours or so. That’s because ghrelin will spike after about 3 to 4 hours of fasting, so eating with regularity helps keep this eating trigger at bay. Ghrelin will also spike if we’re deprived of carbs, so it’s important to give our bodies and brains the carb fuel they need. When we skip meals or avoid carbs, we’re inviting ghrelin to spike, which increases and makes us feel emotionally hungry. It makes us crave sugar and can derail even the healthiest eating routine. Remember, fruits and vegetables are carbs!
- Plate food away from where you’re eating
By keeping food within eyesight as you are eating, you may find yourself reaching for a second helping even if you really aren’t hungry. Place the food on the kitchen counter or stove, portion out a serving on your plate, package up leftover food into reusable containers, and then sit down at the table and eat. This way, if you want additional servings, you’ll have to get up and open up your Tupperware, all of which helps you to be more mindful of what you are eating.
- Keep a food record
We know you’ve heard this time and time again. Well, that’s because keeping a food record is vital to losing weight and keeping it off long term. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that those who kept regular food records lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. When keeping a food record, make sure to track what you ate, how much you ate, anything you added to the food (condiments, oils, etc.), and what you drank. Also tracking your mood and appetite can be helpful and insightful into learning about your eating patterns as well!
- Set a date with your kitchen
Based on what I have applied in my practice, when it comes to weight loss we need to devote 80% of our efforts to nutrition and 20% to exercise.
One way to do this is to schedule time and make a date with your supermarket and kitchen. Restaurant dishes are outside of your control, and the fact is, most times, those outrageous portions come loaded with salt and fat. Start cooking at home to better monitor your calorie intake.
Schedule a day, like Sunday afternoon, to pre-cook for the week. Plan to roast a whole chicken. Cut up a batch of vegetables—like squash, peppers and zucchini-toss them with a little olive oil spray and roast them in another pan alongside the chicken. Now you have the makings for Monday’s dinner, Tuesday’s lunch, and so on. Each working evening, you should only need about 15 minutes in the kitchen to put it together—less time than you might spend heating up a fat-, salt- and sugar-filled frozen pizza!
- Be adventurous with chopsticks
Choosing chopsticks over a fork requires a bit more attention in picking up food from the plate. The portions are smaller, and eating with them takes more time because you have to closely watch each bite so the food doesn’t fall off. They can act as a reminder to slow down, savor and chew consciously which may help you realize you’re fuller sooner than you thought you’d be and then wind up eating less!
- If you can’t eat it responsibly, keep it out of your house