On a daily basis we hear so much about the foods we should eat and the diets we should follow for weight loss that it all gets a little boring. Imagine if you could lose weight via strategies that do not involve calorie counting, label reading or spending hours at the gym? Well, guess what, you can with these proven strategies.
Plan your meals
The simple act of allocating 20 minutes each week to planning your meals in advance not only saves much time, stress and money but when it comes to weight control, planning your meals ensures that you are less likely seduced by tempting high calorie snacks and food picked up on the go. As a general rule of thumb, meals chosen quickly at cafes, fast food outlets and in food courts contain significantly more calories and fat than meals prepared at home. Save yourself literally hundreds of calories each week simply by planning the majority of your meals and snacks in advance.
We have all been there; the 99c Cheezels at the end of the supermarket aisle; the pre-dinner dip and crackers you find yourself hungry for when shopping on the way home from work and of course the obligatory chocolate bar you throw in the trolley while you wait at the checkout. Supermarkets know all too well that a significant number of purchases are completed on impulse and as such, shopping online not only eliminates all of these impulse buys but helps you to meal plan in advance each week, saving you calories and plenty of dollars.
Clean out the kitchen
If it is in your kitchen you will eat it at some stage, whether it is the chocolate biscuits you say are for guests; cooking chocolate for baking or the kid’s leftover Easter eggs. Be ruthless in your kitchen and refuse to keep any food items you know you will eventually eat when you are feeling tired, bored or vulnerable. Not only will cleaning out the fridge and pantry feel empowering, it will inspire you to stock up on fresh, healthy foods that will help to keep your diet on track.
Check menus before you go out
Human beings are exposed to more than 200 food decisions on a daily basis – skim or full cream; large or small; vegetables or salad? Is it any wonder our brains become overwhelmed with all the options? As such, when we are exposed to tempting menu choices, including foods we would not usually consume, the variety can overwhelm us and rather than making mindful, informed choices we lash out and treat ourselves to treat style foods, often in line with what others around us are also ordering. A simple yet effective strategy to manage this information overload is to peruse menus when you are not hungry, prior to dining out. Here you can make a string decision nutritionally before you go out and be less likely to be drawn into the excitement of the ordering process.
Sit down to eat
This one sounds simple, but when you sit down and concentrate solely on eating and nothing else, not only are you likely to consume fewer calories at that meal but also for the remainder of the day. An eating behaviour study published in the journal Appetite found that dieters who consumed their lunch whilst watch TV consumed significantly more cookie calories at afternoon tea than dieters who had enjoyed their lunch at a table with no distractions. It appears that keeping mindful during the eating experience is an important part of appetite regulation.
Pack your lunch
Did you know that the average lunch order from the food court contains 600-800 calories, or double what lunch for a small female should contain. Even if you pack your own salad or leftovers a couple of times each week you will be saving many, many calories on a weekly basis without really noticing it.