There are all kinds of diets to lose a few pounds, but those aren’t always considered healthy. Check out these healthy and responsible ways to lose a few pounds without following a diet. Pick only one though, don’t go for all at the same time!
- Eat less
Don’t just eat healthier, but also eat less often. Many people don’t eat enough food during the main meals, which makes them hungry in between. But it’s those snacks that often contain a lot of calories, while they’re barely satiating. So, focus on three full-fledged main meals. This prevents a snack attack. Another advantage is that your body has time to digest the food properly. This reduces the risk of gas, heartburn, bloating, and irregular bowel movements. Divide your daily calorie intake over the three main meals. Make sure every main meal consists of fiber-rich carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats: this composition satiates the best. Take, for example, wholemeal bread or pasta, vegetables, fruit, brown rice, olive oil, unsalted nuts and seeds, fish, and legumes. You can benefit a lot from this method if you regularly have more than six meals a day and if you love snacks or have a strong need for them. But also if you tend to eat too little rather than too much during a meal. And it can help to think about food less often because instead of eating six or seven times, you only eat three times a day.
2. Know your food triggers
If you give in to external food stimuli, you’re not eating because your body needs it, but your head does (mental appetite). For example, you see someone opening a bag of crisps or you smell sausage rolls at the station and you spontaneously feel like eating them yourself. If you know what your food triggers are, you’ll be less overwhelmed by them and you’ll be more resistant to them. And that saves about 500 calories a day. Do you eat to celebrate, to comfort yourself, or to postpone an annoying task? Then you suffer from an emotional trigger. Do you get hungry when you see someone else eating? Then there’s a visual eating trigger. Does the smell of chips make your mouth water? That’s an olfactory trigger. Are you unstoppable when you hear the crack of a bag of crisps? Then you’re sensitive to an auditory trigger. Think about when you’re confronted with your food triggers. For example, you always pass a chips stand on your way home. If you think about this consciously, you can resist the food trigger more easily. And be prepared: make sure you have an apple in your bag for emergencies, for example.
3. Let go of the black and white thinking
You don’t lose weight eating one salad and you don’t gain weight from one chocolate either. That one snack may be 300 calories to your body, but to your mind, it seems like everything has already failed. After that, there’s a good chance that you’ll punish or soothe yourself with even more unhealthy food. In other words, with black-and-white thinking, you promote emotional eating and overeating. This method is similar to intuitive eating. You eat normal portions, emphasising varied, fresh, and healthy ingredients. Such as whole grain products and various vegetables. But this approach also means that you don’t punish yourself harshly after snacking. This prevents you from eating even more too. The advantage of this method is that you don’t deny yourself anything. An unhealthy snack every now and then fits in well with a healthy diet. It may sound crazy, but just by giving yourself permission to enjoy some chips sometimes, the urge for it is less. And you learn to distinguish which snacks are worthwhile for you and which aren’t. This makes it easier to listen to your body. Repeat to yourself: I eat what my body needs and what’s nourishing.
4. More active lifestyle
It’s healthier and more responsible to make your lifestyle more active than exercisin once a week and spending the rest of the time sitting. The more active you are during the day, the better it is for your fitness, fat percentage, and the speed of your metabolism. Your metabolic rate isn’t linked to your age but to your fitness. The better your metabolism is, the lower your metabolic age is and the healthier your body is. You can often have this measured at the gym, for free. Look for an exercise motivation that comes from within. Maybe you don’t like fitness, but do you love to dance? With an internal motivation, it is much easier to maintain. If you arrange to go for a walk every Tuesday and Thursday with someone, the barrier to cancelling if it rains is higher than if you went alone. A buddy can be a friend, but also a sports instructor with whom you make agreements. Concrete goals motivate more. Think of a short-term goal and a long-term goal. Challenge yourself. Check your smartphone how many steps you’ve taken and aim for 10,000 steps daily, for example. Reward yourself after each goal that you achieve with something new to keep your motivation going. It takes about two to three months before a new lifestyle or behavioural change has become a habit. Do you skip once? No problem, but do pick it up again because the longer you delay, the harder it’ll be to start again.
5. Eat with your mind
The digestive process starts in your mouth. So, the better you chew, the easier the further digestion process is and the more nutrients your body can absorb. And also not unimportant: when you eat less hurried but relaxed, it causes less stress, which in the long run can ensure that your body stores less fat in your belly. Turn the meal into a relaxation activity that you plan 30 minutes for. Make sure you relax your body 5 minutes before the meal. Chew more often, preferably 25 times (or more) on each bite, and eat at a slower pace. And make sure there are lots of nutritious ingredients to feel satiated and satisfied (mental satiety). That’s how mindful eating works. Choose a part of your meal and watch it closely. What do you smell, feel and taste? Set the timer for how long it takes you to eat your meal. This way you get better and better at eating calmly and with attention.
Love, Skye Lewis ❤
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