Many people are lurching from diet to diet, wondering why they are not losing weight? Learn why dieting may not be answer.
How many people are lurching from diet to diet, wondering the entire time why they are not losing weight? Most diets make a lot of promises about weight loss. All you have to do is eat certain foods or not eat certain foods or use particular products, and the weight will melt away. Unfortunately, there are two problems associated with these claims. First, people are usually not successful when success requires constant deprivation. Second, many diets are based on inaccurate information or the assumption consumers do not have enough knowledge to make informed decisions about dietary products and recommendations.
There are right ways and wrong ways to lose weight. The wrong way is to turn each meal into a skirmish that tests willpower and makes the dieter wonder if eating will ever be enjoyable again. The right way is to learn how to cut back on calories, choose the right foods, and use natural methods for feeling full. Losing weight does not have to be a terrible experience that leads to discouragement and unhappiness. It can be an opportunity to get healthier while continuing to enjoy many of life’s nutritional pleasures.
Cut Back on Calories and Still Enjoy Your Favorite Foods
Trendy diets usually require eliminating whole food categories, which is not a healthy way to lose weight. The body needs a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. However, you can continue to eat balanced meals and lose weight by cutting back on the quantity of food eaten at each meal. Just eating 20 percent less at each meal can lead to weight loss.
It is not necessary to weigh food to achieve this goal. Instead, try using smaller plates that look full with 80 percent of the food normally served. You can also use a scoop to dish up food and limit each food type to one scoop per meal.
The same “trick” can be used for liquids by drinking tall glasses of water. In fact, a glass of water will make you feel fuller while conveying the sensation of drinking something. This is a particularly effective tactic for people who normally have a coke, tea or other kind of liquid close at hand at all times.
Choose the Right Foods
There is simply no getting away from the fact that selecting the right foods is important for losing weight. High protein foods can suppress appetite because protein is digested slower than fats and carbohydrates. Eating a high protein food for breakfast helps you avoid overeating later in the day.
The right foods are also healthy snacks. However, snacking of any kind done out of habit rather than hunger is not wise. In between meals, you should reach for healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables but only to prevent the excessive hunger that often leads to binge eating. Keep the healthy snacks readily available and keep any unhealthy ones, like chips and buttered popcorn, out of sight.
Feel Full the Right Way
There is a right way and a wrong way to feel full. The wrong way is to continually eat or snack throughout the day, turning eating into a source of entertainment in front of the television or a means of finding comfort from stress. Feeling full the right way means using proven techniques that ensure you eat the proper amount of food needed to sustain good health.
For example, studies have shown that chewing food thoroughly before swallowing will reduce the amount of food eaten. The reason is simple. The stomach needs time to convey a message of fullness to the brain. People who eat too fast do not give the body time to send the message, leading to over-eating
It is also tempting to eat too fast and to eat too much when eating right out of the package. There is no way to control portions when eating from a package, and there is naturally a tendency to eat more than a single helping.
Finally, do not believe every marketing message you read on food labels. Just because a marketer says a food is healthy does not mean it really is good for you.
For example, processed food can be low in fat but excessively high in carbohydrates and sodium. It is also important to avoid thinking that eating twice as much “healthy” food is acceptable. Eating twice as much of any food means you are eating twice as many calories.
Losing weight is truly about managing calories. You want to eat the right amount and type of foods and make sure you are feeling full with the right foods. Losing weight does not have to rely on trendy diets that are based on deprivation. You can enjoy meals and enjoy life at the same time. No one ever said that one had to exclude the other.
This is a guest post from Jen Smith, A blogger for a bariatric surgeon Passaic. When she is not at work, she enjoys writing articles regarding health and fitness.