Saturday, May 24, 2008

Avoid Overeating and Gaining Weight

The concept behind losing weight is the simplest concept to grasp; eat less and exercise more. Still while it's understood that this is the way to lose weight, it's still one of the hardest things some people have to deal with. It's harder than quitting smoking (because you can't just quit eating cold turkey!) or alcohol or even in some cases, drugs. If you find your stomach bulging at the end of meals, you've been over-eating. Here are some tips to cutting those wasted calories.
Drink water. Drink your water. Always sit down to eat with a glass of water and make sure that you finish it during your meal. Alternating sips of water between bites will slow your eating, help digestion and make you feel fuller, sooner. Feelings of hunger are directly related to dehydration so make sure that you are getting plenty of water during the day.
Fill up on fiber. Enjoy a starter. A hot low-fat soup like Minestrone or other vegetable broth soup, or a salad with low fat dressing will give you filling fiber and some servings of vegetables. Pass on the buttered rolls or bread and high calorie topping on your salad (meat, blue cheese, croƻtons, etc..).
Watch portions. It's annoying to have to measure everything but you might want to take a look at any packaged foods you eat (cereal, salad dressing, cookies, soup) and see what a real portion is. Measuring it once will give you an idea of what it should look like. Stick to the recommended portion size.
Watch portions, part II. Take half of your normal serving. If you are used to heaping spaghetti on your plate, put half of what you normally eat. If you normally eat a whole sub sandwich, eat half. If you have four slices of meatloaf, eat two. You will eat whatever is on your plate and if you are still hungry, you can always eat a little more.
Eat Slowly. It takes 30 minutes for the stomach to feel full, which means if you eat until you are full, you are actually grossly over full and should feel terrible in about 30 minutes. Chew each bite and really enjoy your food. Drink water between bites. Stretch out courses when possible. Allow your stomach to catch up with what you've just put in it. When you feel full, STOP EATING. You can always save leftovers.
Relax. Play relaxing music during meals. Classic music, jazz or other relaxing music will help you eat slower and digest more easily. Light some candles and make the atmosphere nice so you won't be tempted to rush through dinner.
Divide and Conquer. When having snacks like chips, cookies or crackers, put the recommended serving in a sandwich bag so you aren't tempted to mindless eat your way through the bag or box. If you like to eat in front of the television, this is a MUST! When going out to eat, ask for half of your dinner to go when you order. Chances are you will be full before you get to the second half. Divide leftovers into smaller containers, so you are only reheating one serving at a time.
Grazing is ok. If you are eating healthy, it's fine to have several snacks or small meals during the day. Keeping hunger at bay prevents the desire to binge because we are starving. If you get hungry, have a low-fat yogurt, some fruit or something with some fiber and protein, like cheese and a few crackers.
Eat like a child. If you can't live without fast food, try ordering the child's meal. It has less than half the calories of an adult combo and still has the things you crave in them. At restaurants, some servers will let you order off the senior or child's menu as well. Small portions!
Avoid temptation. Avoid restaurants where you know you are likely to overeat like buffets or your favorite fried food place. Eating before parties and events will allow you to nibble on some desired treats but because you aren't hungry, you won't be tempted to eat your way through the party. Always eat before you go grocery shopping!
Treat Yourself. You never want to feel deprived, because you can eat anything you want in moderation. If you find yourself craving ice cream, go ahead and treat yourself to a child's cone or a frozen yogurt sundae (small). Have a few pieces of chocolate here and there, just don't eat the whole box.
Happy Hour. Avoid sugary drinks when you go out and stick to drinks with less calories. Margaritas, pina coladas, and drinks with lots of fruit juice are all hazards to calories. Try gin and tonic, rum and diet, mojitos, or vodka tonics. If you can't do that, cut your drinking in half. Normally have three drinks? Have one and split one with someone else.

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