7) Start your day right
Drink a glass of lukewarm lemon water first thing in the morning. It hydrates you after having had nothing to drink overnight and is a great detox agent. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Exercise earlier in the day. You’ll be more energized and less likely to overeat. Plan what and when you will eat for the day. Figure out what times you get cravings and plan to have healthy options available for that time. For me, cravings attack around 3-4pm. I try to have my lunch a bit later, maybe around 2pm, to help curb this. Don’t be afraid to find out what your weak foods and cravings times are. If you plan, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
6) Get some rest
On days I’m on call at night and haven’t rested, my appetite certainly picks up. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep helps balance hormones that control appetite. Getting rest and relaxation can also help you manage stress better, which can decrease “stress eating”.
5) Move when you can
Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. When you’re craving junk food, go for a walk instead. Walk when you can instead of driving. Reduce your screen time. Try to move after a heavy meal instead of going to sleep. Get a pedometer. If you can aim for 10,000 steps a day, it’s the equivalent of walking 5 miles. Just a bit of movement done consistently everyday can work wonders help maintain a healthy weight.
4) Fight cravings
Try rinsing your mouth with vitamin C powder dissolved in water when cravings strike. Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or a glass of grapefruit juice 30 mins before each meal. Spice up your food with hot sauces or peppers. It increases your metabolism. When you have cravings, try brushing your teeth, chewing mint gum or have peppermint tea. This can help curb your appetite.
3) Snack better
Instead of a bag of potato chips, try a handful of almond nuts. Nuts are high in healthy fats and can fill you up quicker without the extra sugar. If you like baked snacks try to make them with oat flour instead of white flour. The fiber will fill you up quicker. Don’t buy large bags of carb-filled snacks from the store like cookies or chips. Munch on carrots or celery instead while watching TV.
2) Control how you eat
Eat from smaller dark plates. You’ll eat less. Always sit down to eat. Don’t watch TV or surf your phone while eating. Instead pay attention and chew each bite 20-30 times. You’ll notice when you are full and will be less likely to overeat. Drink a glass of water before each meal. Sip on water after each bite. If you had a large lunch, have a smaller, carb-free dinner or soup. Eat dinner before 7pm. Load your plate with salad, veggies and protein so there is little room for carbs. Eat the same low-carb meals everyday. The food will be less exciting and you’ll be less likely to overeat. Chew gum while cooking so you don’t consume a lot of unintentional calories “tasting” before the meal is ready.
1) Watch what you eat
Try to have some protein (like fish, egg whites, skin-less chicken breast, etc) with every meal. Protein helps keep hunger at bay. I tend to like a lot of carbs with my meals which can work against my waistline. Instead I try to substitute heavy white carbs like rice, pasta, yams and bread with lighter options like squash and ground cauliflower. See “Top 7 ways to replace carbs in your diet”. If I’m dying for a dessert, instead of having soup and fufu for dinner, I try to have just the soup and maybe a small piece of cake afterwards. Share desserts with others instead of eating it all on your own. Use cashew or almond butter instead of mayonnaise. Have sparkling water instead of soda or juice. Don’t be afraid to look for creative ways to cut the carbs without depriving yourself. The sky is the limit. Don’t be hard on yourself. Give yourself permission to fail and bounce back if you need to. Maintaining your natural healthy weight is a lifelong achievable journey if you are patient and consistent.
Have tips to control your weight without depriving yourself that work for you? Share them!