As summer approaches, we tend to take a closer look at our bodies since we're shedding layers as the temperature rises. Many of us have hibernated a tad too long during this winter and a few pounds have crept on. But losing weight is a challenge because we legitimately feel hungry, especially if we have become accustomed to eating more. I have maintained my weight for years and I have found some tips that have made the journey easier and rewarding.
1. Start your main meal with a broth, tomato or bean based soup and/or a salad with just 1-2 Tbsp of a lighter dressing.
2. When hungry between or before a meal, eat an apple, grapefruit or orange, which have the fibre to create a full feeling. Studies show you'll eat 15 per cent less food.
3. Eliminate all artificial sweeteners in your cooking and beverages since they increase cravings for sweets, undermining your original objective to eat less calories. Allow yourself to have a small treat daily made with real sugar.
4. Eat about 10 nuts between or before meals. The healthy fat and protein content keeps you satiated to stave off hunger, but no more than 10 due to the high calories and fat.
5. Spice your foods with hot sauce, garlic or fresh herbs, not salt. The intense flavours send a message to your brain that you're full in a shorter time than bland foods.
6. Be sure to include healthy fats in your day such as oils and nuts. Saturated fats from meat and dairy fill you less.
7. Go with "volumetrics," which is eating larger amounts of nutrient dense and lower calorie foods. A perfect meal for me contains loads of a variety of vegetables, half cup of quinoa, 2 oz of lean protein such as chicken, fish, beans or tofu and a light dressing. You're getting three major food groups that curb hunger.
8. Eat more protein, which is more filling and satisfying than fat or fibre rich foods. Protein keeps your blood sugars level and prevents muscle loss.
9. If you get the munchies, turn to air popped popcorn, veggies with a light dip or hummus, or an egg white omelet.
10. And finally, get some chia seeds and not for your pet! No need to cook, just sprinkle 1 Tbsp over your salads, pastas or cereals. They soak up water and swell during digestion keeping you full.
Losing and maintaining a healthy body weight is always a daily challenge. But I keep these 10 tips at the front of my mind 24/7. Making healthy choices should be as a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth.
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