Do you want to lose weight before the Spring (or any time of year for that matter)?
Do you hate counting calories?
If you’re ready to lose weight and enjoy your food without having to count calories every time you eat… then keep reading.
I don’t know about you, but although I love working with numbers and spreadsheets (yep, I used to be an accountant), the thought of having to count calories and determine: ‘How much of this and how much of that…’ I can consume before I can even sit down to eat would drive me bananas!
I just want to be able to enjoy my food and not worry about what I’m eating, or how much to eat.
Focusing on how much food you can eat and measuring it to the exact ounce or gram… Simply makes you more focused on food (and makes you crave it more too)! In fact, you may find yourself thinking about food much more often during the day than you would have done previously.
Restricting your diet in this way demands willpower, determination, and organization.
But what if you don’t need to? What if there was another simpler, less taxing way to get the same results with less effort and thinking involved?
If you’re ready to set yourself free, lose weight, and enjoy your food, here are my Tips for doing just that:
1. Eat Slowly
If you have been rushing around and generally trying to fit everything into your busy day; now is the time to slow things down again and get back into a more relaxed routine.
Eating slowly will give your stomach a better chance of digesting the food you consume. In fact, digestion begins in the mouth when you start to chew your food. Enzymes are released in the saliva that begins to break down food particles before it even reaches the stomach.
Chewing your food more will produce more digestive enzymes and this will help to avoid indigestion at the end of your meal.
2. Eat Early
Eating late will not only affect your weight, it can also affect the quality of your sleep.
It’s a good idea to eat at least 3-4 hours before going to bed, so if you would normally go to bed at 10 pm, say, then try to eat your last meal by 7 pm at the latest – and no snacking!
If you start to feel hungry, ask yourself whether you are actually hungry or just tired and try to get to bed before you give in to your cravings.
3. Eat Simply
When deciding what to eat, keep it simple. Choose wisely, especially when going for snacks.
Eating at least 3 meals a day if that’s what you’re used to is fine. Just make sure that you choose healthy foods, sensible amounts and don’t feel like you have to eat all of the leftovers at once!
By simple, I don’t mean eat foods that are pre-prepared so that you don’t have to do anything except heat them up in the microwave. That’s easy food but not necessarily the healthiest option.
Healthy food is fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, all of which make great snacks if you feel the need to grab something quickly.
You can get creative with the leftovers too! Why not make a nourishing soup that you can enjoy when you don’t have much time? It’s the ultimate convenience food!
Stick to healthy food and you won’t have to worry so much about portion size. Nutritious food will fill you up and help your body to start to shift some of that extra weight.
4. Eat Gratefully
This one kind of speaks for itself: Be grateful for the food you’re about to eat.
In many films, we see how families say a short prayer when they sit down together at the dinner table, just before tucking into their food together.
Although many of us may have got out of the habit of doing this, being mindful of what we are about to eat makes us appreciate the fact that we have food on the table, that we will not starve, or that someone you know has spent some time preparing and cooking the food for you and others.
You may decide to take a few seconds to review the presentation of the food if that appeals to you, or to thank the person who has provided the food for you.
Acknowledging these things before you start eating will increase the value, satisfaction, and perhaps even the taste of your meal.
5. Eat Peacefully
So, what do I mean by eating peacefully?
Well, it means avoiding as many distractions as possible while you are eating your food.
So, at home, rather than plonking yourself in front of the TV with a lap tray, choose to sit at the dining table. At work, instead of sitting at your desk, find a quiet spot elsewhere with no background noise or visual stimulation if possible.
If you have an open plan dining and living area, make sure the television is turned off just while you eat your food. If you have had the radio on while preparing the food, switch it off just for a few minutes while you are eating.
This doesn’t mean that you have to eat your food in total silence. For example, if you’re part of a big family, by all means, talk to each other; have a conversation between mouthfuls. If you are alone you could have some pleasant music playing in the background as long as it’s not too stimulating.
The reason for all of this is that when you are eating it is important for your body to get into rest and digest mode. Eating is a time to pause, rest and relax, catch your breath.
So much of the time, people are keeping themselves busy rushing around, trying to get things done. If you are stressed or stuck in fight or flight mode, or you have just finished exercising, give yourself a few minutes to unwind, chill out, let your heart rate calm down.
In fact, if you are not relaxed, your body will not be able to digest, absorb and assimilate food efficiently, leaving you feeling either bloated just after eating, or suffering from indigestion, or hungry again later because you haven’t managed to absorb enough nutrients.
So, savor the taste of your food, eat more mindfully, relax and give yourself at least 15 minutes to eat your main meal of the day. Keep your food simple, don’t eat too late in the day and your body will thank you for it.