This is a guest post by Iris Thieme
1. Eat a large, healthy breakfast and lunch
Studies have shown greater success in weight loss when the bulk of calories are consumed earlier in the day, by waiting 4-5 hours between meals, and by waiting 12-15 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day. However, most parties and dinners happen in the evening, so on the days when there is no party, focus on eating more in the daytime and less in the evenings. Also, if your household is like mine and wants to eat non-stop from the time they get home from school until they go to bed, you might need to find other things to do to avoid joining them – brush your teeth, chew gum, eat some fruit or go for a stroll!
2. Fill up on watery and fiber-rich foods
People tend to eat fewer calories if they fill up on salad, veggies, soup, or fruit before, or at the beginning of a meal, so fill your appetizer and dinner plate with these foods!
3. Don’t drink your calories
Drink water or sparkling water so you can enjoy the meal or dessert, if you choose, without adding even more calories to your meal!
4. Limit ABC Foods
You have heard of ABC gum, right – Already Been Chewed? So, what are ABC foods – foods that have already been “chewed”? The most common are smoothies (goes with “don’t drink your calories”), ice cream and shakes, anything made with flour (all the baked goods) and anything ‘instant’ (like instant oatmeal). Even if you start with a whole food like fruits and veggies for your smoothie or whole grains for your flour, the main process of chewing has already been done for you. Chewing is necessary to promote the enzymes that break down the macro and micronutrients in the foods to aid in digestion and help avoid blood sugar spikes. Plus, chewing aids in satiety. The more a food needs to be chewed and to be broken down by you, the less hungry you will feel so you eat less! For example, if I eat a bowl of instant oatmeal or toast, muffin, or pancake for breakfast, I feel hungry again within a couple hours, but if I eat a bowl of steel-cut oats, I don’t feel hungry for 4-5 hours!
5. Avoid the chicken – eat the potato instead
Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that chicken is actually causing people gain weight. Growth hormones are given to the chicken to make it get fatter faster, and when you eat those hormones that are now part of the chicken, the same thing happens to you! Eat the potato instead! It is simply a myth that potatoes will make you fat (unless you load it with butter and sour cream or gravy).
6. Let go of the pressure to do it all!
Did you know that STRESSED spelled backwards = DESSERTS? The more stressed you feel, the worse your food choices tend to be. What can you remove from your figurative plate so that you don’t feel the need to add more to your literal plate? OR, what can you do to fill your figurative plate that will help you cope with the necessary or uncontrollable stress life brings? You can try yoga, meditation, exercise (kickboxing is a great stress-reliever, by the way) and other forms of self-care!