Working out is incredibly beneficial for many, many reasons. Still, the truth remains that weight loss is won or loss in the kitchen. The types and quantities of food you eat could be what stands between you and your goal. Read on for tips on how to eat less and make your diet a success!
1. Slow Down and Enjoy It!
It’s easy to rush through your meals, especially when it’s something delicious, and even when you’re not short on time. But if you’re trying to lose weight, you could be setting yourself up for disaster.
Eating in a hurry frequently leads to overeating, because your brain has been shown to take up to 20 minutes to start sending you the signals that you’re full. Keep your pace down by taking smaller bites and enjoying a pleasant conversation.
2. Choose Smaller Plates, Bowls, and Cups
Don’t trust your eyes! Researchers at Cornell found that study participants who were served cereal in larger bowls at 16% more than those served the same amount of cereal, but in a smaller bowl.
Worse yet, the larger bowl group thought they had actually eaten less than those from the small bowl group. With three meals a day, you see how something seemingly trivial as plate size can actually kill your chances at lasting weight loss.
3. Color Contrast Your Meals
Oddly enough, even the color of your plates, cups, and bowls has been proven to matter when it comes to weight loss. Researchers (again at Cornell) found those whose meals were a similar color to their plate ate 22% more than those served on plates with contrasting colors.
For example, if you’re eating pasta with alfredo sauce, then you’d want to avoid serving yourself on a white plate or bowl. Do so, and you’d be significantly more likely to overeat, likely without even realizing it.
4. Track Everything You Eat
One of the best moves you can make when you’re trying to lose weight is tracking everything you eat using a food journal. There are many free options available online like My Fitness Pal which have apps that sync everything automatically.
But if I’m making the right choices, why do I need to bother entering them in some app?? Because keeping a food journal forces you to not only look at what you’re eating or have already eaten today, but to also think about the choices you’ll be making later in the day.
Sure, something you may be tempted to have with lunch isn’t that bad, but if it leaves you with you a plain, boring salad as your only option for dinner that fits under your calorie goal, is it really worth it?
Several studies have proven that those who keep food journals not only lose more weight, but they keep it off for good! Doesn’t seem like such an unnecessary hassle now, does it?
5. Get Plenty of Protein
Protein isn’t just a necessary part of your diet, it’s also an essential part of any successful weight loss plan. Getting plenty of protein while you’re losing weight is the best solution to avoiding those diet-killing hunger pangs that lead to binges.
Try to make lean, low-calorie proteins like chicken, turkey, or tuna mainstays of your meals. String cheese can be a good option for an on the go, protein-packed snack — just make sure that it won’t put you in danger of going over your daily calorie goal.
Need some more help on how to use protein to lose weight? We did an entire article on just that subject! Check it out by clicking here.
6. Take Your Meal To Go
Eating out can be tough when you’re on a diet. Not all places make nutritional information easily available, and the portion sizes are typically enough to feed a small but very hungry family. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun!
Many restaurants (even those which don’t provide nutritional info) will have a healthy option section on the menu, but if not look for a meal that has plenty of protein (nothing fried) and some veggies for a side. Avoid calorie-packed dressings and sauces like the plague.
From there, commit in your mind before your meal even comes to take a half portion home with you. You should still have more than enough to fill up on, and you’ll save money by taking home another meal for later. Not to mention the added bonus of keeping your diet on track!
7. Put Your Food Into Portions
Rather than going elbow-deep in a bag of snacks and telling yourself you’ll stick to only an amount that fits in your diet plan, why not try portioning out your food beforehand? This way, you’ll know the exact amount you’re eating and can properly track the calories.
It might seem like a time-consuming waste at first, but you’ll quickly see how much less likely you are to overeat when portioning your food. To speed things up, set time aside once a week to portion out your most commonly eaten foods into tupperware.
8. Avoid Your Trigger Foods
No matter how strong your willpower, we all have our trigger foods. Those tasty treats that you just have to eat whenever they’re around. I’m sure you can think of at least a couple you’d like to have right now just off the top of your head.
Avoid these trigger foods by keeping them out of sight as much as possible. Quit buying snacks you know that you can’t resist. Take a different route home if there’s a Starbucks you can’t resist entering. You get the idea. Stay away from your trigger foods and you’ll avoid diet-killing binges.
9. Eat Your Breakfast!
It’s incredibly common to skip breakfast these days, even more so when you’re trying to lose weight. Avoid this! While it’s tempting to stay in bed and skip your morning meal thinking you can “bank” those calories for later, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
Even if you don’t find yourself starving by the time you finally get to your first meal of the day, studies have shown repeatedly that this causes people to binge eat. And they don’t just eat the same amount of calories, only all at once, people will typically wind up eating even more.
Free yourself from the worry and ensure that you’re waking up early enough to make yourself breakfast, or at least prepare a filling, healthy snack that you take on-the-go for your morning commute.
10. Stick to a Plan
Many of the diet plans you’ll find out there will leave you constantly starving, with very little actual weight loss happening. These plans typically ask you to take in a ridiculously tiny amount of calories each day, making you miserable, slowing your metabolism, and causing binges.
But there is a new system which hasn’t gotten much attention at all that many are having success with. The 4 Week Diet teaches you not only what to eat, but when — speeding your weight loss and turning your body into an absolute fat burning machine.
Those who have tried the plan reported losing 24-32 pounds and 4-8 inches off their waist in just 4 short weeks, with everything backed up by science. Imagine how great it will feel to see those kind of results, right? Go ahead and watch this video now that explains how to follow it.
This should give you more than enough ways to reduce the amount of food you’re eating and virtually guarantee yourself weight loss success! But we’re all prone to slip up occasionally, so be sure to pin this in case you need a refresher in the future!