Losing weight can be a struggle, and occasionally it seems as though it’s a battle that can’t be won. With the right attitude and some key lifestyle changes, however, there is no amount of weight that can’t be lost.
Get Enough Sleep
Many overlook the simple need to sleep eight hours a day. With irregular or insufficient sleep, a body cannot be expected to run optimally. This means reduced metabolism rates which lead to increased fat storage — the exact opposite of the goal when trying to lose weight. A lack of sleep can also lead to feelings of hunger even when the body is not actually in need of any sustenance. Overeating paired with slower metabolic rates is definitely not recommended in the quest to shed pounds.
It takes the brain roughly 20 minutes to send the signal that the stomach is full. When a meal is consumed too quickly, the brain does not get the required time to send that signal, which inevitably leads to overeating. By slowing down the eating process, chances of overeating are significantly reduced. Take the time to savor every bite of the meal, chewing each piece thoroughly. It’s far too easy to get stuffed when food is inhaled rather than thoughtfully eaten.
Watch the Portions
Overeating is often psychological — if a portion size is enormous, it’s tempting to finish it all even if the stomach has already gotten all it needs just to feel a sense of completion. This is easily combatted, however. When eating at home, prepare meals on smaller plates. When dining out, bag half the meal to go as soon as it arrives, split it with a friend or simply order an appetizer as the main course. Cutting down portion sizes is critical in reducing caloric intake and losing weight.
It’s surprising how often an apparent need for food is actually just a body’s way of expressing thirst. Stay hydrated with water constantly and watch as the incessant cravings for food dramatically reduce. Even drinking a glass of water immediately before a meal can be an effective way to reduce the amount of food consumed. Water is a calorie-free way to keep your mouth busy and your stomach full, and it also provides the nutrients needed to increase exercise durations as well. Something that provides energy for burning calories while also lowering the need to consume them is a vital component of any healthy lifestyle.
Fresh cut fruits and vegetables by Peggy Greb, U.S. Department of Agriculture