Eat less and exercise more.
The over-simplfied, over-used and grossly ineffective advice for weight loss.

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My issue with this? One cannot just simply ‘eat less’. This will usually lead to us feeling deprived.

If someone told me:

               “Nicole, you just have to cut all of your meals and snacks in half, then you will get  to your weight loss goal”

….I would be constantly thinking about that half of my meals that disappeared…which would then lead to over-eating at some point.

We have to be strategic and work with our body. The key to cutting down on calories, is to work with your body, not against it.

The following strategies centre around keeping your body full, satisfied and present. Focus on implementing at least a few of these. Then, before you know it, you will be cutting down on a number of calories each day…and you won’t even notice! This is because you won’t be feeling deprived.

 

1. Pre-game With FibreIMG_8645.pngFeel like there are some meals that you constantly over-eat at? For a lot of my clients, that’s dinner.There could be a number of reasons for this – we didn’t eat enough throughout the day, there’s a large gap between lunch and dinner, dinner is the time you get to relax and eat, etc.

Whatever the reason is, try this simply strategy – consume a mixture  of psyllium husk, chia seeds and oat bran about half an hour before your dinner. My favourite way to have this mixture is in vegetable juice. The soluble fibre-punch from this mixture reduces your appetite, preventing you from eating as much at this meal.

2. PFA – Protein and Fats AlwaysIMG_8646.pngFoods rich in protein and healthy fats are more satisfying so you eat less junk that isn’t.

Protein takes the longest to digest in comparison to carbohydrates and fat. Metabolism rises approximately 20% to digest protein. Thus, it gets you full faster and keeps you full longer.

Used to having oatmeal at breakfast? Mix in some greek yogurt and walnuts.
Snacking on fruit? Balance that out with some nut butter.

3. High Volume Foods are FriendsIMG_8647.pngVolume foods are foods that physically have a lot of volume (or size) to them, but they are typically low in calories. When foods contain a lot of water or air, the volume is increased without adding calories.My favourite high-volume foods:

  • Apples
  • Popcorn
  • Cauliflower
  • Leafy greens
  • Greek yogurt
  • Oats

 

 

4. Choose to Chew 

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It’s not a surprise that food closer to it’s natural is better for you.
Japanese study found that those who regularly ate foods that required a lot of chewing had slimmer waist lines, compared to those who ate processed, easy to chew foods.

Simple swaps like a steak over a burger, whole fruits and vegetables rather than smoothies and trail mix over crisps can add up to hundreds of calories burned and saved over time.

Simple swaps like a steak over a burger, whole fruits and vegetables rather than smoothies and trail mix over crisps can add up to hundreds of calories burned and saved over time.

5. Stream Your Drinks

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Half the people in the North America get at least 200 calories a day from sugary soft drinks. Not surprising when you consider that a 20-ounce pop contains 240 calories in the form of 15 teaspoons of sugar. It’s flat-out awful for you and packs on pounds and raises your risk for diabetes the more you drink.

If you like bubbly flavoured beverages, buy a water carbonator (such as the Sodastream), bubble up some plain water, squeeze in a lemon and lime OR even had a small amount of the flavour packs that come with the Sodastream. This will save yourself hundreds of calories a day.

6. Tidy Up 

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Do you find you do a lot of stress-related eating? Clean your kitchen.
A cluttered kitchen just makes stressed women more stressed, according to researchers at the Cornell Food & Brand Lab, and causes them to eat more than they would in a clean kitchen. Being in a chaotic environment seems to lead people to think, ‘Everything else is out of control, so why shouldn’t I be?’.
When researchers split a group of about 100 women between a clean kitchen and a dirty kitchen—with newspapers thrown all over the table, dirty dishes in the sink, and a phone incessantly ringing—the women who waited in the dirty kitchen ate 65 more calories in 10 minutes than the women in the clean kitchen.

7. Be Skeptical of ‘Light’ Marketing Gimmicks

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A Cornell study found that people eat up to 50% more when a product is labeled “low-fat.” This is known as the ‘halo effect,’ ” says Heinberg, because it makes the product appear healthful, prompts us to feel virtuous and—you guessed it—we end up eating more. Plus, the lower-fat version often contains more sugar than the regular one in order to overcome a lack of mouth-feel and flavor.
Here’s the rule: Eat the same amount of the “skinny” version as you normally would the “fat” version and you’ll cut calories.

8. Put the Brakes On

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You a fast eater? My partner sure is. He could literally inhale a full dinner meal in less than 5 minutes. I still confused to this day why he eats like the food is going to get taken away from him in a matter of minutes.

A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that quick eaters not only consumed more than 10 percent more calories, but also felt less satisfied when the meal was done – and hence more likely to keep snacking afterward.

Slow Down. Try a few techniques to encourage you to do this at meals, including eating with your non-dominant hand and putting your fork down between bites.

9. Go Meatless Occasionally

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Meatless alternatives such as legumes and tofu pack both a protein and fibre punch – both satiating nutrients! However, they have a lot less calories compared to meat.
Not ready for a meatless Monday? Try adding some mushrooms to your beef dish, instead of half of the beef! Meaty mushrooms like shiitakes, portobellos and white buttons make good substitutes for beef in pasta dishes, soups and even sandwiches and burgers. In a study published in Appetite, Johns Hopkins researchers found that men and women who chose mushroom-based lunches over beef-based afternoon meals ate 444 fewer calories while still feeling just as satisfied.

10. Replace Carbs with Veggies 

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It doesn’t take too much thinking to figure out pasta, bread, and other carbs contain a lot more calories than vegetables. Not even calories though – veggies are so micro-nutrient rich and also have lots of filling fibre. One clever way to use this to your advantage is by replacing some of your favorite starches with produce.

Some practical ways to do this?

  • When boiling pasta, go for a smaller amount and toss some vegetables in with the noodles during the last few minutes of cooking.
  •        Replace the noodle altogether by using zucchini noodles instead
  • When making a potato dish, replace half of the potato with cauliflower

 

11. Cook More At Home 

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Cooking your own meals can easily save you several hundred calories per meal and increase the nutritional quality of your diet exponentially.

Restaurants not only serve larger portions than what you’d typically eat at home, but also fill their meals with hidden fats and sugars that ramp up the calorie content. The average dinner entree at a restaurant is about 1000 calories!

When you cook at home, you know what you are cooking and how you are cooking it, so can probably figure out how many calories you are eating.  You can even look for recipes for your favorite meal that you would have gotten at a restaurant.

12. The Zzzz’s Impact Your Eats

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Regularly shortchanging your sleep packs on pounds as your stress hormones like cortisol rise and your body goes into fat-storage mode – and that’s just half of the double-whammy too little sleep delivers to your waistline. You’re also likely to eat more – like 500 calories a day more. When a team of researchers took a group of men and women who regularly slept a healthy 7 to 9 hours a night and had them cut their shut eye time by a third for eight nights, the sleep-deprived volunteers responded by increasing their calorie consumption by an average of 549 calories. Keep your calories and cortisol in check by getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep a night.


There you have it.  Implementing these tips will have you cutting calories without even trying – no more wondering where half of your dinner went! 

 

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