Downsize your plate
When you try to manage your weight by using a portion-control method, nothing looks sadder than a tiny piece of chicken with broccoli on a huge plate. “How is this supposed to fill me up,” you’re thinking to yourself. Although your belly will be more than happy with the amount of food it will receive, your mind is about scream: “Hell NO!” Upgrading or rather downgrading to a smaller plate will make your brain satisfied too. A lot of people eat “with their eyes” first and having a full plate, regardless the size, mentally satisfies their hunger.
Stay hydrated! I am probably the worst follower of this rule but, by far, it is one of the most important to stick to. Drink 64 ounces of water (approx. 2 liters) a day to keep proper hydration of your body. Did you know what sometimes your brain mistakes thirst for hunger? Make sure that you keep sipping on H2O throughout the day so you never feel thirsty. Water helps flush out excessive sodium and is a life saver after a weekend of unhealthy food choices.
If you don’t like plain water, spice it up with some lemon, ginger or cucumber. Keep a large water bottle on your desk at work whenever you need a quick refreshment.
Since it’s already November, I think it is the perfect time to start a new routine. I will be posting a quick healthy tip on my blog every day until December so feel free to leave me comments with topic suggestions!
If you are to follow only 1 weight-management advice, this one should be your choice. But I am not talking stricktly candy – I mean sweetened yogurts, sodas, pastry and any foods with the magic “sugar” on the list of ingredients. Next time when you’re at the grocery store shopping for pasta sauce, look what it is made of.
90% of sauces that you can find on the shelves have sugar as an ingredient. The sad thing is that in order to beat the system and make your spaghetti without unnecessary sugar, you will have to fork out about 7 or 8 dollars. It is a little bit too much to enjoy dinner semi-guilt-free, me thinks. If you want to indulge in pasta once in a while (insert a whole grain reminder here!!!), try making your own sauce. It will be equally delish and at least you have control over what is in it.
Should you drink when you are trying to shed pounds?
That’s a million dollar question and we all know the correct answer; however, we still want to find somebody who will tell us what we would like to hear. Sorry hun, no, you shouldn’t drink when you try to lose weight. Alcohol is a non-nutrient which means that it provides calories/energy while possessing little to 0 nutritional value. So let’s paraphrase the original question: if I am trying to lose weight by reducing my calorie intake, should I consume extra calories that provide nothing nutritious to my body? Yea, that’s what I thought. What a bummer, eh? So now that we have that burning issue out of the way, let’s be honest here – in the end, you will either become a non-drinker or you will try to make better choices when it comes to drinking (so called lesser of 2 evils). If you do choose to have an alcoholic drink here and there, stay away from:
• Beer (especially stouts and porters)
• Gin and tonic (unless it’s a diet tonic)
• Wine coolers
• Any liquor mixed with sugary soda or juice
So what are your options? Dry wine, light beer (Beck’s light has only 64 calories), vodka + diet coke/coke zero, sugar-free margarita will do too. And please remember that women are advised not to consume more than 1 alcoholic drink a day (a single shot).
I know what some would say – sugar free stuff is full of aspartame and other unhealthy junk but come on, you’re going to indulge in an alcoholic drink, should we really get into an argument about health here 😉
When I began changing my eating habits, I cut out alcohol completely. I noticed that I run faster when I don’t drink, I sleep better and have more energy in general when my poor liver is not working overtime to break down the toxins. I think it is beneficial to stay away from empty calories from food/beverages, especially if weight loss is your goal.
Another tricky aspect of alcohol – late night munchies. You know, when you get that buzz and pizza or Jimmy Johns sound sooooo good. Unless you plan on dancing all night and sweating your bottom off, you should probably pass on after-drinking snacks. Your body will not get to digesting the food until it is totally done with alcohol.
Whether you choose to drink or not, it is a personal choice. Some prefer a glass of wine over a slice of cheesecake. Moderation is the key, so indulge responsibly 😉