Although you might enjoy food, you eat because you need to. When you start to eat because it comforts you or makes you feel better about yourself, you risk gaining weight and developing a huge range of related health issues. Although you may not know it, you could be consuming needless calories without even realising.
Whether you are licking the bowl clean after making a cookie dough or picking the scraps from your children’s plate at meal times, you could be consuming calories that your body just doesn’t need. Here are some quick fixes for your unhealthy, and mindless, snacking and overeating.
Switch to smaller dishes
Research has shown that the more we are given to eat, the more we consume. Something as simple as replacing all your large plates with much smaller ones could shave off a few calories from your total consumption every day. Also, never eat straight from containers or a manufacturer’s packaging. Clearing a smaller plate could trick your brain into thinking that you’re full and satisfied.
Deal with stress a different way
Several scientific studies have confirmed that our relationship with food is an emotional one. Some people look upon the taste and feel of food in their mouth as a comfort, and something that can distract them from stressful situations in their life. By finding something else to fall back on when your life becomes tough, you could drastically reduce your calorie intake every day.
For instance, substituting eating for exercise is a great way of burning calories instead of consuming them. A Fitbug Orb Tracker will give you the motivation you need by tracking your activity levels, your calorie consumption and your sleeping patterns – allowing you to have some fun with the setting of goals. Try to replace comfort eating with any activity that relaxes you and eases stress.
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Cut out the midnight feasts
Research has shown that people make the wrong dietary choices when they raid the fridge in the middle of the night. Although hunger pangs can often strike after bedtime, you should do your best to fight them off. Once you have eaten dinner, consider the kitchen as closed.
Brush your teeth so your mouth feels clean and refreshed, and try to go straight to sleep. If hunger strikes, wait ten minutes to see if it passes; if it doesn’t, snack on a rice cake, a piece of fruit or a low-sugar cereal bar.
Don’t skip breakfast
A lot of people – particularly those with busy jobs – simply don’t feel like breakfast, so they skip it. Others believe that not eating in the mornings is a great way to lose some weight; unfortunately, the complete opposite is true. Research has actually shown that people who persistently skip breakfast are more likely to gain weight than those who don’t. Breakfast fuels your body for the day ahead, and gives you the energy that will keep you on the move and burning calories.
If you don’t eat in the mornings, you’re more likely to make bad dietary choices throughout the day. If time is against you in the mornings, stock your fridge and cupboards with food that can be eaten instantly, such as cereal bars, smoothies, yoghurt and fruit.
Savour your food
Taking the time to savour every mouthful of food you eat is very important. Enjoying what you eat will make overeating at irregular times of the day far less likely. Research has shown that the human brain needs time to catch up with the stomach. If you eat a meal in less than ten minutes, you’re not giving your brain the chance to realise that your stomach is full. Try putting your folk down between bites, and sip on water throughout your meal. Wherever possible, avoid eating on the go and with your hands. Eating too fast often means eating too much, so plan your days in a way that makes sufficient time for sensible eating.
If you keep a food journal, you might discover that you’re mindlessly snacking several times a week. With just a few, simple changes to your eating habits, you could reduce your consumption levels and lose a significant amount of weight in the process.