I am often asked what the secret to weight loss is. First of all, there is no secret or magic solution to weight loss. It is all about healthy eating and exercise, period. Everyone is individual, and what specifically works for one person, might not necessarily work for another. Therefore, I recommend working with a Registered Dietitian to help you tailor a plan that will work best for you. However, there are just a few basic tips that I recommend to everyone that is starting on a weight loss plan.
Eat Meals and Snacks on a Schedule
Developing and sticking to a regular daily eating pattern trains your brain for when to expect food and when not to, so you are less likely to nibble between meals. When you have the unplanned snacks, this is when you tend to trip up your diet because they are often the high-calorie or high-sugar foods. Try to plan what you will be eating and what time you will be eating it and come prepared with these foods. This will help to keep you from deviating from your diet and eating high calorie foods available at work or from getting stuck without food for hours to the point that you are ravenous when you are able to sit down for a meal and then you consume too many calories.
Eat Your Meal in the Following Order:
At every meal you want to eat protein first, then veggies, then whole grain carbohydrates. Having protein and veggies first is a winning combo because the protein and the fiber in the vegetables will fill you up. Also you can have a large portion of veggies (as long as they aren’t potato, corn, or green peas, these are considered carbohydrates) so your eyes see a big portion and your brain thinks you are eating more too and therefore triggers you to be full. This way, by the time you get to the carbohydrates, the danger zone for most of us, you will be ready to stop eating.
Keep Each Meal Focused on One Flavor
Loading your plate with too many tastes or aromas may trigger the production of hunger-inducing hormones that can make you overeat without realizing it according to recent research published in theInternational Journal of Obesity. Instead, keep the flavor simple but make it stand out: Go for spices like crushed red pepper, paprika, and chili powder, all of which contain capsaicin, a compound that may increase satiety and help you eat less. If you don’t like hot, try other flavorful spices like cumin, turmeric, or coriander.
Flex Your Willpower Muscle
Just like with everything else, you really do have to practice to get good at healthy eating. Every time you refrain from eating something you hadn’t planned or that you know you shouldn’t, you will strengthen your “resistance muscle,” making it more likely that every time you are tempted to indulge in the future, you will resist that urge.
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