It isn’t as though I don’t have the resolve. I have plenty of it. But I find time the biggest thief – stealing all my intentions. And making me eat stuff I normally don’t eat. Shucks! A week ago, I actually bought a pack of potato chips. (Fried, not baked). Because I had a burger two days earlier, and it came garnished with five potato chips. While I congratulated myself for sharing three with Vidur, the taste triggered the deep urge to devour a whole pack. Slurrrp!
No one can eat just one, or two, right?
So, after resisting for two days, two whole frickin’ days, I boldly walked into my usual shop and bought a pack. I stared at it for half a day. On and off, of course, not all the time. I do have a life, you know.
Anyway, said life started revolving around that pack of chips. So I decided to eat it and get it over with. So in the evening, we went for a walk (had to go get something you know) and got back. And I sat down to watch something on TV. And remembered the chips. And went and put half the pack in a bowl. And savored it, one by one.
Sury was slightly shocked. He hasn’t seen me eat chips for years now – simply because I don’t eat it. He opened his mouth to say something, then shut it. Smart move. I continued to eat it. Finished it. And ran my finger over the bottom of the bowl to lick off the salt. Eeesh. As I washed my hands, guilt washed over me. What was I to do? Still had half a pack left. I called upon my strong willpower to resist it. And did.
Which brings me to the point (took my time, didn’t I?) of this post.
How can I manage my weight without working too hard and without feeling guilty? I did the research and am happy to report that I have much to share with you, all ye close to my heart. Tell me, would you say “NO” to tips that do not require too much effort, are easy to adopt into your routine and show you results in the form of a new and improved you? I didn’t think so!
So let me get on with the tips. Sit back. Get your bag of chips. Get a tall glass of water. Put your feet up and read on. Following even a few should prove satisfactory.
Plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages. So, what this means is before you grab that bag of chips, first drink water. For all you know, you’re mistaking thirst for hunger. If you eat, instead of drink water, you’re adding extra calories you can do without. If water is not your cup of tea, try herbal tea.
- Mind your nighttime snacking
Apparently most people tend to snack after dinner simply because it is that time of day when they sit down and relax. If you’re watching TV, it is all too easy to snack. Not saying you shouldn’t. Just saying choose a low-cal snack. Or just shut down your kitchen after a particular hour.
- It is okay to eat your favorite foods
This is a good one. So instead of depriving yourself of what you like, cut down on quantity. Buy less.
- Eat six meals instead of three
I mean mini-meals. Divide your daily meals into smaller ones. This will help manage hunger and appetite, and the Holy Grail, weight.
- Include protein at every meal
Protein is a great filler-upper. Better than empty carbs and fats. Also builds muscle and burns fat. So go for healthy proteins like lean meat, yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans.
- Spice it up (I wrote a post about this at gingerchai.com today)
Spices and chili not only add flavor but also satisfy your tummy, making you eat less and help you cut down on salt and sugar, reducing your risk for many health problems.
- Be prepared
Stock up on healthy, convenient foods, ready-to-eat snacks and quick meals. Be ready to rustle up a meal in a few minutes. Keep these handy: frozen vegetables, whole-grain pasta, reduced-fat cheese, canned tomatoes, canned beans, pre-cooked stuff, salad greens, etc. I usually go for fruits. No prep. Good to eat.
- Become a child
When you eat out, order children’s portions. This helps cut calories. Or use smaller plates. Makes your plate look full, satisfies you psychologically and your tummy will be happy, too.
- Never skip breakfast
It took me a long time to adopt this habit, I am ashamed to say. When you miss breakfast, you feel hungry and end up snacking until lunch time. This leads to bingeing on food. So make sure you get a healthy, fiber-rich breakfast. I choose the lazy easy route – with muesli, fruit, raisins and milk.
- Get plenty of fiber, fruits and vegetables in your diet
Fiber facilitates digestion, avoids constipation, and lowers cholesterol and aids weight loss. Good sources of fiber are oatmeal, beans, whole grain foods, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Mommy was right, you know.
- Get enough sleep
Those who don’t get their sleep quota are not only grumpy, but also snack more. Let’s get technical here. Here’s what happens: You sleep less. Your body freaks out and produces too much “ghrelin” the appetite-trigger hormone and too little leptin, which signals that you’re full. So you eat, eat, eat.
- Imbibe less alcohol
In fact, limit it to weekends. An occasional drink is okay, but alcohol is empty calories. (don’t throw that at me – I am only the messenger!)
Now, some quickie tips:
- If you want a treat, walk to the farthest place to get it and walk back
- Don’t go on crash diets. They only lead to crash binge-eating, not to mention self-pity
- You do need to eat healthy and exercise. A 30-minute brisk walk at least five days a week is a MUST!
- Chewing sugarless gum is believed to control snacking, besides keeping your mouth smelling fresh.
- If you need a treat, it doesn’t have to be food. It can be a movie, a book, a CD…
- Tell your friends. Get them to support you. Who knows, you might add a buddy or two to motivate you to reach your healthy lifestyle goal. Even if they don’t join you, they’ll cheer you on!
Urrrgh. I have a confession to make. I bought another bag of chips today. Because I finished the old half yesterday. I won’t buy them again. Really!
Will you try at least some of the above tips? Do you already follow some?
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