Juice fasting, low-carb, Paleo, the Master Cleanse…
If you’re someone who struggles with their weight, you might always be looking for the fad new diet that will magically make it all easier.
Sorry to break it to you, but staying slim and healthy is usually about making a commitment to lasting lifestyle changes, not the latest trendy diet.
Banning a Food
Everyone has an all-time favourite junk food or an item that you can’t stop eating once you start.
But crossing it off your shopping list forever will only heighten its appeal.
Try not to restrict any food from your diet because they will become more attractive when they are forbidden.
Instead, allow yourself the food in moderation.
Granted, you know your own habits.
If you’re certain you will eat a whole box of cookies if it’s sitting in your cupboard, then you should only buy yourself one cookie.
And when you’re consuming it, eat it mindfully.
Slowly enjoy every aspect of flavour, texture, and aroma so you are truly satisfied.
Skimping on Sleep
If you’ve ever felt tired at your desk and inhaled an entire croissant without even paying any attention to what you were doing, you know that your sleep affects your eating habits.
Sleep loss is the number one culprit that can throw your hunger cues out of whack.
The good news?
This may be the most enjoyable habit to break and the benefits of getting enough sleep can extend into all part of your life.
You’re at a wedding next weekend and know that only eating cottage cheese will kill five pounds, easily.
Or everyone in your office is trying the juice cleanse, and you feel almost left out if you don’t participate.
Resist the urge.
Strict diets are unhealthy, but there’s more to it than that:
Studies show they don’t work, they slow your metabolism, and you will gain all the weight back.
If it’s making you hungry and you feel like crap, it’s definitely not a long-term solution.
Getting drunk and then housing a pizza might be a behaviour associated with a student life, but that doesn’t mean you stopped at age 22.
Alcohol lowers inhibitions and therefore increases mindless eating.
To curb this, don’t drink on an empty stomach, pace yourself, and keep healthier snacks in the fridge for when you get home and your defences are down.
It seems like simple maths, right?
If you skip lunch and eat a normal dinner, you just saved a tonne of calories.
But that’s not how it works.
Your hunger hormone, ghrelin and satiety hormone, leptin work best when nourished every 3-4 hours.
If not, they go out of whack and can cause overeating later.
Try planning your meals ahead of time, especially on days you know you’ll be busy and might be likely to skip.
Eating Fat-Free Foods
It’s a bit of a holdover from the ’90s, but low-fat cheese, butter, and cookies might still be hanging out in your kitchen right now.
Remember that fat is not the bad guy.
We need fat to keep us full and promote satiety.
Removing fat from food will leave us craving more and overeating later.
Picking fat-free versions of certain foods can even cause you to take in fewer nutrients from them, and often these alternative products are full of artificial ingredients and/or pumped with sugar.
Removing fat from foods like dairy prevents absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins like A and D, plus calcium, as well.