What dieter hasn’t wanted to bail on her weight-loss plan at some point? Even if you’re seeing signs of success with your diet, sometimes it just seems like so much work. If you’ve reached that moment, here are strategies to stay motivated and on track!
You’ve been dieting for a few months and have dropped some weight. You’re feeling pretty good about your progress and then—bam!—something gets in the way that threatens to land you back where you started.
You’re not alone: people assume they’ve mastered the art of healthy eating and then one day realise the number on the scale is sneaking up on them. When you take a closer look, you see that the problems tend to fit into one of six categories. Here’s what to watch out for and how to get back on track in no time.
1. Start With Vegetables
Eating vegetables first means your stomach is going to be stretched.
The stretching of your stomach sends a signal to your brain that you’re full and suppresses your appetite as a result of releasing the hormone cholecystokinin from the digestive system. In addition, the fibre from the vegetables slows down gastric emptying, keeping you full longer.
2. Get Your Fruit Fix
With all of the alarmist attitude about fructose, fruits get a bad rap. However, the fructose in fruits is more efficient at refilling liver glycogen than starchy carbohydrates.
This is noteworthy as the liver serves as an anabolic switch, which initiates hunger when glycogen is low as well as start the break down of muscle tissue.
3. Go Protein
Protein is a potent stimulater of insulin, and acute increases in insulin are associated with appetite suppression. This is part of the reason why eating lean proteins will keep you satisfied.
Now, combine that with the aforementioned vegetables and a little fruit (like an apple) for a potent combo. As mentioned before, the stretching of your stomach sends a signal that tells the brain you are full, which is exactly what happens when you combine protein with vegetables.
4. Wait it Out
Have your parents ever told you to slow down while you are eating? They have a point.
It usually takes about 20-30 minutes after consumption of a meal before the brain gets the signal that the stomach is full. Therefore, eating slowly means you’ll eat less.
5. Drink Like A Fish
The general theme so far has been making your brain think—or to let it know—that it’s full. This way, hormones that cause hunger can be suppressed.
Along the same lines, drinking plenty of water while eating has the same effect of causing satiety by stretching your stomach. So it would be wise to have a glass of water nearby while you eat.
6. Save Carbs for Last
At your next dinner, try saving your starchy carbohydrates—buttery mashed potatoes, anyone?—for last. Proteins, vegetables, fruit and water should come first to prevent overeating.
You could also avoid eating starchy carbohydrates most of the day, only consuming lean proteins and vegetable throughout the day. Then, have starchy carbohydrates during the main course. You’ll be inclined to eat less since you’ll feel full from eating proteins and veggies first during dinner.
In addition, by not eating carbohydrates earlier in the day, you end up eating less overall calories by default.