Dieting – What Works & What Doesn’t

By on October 15, 2013
diet girl

On any given day, a sizeable portion of world’s urban population is “on a diet” and “counting calories” in one way or another. While there are plenty of fad diets that may help you lose weight, they also leave you feeling hungry and food-deprived.

There are certain factors that you should consider while you are on any diet. EHC brings you what works and what doesn’t in the world of dieting. Read on.

Drink Plenty of Water

People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. So you can end up eating extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need. If you don’t like plain water, try adding a splash of juice or a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Go For Healthy Foods

You can start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. You will be less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet; not to mention the numerous health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables. You can work vegetables into meals instead of just serving them as sides on a plate: try stir-fries, frittatas, risotto, pilafs, soups, or using them as layers on your sandwiches.

Ask Yourself if You Are Really Hungry

Whenever you feel like eating, look for physical signs of hunger such as an empty feeling in your stomach, growling, rumbling or gurgling stomach sounds, lightheadedness, irritability, headache or lack of concentration. Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that you need fuel.  Remember that when a craving doesn’t come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it. Also, when you’re done eating, you should feel better – not stuffed, bloated, or tired. Keep in mind that your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably.

Avoid Nighttime Snacks

Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax – and mindless eating is something you definitely want to avoid, especially late at night. Sitting down with a bag of chips or cookies in front of the television is an example of eating mindlessly, where you keep snacking without being hungry. Please avoid this.

Enjoy Your Favorite Foods

Putting your favorite foods off-limits could actually cause you to gain weight, because it can lead to “rebound overeating.” Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, try to eat them in minimal quantities. The key is to enjoy your favorite foods, but in moderation.

Spice It Up

Try adding some spices or chilies to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied. Food that is loaded with flavor stimulates your taste buds, so you won’t eat as much.

Be Physically Active

Exercise helps you feel better, helps you sleep better and gives you more energy. Physical activity is good for you whether you are trying to lose weight or not. And, remember, the key to losing weight is burning more energy than you eat. Exercise helps you do that.

healthy eating

Healthy Snacks

Light and frequent healthy snacks are a good way to avoid unhealthy food cravings. Having a handful of walnuts or eating a banana in the middle of the day for an energy boost is much better for you than eating a candy bar. Also, spacing your meals and snacks three to four hours apart helps keep your body fueled with energy. You want to try and pick foods that have whole grains, and look for snacks with protein to help you maintain your energy level.

Easy Breakfast

Breakfast may be considered the most important meal of the day, but it does not have to be the most time-consuming. You can save a lot of time and energy by keeping this meal simple by trying high-fiber cereal, whole-grain toast, oatmeal, and fresh fruit. All of these are foods you can throw together in just a few minutes.

Less TV

It might not seem like watching TV can make you overweight, but the more you watch TV, the less active you are. It means you are exercising less and being exposed to more food commercials.  Remember – more activity means you are burning more calories.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is the single biggest way you can improve your health. Don’t let fear of weight gain keep you smoking. If you are worried about gaining weight while you are trying to quit smoking, you should think about becoming more physically active, improving your eating habits, and developing a treatment plan with your doctor before you try to stop smoking.

Not to Starve Yourself

Starving yourself only hurts you. While you will lose weight, you’ll be losing up to 50% of that weight from muscle tissue, not from fat. And that sets you up for pure disaster. Muscles are your body’s engines and losing muscle means you are losing the ability to burn calories. Remember, burning off more calories than you consume is the key to losing weight. By losing muscle, you are just making it harder for you in the long run.

If you plan to slim down the healthy way, you may try these simple ways. After all, it is not what you eat, but how you eat.

Image courtesy: babymed.com , healthylivingadviser.com

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