Skipping meals rarely helps with weight loss. Most people simply make up for a skipped meal by eating more at other meals. Breakfast is the most frequently skipped meal – usually because people say they’re too busy in the morning, or they’re just not hungry. A simple remedy is to have something quick and light but satisfying – such as some oat porridge natural yoghurt with some fruit & mixed seeds, or a hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit. Meal plans are a huge help in keeping you on track because once you’ve got a plan in mind, you’re a bit more committed.
Eating quickly, eating when distracted or stressed, or skipping meals and getting overly hungry – all can lead to overeating. But the amount you eat is really determined by the amount of food that’s on your plate, so that’s where portion control really begins. When you eat at home, serve yourself in the kitchen, it’s easier to resist second helpings that way.
When you eat quickly, it’s also easy to eat too much. Sitting down at a table and taking smaller bites and chewing your food will help.
Read nutrition labels carefully for sugar content (4g = 1 teaspoon) and visit your local independent health food store to buy unsweetened versions of cereals, yoghurts etc and sweeten them yourself with fresh fruit and spices like cinnamon.
Deep-fried foods, fatty meats, snack foods, sauces, dressings, and many desserts can dump huge amounts of fat and calories into your system. Use lean cuts of meat, eat more fish and poultry, and experiment with recipes so you can find other ways to prepare foods other than frying.
When you don’t take in enough water, it can make you tired and irritable, and it can affect your exercise performance, too. Keeping a water bottle nearby will encourage you to drink. Fruit and veg. do require some preparation. This is where your freezer can be your best friend – loose pre cut pack fruits are easy to add to protein smoothies, yoghurt or porridge, and frozen pre cut vegetables can be tossed into soups, stews, curries and stir-fries.
Stress eating usually has nothing to do with hunger and, most of the time; it doesn’t really make you feel better. Start by keeping a diary and make note of what triggers your stress eating – that way you can anticipate when it’s likely to happen. Be a mindful eater rather than a mindless eater. Snacking, done right, can help you control your overall calorie intake for the day by helping to keep your hunger in check. Snack on raw pre cut fresh fruit and vegetables. Also visit your local independent health food store and see what is on offer as snacks and read your food labels or ask for advice before buying. Learn your way around the nutrition facts panel, and know that all the nutrition information that’s given is for a single serving – not the entire package.