Maintaining or losing weight can be a frustrating task. You grudgingly limit your junk food intake and coax yourself to eat up your veggies. As the days go by, you even begin to feel proud of yourself and are sure you’re going to drop at least 3 pounds by the end of the week. The weighing scale, however, tells you otherwise – making you want to give up and stuff your face with comforting carbs and candies.
It’s not just junk food that stops us from losing weight. Sometimes, despite our best efforts to eat healthy, it can be equally tough to shed that excess flab. The reason? Our portion sizes are probably far too huge.
Extreme calorie-cutting methods like purging are usually not advised since they come with a wide range of health risks. However, there are a few tricks to help you eat less without resulting in any disturbing side effects.
Easy Ways To Cut Calories Without Feeling Hungry
Very few of us are aware of how easy it is to trick our brains by creating a small shift in perspective. Your brain also responds more to external visual cues like empty plates than to feeling full. Understanding these influences can be very helpful in learning how to teach your brain to act in your favor.
1. Wear Fitting Clothes
Wearing clothes that cling slightly to your form will eventually begin to feel tighter if you eat more than you need. This will be a clear indication of the fact that you’re full and officially done with your meal. Of course, we’re not suggesting you wear two sizes smaller, but a belt around your waist or a shirt with buttons down the front will do the trick.
2. Drink Some Coffee
This one’s bound to make coffee lovers rejoice. Caffeine is known to make you feel full. It also helps boost your metabolism – a process that burns calories by itself. Plus, a cup of coffee will also give you enough energy to motivate you to go to the gym than pig it out over multiple helpings of food. Therefore, the next time, try grabbing a cup of coffee or even tea before a meal is about to come up.
3. Get Rid Of Distractions
For most of us, if you sit down for a meal while you’re occupied with something else, you’re most likely to overeat. The end of a movie or a television show also tells your brain that your meal is over and will prompt you to get yourself more food even though you’ve had just enough. The same thing goes for books or working on your laptop.
So the next time, finish your meals either before, or after you settle down to watch, read or work on something.
4. Don’t Eat Straight From The Bag
Tearing open a bag of chips and proceeding to eat doesn’t let you see how much you’re actually eating. Your stomach can’t keep a count either. It’s only natural, therefore, for you to lose track and scarf down way more food than you’d otherwise eat if you served yourself properly. So the next time, use a plate or a bowl, or even a napkin if you’re on the go.
5. Use Smaller Serving Ware
If your plate is full, your brain thinks you’re eating a whole meal and if it’s partially full, you’ll think you’re eating less. For both these cases, the brain fails to gauge the actual quantity of food on your plate. So next time, use smaller plates and then fill them up. That way your brain will think you’re eating a full meal and will stop you from piling your plate with food unnecessarily.
6. Start With Water
A good old glass of water always seems to be the solution, doesn’t it? It turns out, the ultimate health elixir can also make you eat less. Drinking a tall glass of water about half an hour before your meal will take up room in your stomach naturally. This way, it will make you less likely to help yourself to huge portions. Additionally, your untimely hunger pangs could even be an underlying symptom of dehydration. So the next time you feel like reaching out for that onion bagel, drink some water and you may be surprised to find your “hunger” being curbed altogether.
7. Think About A Second Helping
Half the times, just one serving is more than enough for your tummy. But as you begin your meal, you still tend to think it won’t be enough and will probably proceed to pile on a few extra helpings anyway. One trick to counter this habit is to tell yourself that you’ll just come back for a second helping. That way, you will give yourself a chance to see if you actually even need that second helping, and even if you do, you can always get yourself some more food.
At restaurants which usually serve more than the actual portion size that you need, you may have food left over. Just ask the waiter to doggy-bag it for you so can make a meal out of it later.
8. Load Up On Fiber
Food rich in dietary fiber makes you full very quickly. This is because fiber gives you stomach plenty of work to do and therefore, takes the longest to digest. This way, it keeps you feeling satisfied for longer. Fiber also grows in size when it reaches your stomach and will automatically make less room for more food. So go ahead and eat a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.
9. Eat Three Meals A Day
Have you often noticed yourself waking up at or approximately around a particular time, even without an alarm? This holds true for people who wake up at a particular time pretty much every day of the week.
Your body has its own “clock” that signals it to do something it is used to doing at a particular time. In the same way, your stomach can also be trained to wait till a certain time to ask for food. So instead of haphazardly timed meals that “spoils” your tummy, schedule your meals so that you eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a fixed time. If you need snacks in between, set a time for those too. If you eat when you’re supposed to, you won’t really find the need to stuff yourself with extra calories.
10. Chew Your Food
Chewing and savoring each bite before swallowing may take up a few extra minutes but is well worth it. Your brain needs about 20 minutes to register that your stomach is full and that it’s time to stop eating. Eating fast will make you eat beyond the necessary portion-size before your brain can tell you to pause the guzzling. So the next time, be mindful of chewing and eating slowly and you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Of course, this doesn’t mean you can load up on unhealthy food; eating nutritious food is still a big must!