Eating less is the new health mantra. Since most people have realised that overeating is the cause of health risk like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and some cancer. If you are also thinking of strategies to eat less then follow these 12 strategies to reap health benefits.
Some strategies may work very well for lots of people and some may not. So change strategies and find what works best for you. Without experimenting you will not realise which one suits you best.
1. Measure your portion size
What your eating habit is important, especially when you want to eat less and reduce weight, but how much you eat is crucial for healthy eating. When you see oversize food portions, ranging from the diameter of pizza to mounds of rice or pasta, knowing the correct amount of portion size and serving is a big challenge.
one way to calculate the correct portion size without any measuring tools is by simply using your hands. Hand can be a helpful guide for portion sizes
A digital scale can be very useful to help you understand portion sizes, especially when you are on a weight loss plan.
Use smaller plates. When you’re measuring your portion size, you may find that there is less food on your plate. This may take you time to adjust and make you feel deprived at the start.
Studies have found that reducing the plate size by half led to a 30 percent reduction in the amount of food consumed. Also, reducing the diameter by 30 percent reduced consumption by over 30 percent.
3. Drinking water
Drinking water before eating can reduce food intake, and if you drink two glasses of water immediately before your meal. You can reduce food consumption by 22 percent than those who didn’t drink any water prior to eating.
Also, adequate hydration during and after you eat food can promote feelings of satiety. Since drinking water will help move food through your gut and signals your body to release hormones during the digestion and absorption process.
One theory suggests that drinking cold water may give a metabolic boost from heat production, since the body needs energy to warm body temperature.
In theory, it seems correct but in practice, the effects are so minor that they wouldn’t impact overall calorie consumption.
4. Reduce Your Stress
You may overeat when stressed and can’t lose track of your appetite. The reason is you may be attempting to distract from stress with food indulgence. But some people who stop eating are so focused on stress that they don’t receive hunger cues.
When you’re feeling stressed, your body sends out stress hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol can promote your crave for sugary, salty and fatty treats. Because your brain wants to fight the threat of stress with fuel from those foods.
Researchers say one or more stressful events in a day before eating just one high-calorie meal can cause 20-pound weight gain over the course of a year.
5. Eat a lot of vegetables
Eating a lot of vegetables can help you lose a ton of weight because they’re packed with fibre and low in calories. However, if you’re dipping your veggies in dressing them in butter you may not get the weight-loss results you’re seeking.
Vegetables are good sources of fibre and water, both of which take up significant space in your stomach and help you feel full. The more carrots, cucumber, yams and broccoli you eat, the less likely you’ll desire to eat other calorie dense foods.
6. Eat Slowly
Eating slowly helps you eat less in several ways. First of all, it promotes fullness, a signal which is often ignored when you eat hurriedly gulping down the meal. There is a high probability of overeating when you try to finish your meal quickly. The reason is our stomach does not get required time to send the signals to the brain when it is full.
7. Get proper sleep
Lack of sleep can disturb hormones, making you feel hungry even when your body doesn’t need food.
Several studies show that if you shorten or disturb your sleep, you increase your appetite for high-calorie dense foods.
There are two hormones in your body that plays an important role for hunger
- Ghrelin: This hormone stimulates appetite, causing you to eat.
- Leptin: This hormone suppresses appetite—so you’ll stop eating.
In a properly functioning body, the two hormones are released to regulate the normal feelings of hunger. However several researches have shown that sleep deprivation can change ghrelin and leptin balance.
If you have chronic sleep-deprivation and consume more high-calorie foods, it’s likely those calories will be deposited around your waist that is very dangerous for raising your risk of type II diabetes.
8. Avoid fast food and sugary treats
When you eat fast food your body gets a negligible amount of vitamins, fibers and minerals etc. and that is the reason you feel hungry. After eating the junk-food diet, the study participants caused insulin resistance down the road.
To help suppress the hunger response after eating junk food, eat about three ounces of poultry, fish, lamb or beef right before you eat the junk food and plenty of vegetables.
Eating fast food regularly can lead to high amounts of sodium and sugar in the body. You will then crave for more unhealthy fast food since it’s a habit which cannot be easily changed.
9. Eat adequate protein
If you eat required amounts of protein in the breakfast it will control your hunger and in turn you will not overeat throughout the day.
Since protein takes a longer time to digest and is an important part of diet.
It needs a lot of water to digest so you drink additional water too.
10. When you feel hungry, drink water
Most of the time your feelings of thirst can be mistaken for hunger. If you’re hungry, drink a glass or two of water before eating since you may actually be thirsty.
Studies have found that drinking water before eating food can result in consuming less calories, which can lead to weight loss. The reason is probably that water provides a sense of fullness, so you feel full and satiated. Plus, it is a good choice to choose water as your favourite drink can save 100s of calories.
11. Make a diet plan and strictly follow
The wrong food habit causes health problems, which consequently increases the probability of medicine. A healthy diet plan is very important when you want to get good health without needing medicine.
A right diet plan has an adequate amount of all the macro and micro nutrients you need based on your activity level. So you will not overeat or undereat. However, following it religiously is more important because most people make the plan but don’t follow it to reap the benefits.
12. Avoid people who have bad eating habits
It is a well known fact that if you have a bad company you will learn their habits be it drugs, alcohol or bad food habits.
So if you think all your friends are not following the healthy diet and spending time with them is seriously causing you health problems. Then it’s probably the right time to avoid spending then when they are eating.
I know its its not easy to eat less but health benefit is too great to ignore it. However getting proper vitamins, minerals and protein is also very important with adequate physical activity.