Enjoy your food while you lose weight! The most effective eating plans are the ones you can stick with for life.
A recent study by Weight Watchers found that more than 90% of successful dieters planned for daily or weekly indulgences. By contrast, almost 50% of those following a deprivation diet wound up gaining 14 pounds or more.
Moderation pays off. Try these suggestions for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight without feeling deprived.
Eating Strategies to Avoid Feeling Deprived
1. Eat high volume foods. Feel full, and give your body the nutrients it needs while you’re consuming fewer calories. Choose foods that are high in fiber and water content like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
2. Focus on presentation. Turn each meal into a luxurious experience. Set a pretty table complete with flowers and candles.
3. Reduce portion sizes. You’re likely to crave cheese cake even more if you try to ban it completely. Help yourself to a sliver of your favorite desserts. Practice eyeballing common serving sizes like an ounce of cheese or three ounces of chicken breast.
4. Grab breakfast. Start each day with a breakfast that provides energy and helps you resist visiting the office vending machines before lunch. Dish up eggs, oatmeal, or a bean burrito.
5. Stay full. Schedule meals and snacks throughout the day so your stomach always feels slightly full. This will keep your blood sugar stable and make you less likely to go off track.
6. Grow herbs. Fresh herbs are a delightful way to add flavor to your meals without piling on sugar or fat. Even the tiniest kitchen has room for a pot of basil or mint.
7. Select healthy ingredients. You can train yourself to prefer foods that are good for you. Start with the dishes you like and experiment until you find more winners. You may find yourself looking forward to grilled fish.
8. Master new recipes. Preparing your own meals gives you more control. Stock up on essentials and browse online for ideas for workday lunches and special dinners. Cook meals in batches so you can heat up a plate of spinach lasagna when you return home late from work.
1. Exercise regularly. Physical activity boosts your metabolism and builds up muscles so you burn more calories even at rest. Start out gradually and work up to an hour of exercise at least 3 days a week.
2. Prioritize sleep. Good quality sleep and rest help you to digest your food and avoid injuries. Go to bed and wake up at around the same time each day. Turn off the TV and computer a couple of hours before bedtime to help your brain feel drowsy.
3. Seek support. Encouragement and praise from family and friends can be more satisfying than a powdered donut. Team up with an exercise buddy. Plan vegetarian family dinners together.
4. Relax your body and mind. Maybe you overeat due to emotional triggers rather than in response to physical hunger. Find methods for managing stress like meditation or listening to instrumental music. Keep a journal that helps you to change your patterns, like bringing a cup of herbal tea to staff meetings instead of a bagel with cream cheese.
5. Reward yourself. Pat yourself on the back for bringing your weight under control. Buy a new gym bag or plan an outing to a local science museum.
Deprivation usually backfires, so give yourself some wiggle room while you manage your weight. Making room in your diet for chocolate and wine will keep you happy and slim.