Losing weight is not easy and millions of people all over the world struggle to do it. We all know how to do it – dieting or exercise (both ideally). What many of us may not be aware of though, is that there are ways of making the process just a bit easier as we see below.
To be clear, we aren’t claiming that these tips can make the difference between success and failure. They will, however, definitely help.
Studies show that if we eat our food slowly, we ingest fewer calories, i.e. we eat less. At the same time, there is an increase in our production of hormones linked to weight loss. According to these studies, people who eat at a normal speed are 30 percent less likely to be obese than people who eat quickly, while people who eat slowly are 45 percent less likely..
The message here is that by wolfing your food down, you increase the likelihood of being overweight by a considerable degree.
Chew Your Food Well
People who are overweight are more likely to chew their food less than people of normal weight do, even when they are eating the same food and in the same amounts. In a study done for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people were asked to chew each mouthful 50 times. This resulted in them eating less. Furthermore, they felt less hungry and thus were more easily satiated.
It’s also a known fact that people who chew their food well, eat more slowly. This reduces calorie intake as well.
Don’t Have it in the House
If it isn’t there, you can’t eat it. This is probably the most simple strategy of all for watching what you eat. Sure, when you get those hunger pangs you can nip out to the nearest store, but the very fact that you have to do so may well be enough to stop you actually doing it.
Keep Hunger at Bay
Carrying on from the previous tip, when you get hungry eat something rich in fiber – this is a natural and powerful appetite suppressant.
Good examples of fibrous food that also happen to be very low in calories are carrots and celery. Keep some in the fridge and whenever you get the urge to eat, nibble a stalk or two of celery or a carrot. It may not be as tasty and enticing as a piece of cake but it will fill you up quickly with virtually no calorie intake.
Sleep More, Stress Less
The amount of sleep we get directly affects our body’s desire for food. When we don’t get enough, it over-produces two hunger causing hormones known as leptin and ghrelin. This makes a person more likely to overeat, while at the same time being less satiated by it. Accordingly, people who are sleep deprived tend to weigh more, and have more trouble losing that weight, than those who get adequate rest, even when they follow the same diet.
People who habitually sleep for less than six hours a night also tend to have higher levels of glucose and insulin. This applies even if they are otherwise in good shape. The reason is that consistent lack of sleep prevents the fat cells in our body from utilizing insulin properly. As a result, the body produces increasing amounts of it, which leads to the build-up of fat. Eventually this can cause diseases like such as diabetes.
Lack of sleep also increases our stress levels. One side effect of this is that we are then less able to control our appetites. A body deprived of sleep will produce more of a hormone called cortisol (known as the stress hormone). This activates the reward center in the brain thus creating a sudden desire to eat. When combined, excess levels of ghrelin and cortisol makes people need to eat greater amounts of food than they normally would in order to feel satiated.
Yet another effect of sleep deprivation is that it can increase cravings for foods high in sugar and salt. People affected in this way are more likely to eat unhealthy foods, such as candy, chocolate, salted snacks, etc. One of the main benefits of sleep is that it refreshes the mind and improves our ability to make decisions. Lack of sleep has the opposite effect by reducing mental clarity and judgment. As a result, it is far more likely that someone will not just eat unhealthy food, but also too much of it.
Drink Plenty of Water
Having a sufficient quantity of water in the body is an extremely important factor with regard to keeping fat levels under control. Not only does it aid in burning fat that’s in the bloodstream, it also helps to burn the body’s stores of fat. This is because without an adequate amount of water, the body’s metabolism slows down thus reducing its ability to burn fat.
Furthermore, water is an excellent appetite suppressant. Drinking a glass before a meal helps fill you up before you start eating. Drinking it ice cold is even better, as doing so gives the metabolism a further boost. This is because the body has to work in order to warm the water to the optimum temperature, thereby burning calories.