1) Drink a glass of water 5-10 minutes before a meal. Drinking water can take the edge off of both physical and psychological hunger. It does this while also helping you to be more aware of the cues your body gives your brain that you have eaten to physiological satisfaction. Another plus is that drinking water can prevent bloating because believe it or not, our bodies are more likely to retain water to protect our internal organs when it is not getting enough. Staying hydrated in the summer is hugely important, especially when the thermometer climbs—so be aware that you may need even more water than at other times of the year.
2) Take your meals outside. We tend to eat more slowly outside as we look around and take in our surroundings. Eating in bright light also lessens the desire to overeat. These ideas connect well with eating mindfully. Mindful eating is placing your focus onto the taste and texture of your food (and not the TV). Chewing your food thoroughly also follows as a mindful habit, which then helps prevent overeating along with the tendency for gassiness and bloating.
3) Eat dessert in the afternoon. According to Dr. Oz, following a big meal with a sugary-dessert produces a surge of insulin which in turn socks away all the calories you ate at dinner as fat. A good choice to eat all by itself is a small amount of dark chocolate as an afternoon treat.
4) If reaching your goal fast has always evaded you—take the long approach. Cutting out one unhealthy food on a daily basis can save you enough fat and calories that will allow the weight to come off as time passes. Most people want a slimmer body immediately but for most of us weight gain happened gradually over time. With this approach, healthier lifestyle changes can more easily take hold and a thinner body truly becomes sustainable.
5) Have healthy snacks in easy reach. Sometimes we just want to munch on something and the potato chips are the easiest thing to grab—having pieces of fruit cut up in the fridge or already peeled carrot sticks next to a tub of hummus can really satisfy the urge to crunch and chew without falling prey to whatever has the most salt, fat or sugar in the house. Make a list of the healthy snacks you already really like—then keep them around.
Thank you to Lori Laliberte, Health Coach, Mark Jacobsen, Weight Loss Hypnotist, Debra LeClair, Psychologist & Life Coach and Dr. Oz, Medical Doctor and Television Show Host.