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Extreme weight loss TV shows can be detrimental to your health. If reality TV was all we had to go by, we might describe weight loss as a “traumatic experience involving being dragged from your loved ones, having to recall your most painful and humiliating experiences, running triathlons with the equivalent of an average sized man strapped to your back, and having to step on a scale every week in your underwear while half of America watches in fascination.” It’s enough to make anyone want to shun the idea of ever getting in shape.
However, while these shows may be helpful to some, watchers need to keep in mind that drama and weight loss are not mutually exclusive. In fact, weight loss can be accomplished by taking very small steps, quite privately. Here some small changes you can make to help you lose weight without the boot camp.
According to Ashvini Mashru, RD, “Most Americans eat two to three times the actual serving size of foods.” He advises going by nutrition labels rather than the average restaurant portion when determining how much goes on your plate and into your body.
Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, BD, CDN says, “Sometimes what you think is a hunger pang is caused by thirst.” Try drinking water next time those cravings come. It’s also a great way to keep your stomach full.
Preparing your lunch may cost a little time, but it will save money, and it will give you the peace of mind of knowing what is going into your body. Mashru points out, “You’re also less likely to skip lunch on busy days when you can just walk to the fridge instead go having to go out and buy food.” Think you can afford to skip a lunch or two? Depriving yourself of regular meals may lead to overcompensation later.
While many of us eat on the run these days, or while focused on the television or computer, its not the best strategy for weight loss. Eating while distracted can lead to increased food intake, and according to a review of studies done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it can also make you eat more later.
It really is the most important meal of the day!. Zeitling says that, “Eating a breakfast full of lean protein and fiber will keep you satisfied, which helps you make better food choices throughout the day. Try to avoid carbohydrate rich traditional breakfast options like cold cereal, bagels and muffins. Zeitlin recommends that you, “Try scrambled eggs on whole grain toast, plain Greek yogurt with a cup of your favorite fruit, or an omelet loaded with veggies.”
Put the Fork Down
When hunger strikes, patience does not always strike with it. However, eating slowly can be a great way to cut back on calories. Keep in mind that it can take your body up to twenty minutes to register the feelings of fullness, more than enough time for you to inhale an additional hundred or so calories. Plus, a 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America says that eating slowly makes food taste better. It’s at least worth finding out for yourself.
Now that doesn’t seem so painful, does it? Let us know what small changes you’re making to help you cut back. We love to hear from you.