Listen to your body to lose weight

February 28, 2012

Food, Health, Weight issues

Drink a glass of water 25 to 30 minutes before eating. It takes the brain about 20 minutes to get the message that you are satisfied

by Jacque Miller — 

We all seem to be in such a hurry these days that many of us may find ourselves at the drive-thru window before we even realize it. Or perhaps we push away from the dinner table stuffed to the gills, wondering why we are miserable the rest of the evening and have trouble sleeping at night.

Eating has an emotional connection for most of us. If we would only slow down and listen to how we feel and what our bodies are trying to tell us, we would be much healthier. Becoming aware of the signals our bodies send will help us avoid overeating and consuming more calories than we actually need or want.

Here are some basic tips to help you start listening to your body.

  • Drink a glass of water 25 to 30 minutes before eating. It takes the brain about 20 minutes to get the message that you are satisfied. By drinking the water first, you get a jumpstart on feeling full (and not overeating) even before your meal.
  • Eat out of smaller bowls and plates. If you put a scoop of ice cream in a custard cup, it looks like you’re getting a bigger serving than if you put the same-size scoop in a cereal bowl.
  • Start your meal with a salad. Eating a salad first will make you feel full faster, so that you will be satiated by a smaller-portioned meal afterward.
  • Chew each bite 30 times. This helps break down the food, as the saliva in your mouth produces enzymes to help with digestion, which can aid in weight loss.
  • If you have trouble eating more slowly, try putting down your fork between bites until you have thoroughly chewed and swallowed each bite.
  • Eat healthy foods more often, but in smaller amounts throughout the day. This will keep your metabolism running and insulin levels balanced. You will have more energy and be able to lose weight, without feeling hungry or deprived.
  • When you can, choose real fruit over juice. Fruit has a slower uptake into the bloodstream than juice, so that your energy reserves will last longer.
  • If you are hungry, eat protein. Protein will stave off hunger better than sweets.
  • Increase your fiber intake by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Fiber aids in digestion and helps balance sugar and energy levels.

 

Jacque Miller, B.S., is a nutritionist, human behavior specialist and certified lifestyle educator who has developed HealthStyle® Choices Wellness Programs to teach families real solutions for healthy living. Jacque shares her experience with cancer in her book, The Lopsided Gal. 602-748-4554, www.cdoaz.com or www.healthstylechoices.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  4, Aug/Sept 2009.

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