Weight-loss does not completely depend how many hours you spend at the gym or how grueling your fitness regime is. The result of a workout is compromised when not paired with the correct lifestyle and a balanced diet. Not only do we need to be watchful of what we eat but must also resist temptations, for it is a vicious thing. If you've been wondering why those everyday runs are not yielding enough results, screen your diet. If your meticulously charted meals are filled-in with a bite of cake here or a few sips of cola there, consider your weight-loss strategy faulty.
If you can't seem to wrap your head around how to resist those unwanted cravings, worry not. BodyPower editor, Helene Phillips shares a few doable tricks that can help you train your brain to choose healthy food and fight temptations.
"Mild dehydration is often masked as feelings of hunger when your body just needs fluids," says Alissa Rumsey, RD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
"Prevent it by staying on top of your fluid intake, starting with a glass of water first thing in the morning," advises Alissa. "If you feel hungry, and you haven't drunk much that day, try drinking a glass of water and waiting 15 to 20 minutes to see if your hunger subsides."
Take Time to Chew Your Food
We tend to eat too fast without even savouring our meal properly or chewing enough. The plate is emptied faster and we still feel that there a need to eat more. Eating slow and chewing for longer signals our body when the stomach is actually full. It always takes longer to go through chopped food rather than the product in it's entirely. Chopped bananas, chopped chicken, chopped apples and chopped carrots, for example, will take you longer to eat, forcing you to slow down.
Delay Lunch for a Workout
Have you ever noticed that you end up feeling hungry an hour or so before your evening workout? To avoid overeating, delay your lunch by a few hours so that you have enough energy to spend while exercising. You probably think that you deserve a big meal to refuel yourself after a session in the gym, while working out actually decreases hunger for a short period. Make sure you are well-fed throughout the day. Keep granola bars or nuts and dry fruits handy to fight those mid-meal hunger pangs.
The Mood Effect
Believe it or not, your state of mind has a great bearing on what and when you eat. Different feelings trigger varying eating patterns in different people. Many resort to comfort eating when under a spell of depression while some may lose appetite altogether. Try to understand your feelings and find another way around food. Call a friend instead, write down your thoughts, listen to music or simply go for a walk.
Value Your Meal
As mentioned above, we eat too fast, have our meals in front of the TV and usually fall prey to distracted eating. Focus on your food to derive the most pleasure out of it. When you eat while being distracted, you tend to lose track of how much you have eaten already and how much more your body needs. Therefore, it leads to mindless eating which can be detrimental to your health. Value your meal, take in the aromas and enjoy every bite.