If you look at an average menu from the turn of the century, you know that Americans ate a lot. Yet the recent wave of obesity sweeping the country is fairly new. Blame it on junk food. But could it also be that people simply stopped doing a few simple things that actually make a difference in the amount of food (and calories) we consume? Try a few of these for a month. We think you’ll find that with consistent practice, they can help you lose weight.
Chew 32. There is a significant lag between the act of eating and feeling full. Chewing each mouthful 32 times actually works because it allows your brain time to register you have consumed something. It’s also worth noting that eating more slowly tends to result in eating less. People who rush through meals almost always eat more than people who deliberately take their time.
2 glasses of water before every meal. Drinking two 8 ounce glasses of water before you put anything else in your mouth will make you less hungry and less consequently less likely to overeat. Dieticians have long recommended water as a way to shed pounds, but little research existed to explain why. A recent study shows that people who combined ‘water-loading’ with a low-calorie diet lost nearly a third more weight that people on the same low calorie diet who didn’t drink water.
Eat half of what’s on the plate. If Grandma were French, this the first trick she’d teach you. Most Americans are raised to ‘clean their plate’. Portions in America being what they are, (huge) means that eating everything in front of you is a guarantee for weight gain. It’s also a physical truth that when you consume smaller amounts over an extended period of time, you will wind up wanting less food. It’s not only that your stomach ‘shrinks’ and smaller amounts of food become more satisfying, it’s that you are replacing the habit of overeating with a habit that sensibly restricts your calorie intake.
Do things the hard way. One of the biggest contributions to weight gain is that we simply don’t move around or use our bodies enough. Little adjustments can make a big difference. Take the stairs. Park in the space farthest away from your destination. Unload groceries one bag at a time. Carry the baby instead of using a stroller. The list goes on and on. If there’s a harder way to do something that involves physical activity…opt for it. You’ll see positive results not only in your waist line, but on your strength and energy levels.