Eating less is probably the least glamorous weight loss advice around. The media would much prefer to focus on a villainous food or missing supplement to explain our weight-gain woe but the reality is usually much simpler. We unintentionally eat too much.
So what can be done?
You could weigh, measure and count every morsel of food entering your body and fine-tune your intake based on the results. This works. It is also immensely tedious and no way to live your life.
Alternatively you could try adopting some simple food policies into your daily eating habits which seamlessly push you into a modest calorie deficit.
Here are some of the best:
Eat Vegetables (Lots Of Them) With Each Meal
Vegetables are packed full of water and fiber which provide plenty of bulk for very few calories. Use them to increase the size of your meals so you can enjoy satisfying volumes of food without the burden of excessive calories.
Eat Protein-Dense Food With Each Meal
Protein-dense food increases the energy-cost of digestion, keeps you fuller for longer (so you end up eating less) and helps preserve valuable muscle. Examples include meat, fish, eggs, plain yoghurt, tofu and legumes.
Eat Slowly Until 80% Full
The Okinawans (famed for their impressive lifespans) live by a mantra Hara Hachi Bu which loosely translated means eat until 80% full. Whether scoffing healthy food or junk food following this advice means fewer total calories and better digestion.
The simplest method of them all. Every now and then take a short break from eating. Restoring the balance between our fed and fasted states through intermittent fasting has gained a lot of traction over recent years and seems to provide a host of hormonal and cellular benefits which extend beyond simple calorie reduction.
Cut Out The Snacks
Let’s be clear. Snacking is a product of big business seeking to maximise profits and certainly not necessary for our survival. Weaning yourself off the need to eat every two hours will reduce the amount of calories entering your system and make your body more efficient at tapping into its own stored energy reserves.
Eat From A Smaller Plate
Last summer I caught up with an old friend whose waist must have halved in size. Impressed I asked what he had done to lose the weight? The answer. Smaller bowl, plate and lunchbox. I loved the simplicity of this. He still ate the foods he enjoyed just in smaller quantities.
Drink From A Smaller Glass
When cutting weight you really should be looking to minimise your intake of calories from soft drinks, fruit juices and alcohol. However, if you do indulge, go for a smaller glass. As with the smaller plates you probably won’t notice the difference but your waistline just might.