Are you still controlling what & how much you eat?
It is often the case that you eat only a seemingly small snack between meals, but your caloric balance skyrockets. How is that possible? When you eat between meals, you lose track of what you have eaten. You do not count this snacking, and so you are unaware of the quantities that you are taking in.
And awareness of what we are eating is the key to changing our eating habits.
Losing weight is hard work, and it is even harder if we do not know why we are gaining weight. Studies have shown that when people estimate the quantities of food they eat, they normally underestimate the amount by 20%.
How is that possible?
You eat a few nuts in the morning, then you have a candy bar, some chips, a juice, someone offers you some chocolate at work, and, in the evening, you meet some friends for a beer, sometimes more than one ... or a coffee with whipped cream. And you eat a store-bought sandwich because there was no time for lunch. It can all add up, right?
Here is what you need to pay attention to:
1. You gain weight sitting in the office. Do you have candy, chocolates, or cookies on your desk? Keep in mind that if there is food in sight we eat up to 75% more! Hide snacks in a drawer or, better yet, do not buy them at all!
2. Do you know how much sugar you eat? Pay attention to what is in your food. As a matter of fact, the majority of packaged foods contain sugar. It can be found in sauces, snacks – even in salty ones – yogurts (in huge amounts), bread (caramel or malt barley), beverages, juices. Choose products with a minimum amount of sugar (preferably not more than 10g per 100g). The worst version of added sugar is glucose-fructose syrup. Studies have shown that high consumption of large quantities of this syrupcauses multiple diseases (diabetes, atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, high cholesterol levels, abdominal obesity). If you it on the ingredients list– don’t buy this product!
3. Do you like salads? Do you eat them a lot? You have to be careful because a healthy, low-calorie salad can become a calorie bomb when you add a packaged dressing or mayonnaise. You can eat as many vegetables as you like, but you have to pay attention to what you add to them. One tablespoon of mayonnaise is the equivalent of a piece of chocolate cake!
4. The majority of people who skip breakfast nibble on unhealthy snacks instead. People who do not eat breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be overweight.
5. Are you the sort of person who always eats everything on your plate? You do not like to throw away food? Use smaller plates. People who use smaller plates eat smaller portions. Your perception of your portion size is important when it comes to feeling full. We overestimate the portion size on smaller plates; portions appear much larger than they actually are.
6. Do you think that a drink or two will not hurt? Alcohol is nearly as fattening as fat itself. It is incorrectly believed that the calories in alcohol come from its sugar content. They come from pure alcohol (with the exception of beer and sweet spirits, which contain sugar).
7. Do you feel hungry? Do you have to go shopping because your fridge is empty? It turns out that if you do food shopping when you feel hungry – on an empty stomach – then you simply buy more, especially things that you do not ordinarily eat because they are unhealthy. But when you are hungry, you find it hard to resist things like cream cake, bread rolls, and adding bacon to your scrambled eggs. We choose foods that contain large amounts of fat and sugar that give us an energy boost and are filling. And so, before you go shopping, remember to go to a restaurant to eat something light and healthy.
8. Do you like to watch television while you eat? It turns out that we eat 40% more when we do this! Therefore, if you want to eat dinner / lunch - do it while sitting quietly at the table and don’t turn on television. In this way you will notice the moment when you're already full. If you really need to nibble while watching TV, forget about junk food. Try to eat healthy snacks such as carrot / cucumber / celery / turnips, cut into batons, dipped in garlic yogurt, grilled zucchini seasoned with spices (really delicious!) or even a fruit salad or vegetable and fruit cocktail.
9. You don’t have time to eat during the day? Constant meetings, taking care of your children, and you snack on anything just to satisfy your hunger. You get home at 8 p.m., and what do you do? You are so hungry that you could eat a horse. You make a quick dinner, eat one portion, then another, and only then do you feel better. But now you have overeaten, and you feel guilty ... Does that happen to you from time to time? Plan ahead, and make sure you always have healthy snacks with you during the day.
10. Did you manage to complete a project successfully or pass an exam? You reward yourself with pizza and beer or you party with your friends. Make sure that such excuses do not happen too often.
11. If you like to eat with other people, make sure you do not eat too much! There is such a phenomenon as "social facilitation.” You eat 30% more when you are in the company of two other people and up to 96% more when you are in a group of more than six people (you are stimulated, you are spending a lot of time with friends, there is more food, you are focused on spending time together and not on what you are eating).
Do any of the above situations sound familiar? Analyze everyday food situations and your dietary choices. Just out of curiosity, write down everything that you eat over a period of two days, but make sure this includes everything, even candy or sweetened beverages. Calculate the number of calories this might contain and think about what you might be able to change. If you see that you have a problem, get in touch with a dietitian. A professional can certainly help you take control over your eating habits, will make you aware of those "dangerous” and stressful moments that can lead you to eat in order to relieve that stress. Start taking care of yourself right away. Be aware of what you eat and make the right choices. If you do not do this, who will?
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