Losing weight and staying at a healthy weight long term does not have to be as hard as it seems. Rather than following some temporary “diet” or getting caught up in the latest fad diet trend, think about committing to making small and simple changes that you can sustain over a lifetime. Let’s take a look at some simple, easy realistic changes that can make a big difference in your weight-loss efforts.
Use Smaller Plates and BowlsThis is especially helpful if you are one of those “clean your plate” types of eaters. Think about it—you often fill your plate and then eat everything you put on it. If you start off with a smaller plate, such as a nine-inch plate instead of a 12-inch plate, and eat everything on it, you will take in fewer calories.
Take Smaller Bites and Chew Slowly
It takes your stomach about twenty minutes to send signals to your brain that you’re full. If you rush through your meal, you’ll likely eat more than you need to really feel full. In order to help you eat at a slower pace, allowing your body to fully recognize the feeling of fullness and satiety, take smaller bites and chew your food more thoroughly. In fact, recent research found that people consumed about 12 percent fewer calories when they chewed a bite of food 40 times versus just 15 times.
Put Your Fork or Spoon Down After Each Bite
This may seem like a silly suggestion, but it really works. After each bite, set your fork down and take a sip of water (or other calorie-free beverage). This will help slow your eating pace and will allow you to really savor each bite, thus increasing satiety and helping you avoid going back for seconds.
Eat Your Veggies FirstHalf of your plate should be filled with produce. Vegetables (and fruits) are chock-full of fiber and water—both of which help you feel full faster and for a longer period of time. Plus, they’re low in calories. If you fill up on produce first, you’ll have less room in your tummy for those higher-calorie items on your plate.
Cucumbers Freshen Your Breath
Placing a cucumber slice on the roof of your mouth may help to rid your mouth of odor-causing bacteria. According to the principles of Ayurveda, eating cucumbers may also help to release excess heat in your stomach, which is said to be a primary cause of bad breath.