It’s not uncommon for people to cut down their portion sizes when they’re trying to shed pounds. However, it must be made clear that eating healthily shouldn’t leave you feeling hungry. The goal is to be eating regularly and smartly, consuming foods that will keep you satiated for longer and banish feelings of hunger, fatigue, and cravings. Here we take a look at some tips on how you can reduce your calorie intake while still stay full and satiated.
50% Veggies On Your Plate
Vegetables are full of fiber and water and let’s not forget all those much-needed nutrients – and all with very few calories. Simply by ensuring that you serve yourself a minimum of 50% vegetables on your plate, you reduce your calorie intake significantly.
Replace the starch and even the protein in your plate with non-starchy vegetables. You consume the same volume of food but cut down on calories. This applies to your mixed dishes as well, like casseroles. Substituting more of the other ingredients for vegetables goes a long way in reducing your daily calorie intake.
Make a Protein Pact
Make a pact to include some protein with every meal and every snack that you consume. It has proven by science repeatedly that a high intake of protein results in increased feelings of fullness when compared to carbs and fat. In 2012, a study investigated the effects of high-protein meals on satiety. It was found that participants who consumed protein-rich meals (20-30%) felt more satiated both in the short and the long term. Lean protein sources include skinless poultry, eggs, fish and seafood. Plant-based protein includes tofu, beans, nut butter, and bean dips.
Choose regular unsweetened water. Juices and sodas are calorie-dense and these beverages can lead you to consume way more calories than you intend to. They also do not help you feel full, so in effect, you are having empty calories. Furthermore, it’s been found that older adults who had a glass of water before their meals ate less.
In another study, participants who had 2 glasses of water before breakfast consumed 13% less food during breakfast than those who didn’t have any water. However, these effects don’t seem t have a difference in younger adults.
Salad or Soup for Starters
Consuming a salad or soup before you enjoy your main course should help you reduce the amount of food you actually consume during your main meal. A recent study shows that people take their lunch from a laboratory for five weeks. Those provided with soup before eating their main meal consumed 20% less in calories for the whole meal. The same results were found when people have a salad before a meal of pasta. Of course, these benefits are only of use if you are eating low-calorie salads or soups!
Downsizing the Cutlery and Crockery
It is unusual, but how much you eat is directly proportional to the size of your forks and the size of your plate. It was found in a study that participants served themselves up to 70% of the plate when they served food, irrespective of the size of the plate. With this in mind, it means the difference between using an 8-inch plate and using a 10-inch plate is a whopping 52% more food. Also, it was found that people eat less with a small fork, and serve less with a smaller spoon.
Today’s lifestyle is full of distraction, be it your smartphone, the television or maybe rushing in a hectic schedule, but whatever the source of distraction or the rush, it all boils down to eating more at a meal. When you aren’t paying attention to what you are eating, scoffing your food in a hurry, you tend to eat more than you usually would. So be mindful as you ate. Paying full attention to every bite may sound like a lot of work. But you will enjoy your food better and eat less. So enjoy a smaller waistline. Being mindful while eating and avoiding multitasking at mealtimes can slash your calorie count dramatically.
So if you are planning your next great diet, don’t forget to incorporate these easy tips into your diet. This way you can really max out on the benefits of each tip and starting burning through your excess fat. It’s only a couple of steps and it will be worth your while! Bon appetit!