You should know - 8 damaging myths in the dieting world

 

The 11 Hacks At A Glance

 

1. Estimate Portion Sizes
2. Do Meal Prep
3. Get A Smaller Dish
4. Drink A Glass of Water First
5. Then The Greens
6. Eat Slower
7. Split Your Meal Into Two Halves
8. You Don’t Have To Clean Your Plate
9. Don’t Eat Too Late
10. Keep The Munchies Out Of The Room
11. Keep Some Protein And Fat In Each Meal

 

Weight-loss can be made pretty low-key if you log onto a food diary app and keep a rigorous account of whatever passes the mouth. Once you’re seeing all food and drink as a bunch of numbers, it’s just the matter of tracking and subtracting. And that may be all some need to win the diet.

 

But it’s not a fit for everyone. It might feel too totalitarian to some, or pain in the behind for others. Maybe food loses some of its luster and mystery. No matter, we have options. Now comes the alternative…

 

Instead of tracking what you eat, change how you eat. Changing eating behaviours can be a big deal. We’re habitual eaters now. We don’t eat solely because we’re hungry. Feeling a little lazy? Grab the phone, get the takeaway. Is that a half-full bag of Doritos still perched on the desk? Damage already done, finish the job. Dust off your plate, the big daddy pot still on the table, think for a moment, jump in for the next serving. There are some issues.

 

So let me lay out a few ways to reign it in, easily added, easily maintained. These are ways to fight the compulsion to overeat or just munch for no reason. Don’t be afraid to throw in a pile of these in one go. Or if you like baby steps, add one per month and you’ll be fine a couple of years.

 

1. Estimate Portion Sizes

If you have an average sized fist, ball it up, and try to match it up with your carbs, meat and veggies as you heap the plate up. A good combo would be one fist of cooked rice, one of lean meat, two for green vegetables. Fats are a lot denser, so you’re best off comparing them to the size of your thumb, from the base. One portion again. You don’t have to go in with uber-precision to create a working deficit.

 

2. Do Meal Prep

Plan ahead of time. There will be days that will find you coming home tired, angry, and in need of a quick fix. Oh there’s nothing in the fridge? Time for a takeaway! I’m not saying that ruins the week, it’s just very easy to get into the habit, to the point where it repeats and fills up the week.

But what if there was already a meal waiting? Even if you would prefer something fresher, it’s there, you’ve already committed. Quick zap in the microwave and you can tuck in. Making 2-7 servings at a time saves a lot of time and a lot of heart-break.

 

3. Get A Smaller Dish

Note that this only works for people with big or even medium size dishes. The more space and height the food can fill up, the bigger it looks to your stomach brain. Restaurants have this on lock.

 

4. Drink A Glass Of Water First

Fill that stomach up with sweet low-calorie water before shuttling in the food. Fight the pseudo-hunger.

 

5. Then The Greens

A good mountain of fiber will do wonders, cramming the stomach and slowing down digestion to avoid energy swings post meal. These crashes only serve to spark hunger back up way too early.

 

6. Eat Slower

Racing the clock only makes you bloated and liable to finish before the full feeling sets in. Sometimes it’s either quick or bust, a plane or two to catch, but most of the time we can afford a little downtime. Chew slower, maybe ten times per bite. Or seven, five, whatever your style.

 

7. Split Your Meal Into Two Halves

Eat one half, wait 15-30 minutes, tuck in to the rest. You’ll get the principle by now.

 

8. You Don’t Have To Clean Your Plate

Plenty of us have been home trained well enough to lick the plate to a shiny finish. I’m not advocating food wastage, but yes. If you’re feeling 80% full or thereabouts, feel free to stop and throw the plate away. Within minutes you’ll be up to 100% completeness. Always keep in mind that the stomach lags a little behind your hunger drive.

 

9. Don’t Eat Too Late

The later it is, the more tired you are, the easier it is to overeat compulsively. Willpower won’t be too high at this stage, so consider it a danger-zone. High threat, out-of-bounds. A bonus reason: eating too close to sleep time can make the body a little too busy and leave you waking up cranky.

 

10. Keep The Munchies Out Of The Room

  

Or out of the house. The more steps you have to make in order to get your hands on some junk grub, the better. If that bar of chocolate is lying on the table at arms reach, I’ve got bad news for you, it’s going to disappear. Which was probably the idea anyway, but whatever, testing your willpower like that will never be a winning battle.

 

11. Keep Some Protein And Fat In Each Meal

I’ll throw this in last so that I don’t appear to be preaching from the protein pulpit. Anyway, a little of each can really stifle hunger by increasing digestion time. Sugars are the quickest, so try and avoid them when you can. Longer is generally better, unless you have to go running and jumping in the next 30 minutes.

 

Summing Up

 

There’s the cheat-sheet. Mix and match, all in, pick your strategy and commit to executing these eating behaviours with unerring repetition. Week in, week out. Become a methodical mindless chewing machine. Best way is the boring way!

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading. Check out my other articles on dieting here:

The Fit Trail Blog

 

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