Weight loss is 20% exercise and 80% diet, goes a famous weight-loss nugget. So you are watching what you eat but what to do when psychological hunger rears its head?
Pay close attention to your choices to get on the road to a leaner you. These strategies conform to sensible eating standards and illusory enough to feel full longer.
1. Snack on nuts
Replace that big bag of chips with a tiny bowl of walnuts, cashewnuts and almonds. You have everything to gain – notable vitamins, minerals and “good” fats and, of course, the feeling of fullness (because of the fibre) that will curb your munchies. Since you will be chewing them a lot more (they aren’t easily broken), your mind thinks you’re eating a lot more.
2. Big salads (or soup) before mains
Another gourmet diner’s trick to fend off calories is ordering a big salad of fresh vegetables before the main course lands on the table. A 2004 study found that diners who ordered a large salad consumed much fewer calories in the main course of pasta compared to those who didn’t.
Soup has the same effect, reducing calorie intake by as much as 20% according to a 2007 study. Thick vegetable soups like minestrone and sweet potato soup have the greatest satiety effect. Avoid soups with heavy cream and butter. Sip thin!
Tip: Don’t encourage rich toppings like fried croutons and mozzarella cheese. Keep the salad dressing simple.
3. Eggs (or oatmeal) for every breakfast
An apple for breakfast sounds good but won’t tide you over till lunch. Start your morning with at least two eggs or a bowl of oats. An omelette or scramble of whole eggs (with the yolk) with toast or peanut butter will ensure you don’t overeat at the office lunch.
Oats belong to the slow carb family. They are packed with soluble fibre and have that thick and creamy feel. They don’t make you feel satiated immediately; the effect is evident as the hours go by. Participants in a study reported feeling full for upto 4 hours after a bowl of fruit-and-oats soaked overnight.
4. More fibre and protein
Increase your daily protein intake to 30%-35% for the sake of your waistline and muscles. Since protein takes longer to digest (than carbs or fat), a small portion is more filling. The effect lasts way past the meal.
Chicken breast and fish are high protein sources low in carbs (check out my chicken dishes that don’t need a recipe). Vegetarians have fewer options besides cottage cheese and soybean. Snack on paneer with your fruits or ham with breads and biscuits.
Dietary fibre is practically devoid of calories, adds bulk to your plate and slows down digestion so you feel full on fewer calories. Good sources of fibre: leafy green veggies like spinach and broccoli, whole grains and fruit. They will keep your skin glowing too.
5. Cinnamon in salad dressing
Add cinnamon powder to a vinegar-based salad dressing for a dual advantage. This combo regulates blood sugar (which tends to shoot up after a meal) and increases feelings of fullness. Acetic acid — the active ingredient in vinegar – acts with the cinnamon to reduce blood sugar. The cinnamon vinaigrette tastes delicious on spinach and radish, apples and oranges.
With these easy-to-pull-off tricks up your sleeve, you will be eating less, feeling lighter and moving more.