Follow these commandments to rein in cravings. Be strict with three key things which will help you sail through any occasion or party without gaining unwanted weight – Right Attitude, Planning and Determination.
Avoid skipping meals before a party
Eat something substantial (fibre-rich food like oatmeal, grams, bran cereal) an hour before you go to the party. This will fill you up, and when you arrive, you can eat light. Do not fast all day and then binge at the party. Eat your regular meals so that you don’t overindulge.
Multiply meals, shrink portions
Eat small meals. Your body needs only a few calories for energy and metabolism. If you eat at regular intervals, you are less likely to overeat at night. When going to a party, offer to bring a healthy, diet-friendly dish. Your host or hostess will appreciate your contribution and you can enjoy the food. Enjoy a big, healthy salad before the meal.
Have lots of water with meals
Drink lots of water – at least eight to ten glasses of water – instead of sodas or mixed drinks as this will help you feel less hungry and thirsty. Eat high water content foods like cucumbers and tomatoes that will fill you up and help you lose weight. Avoid standing near refreshments because it is too easy to indulge a few times without considering the fat and calories.
Cut down portion sizes
Control your portions. Small plates are a big help with portion control. If salad plates are available, make them your choice instead of a dinner-sized plate. Look at the available choices, hold the plate for a long time and nibble healthy foods like vegetables and fruits.
Divide before you devour
It is not always what you eat, but how you eat. Pleasure is best when shared. This way your taste buds are satisfied, portion size decreased and calorie intake reduced. Eat so that you enjoy each bite.
Focus on socialisation
While partying, focus on friendship and socialising rather than food. Fill the evening with conversation and meaningful interactions. Walking around and visiting with other guests is a benefit for dieters. If friends are pressurising you to indulge, the best way to respond is to be firm and positive. Rather than saying you can’t or shouldn’t have, say you aren’t hungry and that it’s not your favourite. They can’t argue with that.
Schedule your exercise routine
Plan a workout in your daily planner. Make exercise an important part of your daily life and write it down so that you are more likely to maintain the schedule. Find an exercise trainer or a workout partner to help you stay committed.
Separate food from television
Eating, napping, channel surfing. If these consume most of your leisure hours, you will end up gaining weight. Make healthy and light food choices to manage weight. Choose egg whites instead of the whole egg, whole-grain instead of refined products, skim milk, instead of whole milk etc.
Take breaks to deep breathe
Do you binge eat when you are bored, angry or tense? If this happens, decide to do something to take your mind off food. Relax and deep breathe several times. This will help you distinguish between actual hunger and eating due to emotional responses.
Book yourself a relaxing massage/foot massage you enjoy or buy yourself an outfit that looks good on you. The key to staying happy during your weight loss journey is to reward all your efforts. This will help you stick to your fitness regimen and will help you when you go off-track.
Weight gain is caused by an imbalance between your energy intake [ from your diet] and your energy expenditure [ through activities of daily living and exercise]. Therefore, you can lose weight by cutting down on your energy intake or increasing your energy expenditure, or better still a combination of the two.
Basic rules for a weight loss diet
Cut down on calories
For effective weight loss, you need to cut down your intake of energy [calories] one way or the other. Try reducing your intake by 200 t0 300 calories per day. Just by eliminating a banana from your diet, you can reduce your daily intake by 100 calories. Similarly, cutting down on half a serving of fried snacks rather than the full serving would help you cut another 100 calories. You only need to make small sustainable changes to your diet, making sure you get all the essential nutrients in the right proportions.
Restrict fat intake
Fat is the most concentrated sources of calories. By restricting fat in the diet, you can reduce the total calorie intake most effectively.
Proteins are your allies – But choose wisely
Protein promotes a sense of fullness and does not, by itself, cause weight gain; however, many foods rich in protein are also rich in fat, limiting their usefulness if you want to lose weight. Overcome this by choosing lean meat and skimmed milk over red meat and whole milk.
No skipping meals
Try not to skip meals, particularly breakfast. When hunger strikes in between meals, munch on healthy fillers like grams and vegetable salad. Start your meal with low-calorie foods such as green salads and clear soups.
Let your plate be your guide
Fill ¾ of your plate with vegetables, greens and whole grams and the remaining ¼ with whole grains. Have an eye on the portion sizes.
All for One, One for All
Seek help from family, friends and support groups so that you can get the encouragement you need. When frustration strikes- as it invariably will at certain times-remind yourself of your long-term goals and the benefits you stand to reap by losing weight.