The easiest way to stay slim without having to deprive yourself and suffer any pain? Impossible. Yet, I have realized that there are some things that I have learned over the years that I have been able to do and require little to no effort at all.
So let’s go straight to them. Here they are:
- Wait to eat until the meal is ready
It can be very easy at times to start grabbing some chips, cookies, snacks while cooking. Not to mention as the food is getting ready a lot of times it’s so tempting to pop a bite of meat in your mouth already, or savor a fried banana. Whatever it is that you like to cook, I have learned that you could save up to 200-300 calories by not eating while getting ready to eat. This is something that is really easy to do because you know you will be eating soon. By eating your meal all in one setting you will be able to gage better the portion that you will be eating, not spoil your appetite for the real meal, and your body will be able to tell you when you are full without prolonging that meal for a very long time.
2. Eat your food slowly
I am pretty sure that some of the skinniest people I know eat extremely slowly. Ok, some almost too slow. But, there is something to be learned from everyone. This one is something that has many benefits to it. One, you will help your body absorb nutrients better by breaking down your food more. Two, you will be able to slow down during your meal which will help you know when you are full before you have actually eaten too much already. Our brains take a second to send the signal to our stomach that we are full. If we eat too fast, by the time we find out, we may have already overeaten.
In my favorite country, ITALY!, people take the time to sit down and savor the food and every bite. Eating is supposed to be a joyful experience and by slowing down we can get to enjoy a meal without having to eat as much. This can make eating smaller portions not a pain, but something that becomes normal because we realize sooner that our body can’t take as much food in.
3. Chew your food well
This one goes in hand with the step above. And it will help you do the step above. I have found that in order to chew your food well, you want to not only chew it more, but also take smaller bites.
4. Always sit down to eat
I have noticed that whenever I eat standing up, I have a harder time keeping track of what I have eaten, and I tend to just become what I call, a food mess. What I mean by that is that I eat all these random foods, and scarf them down, and I can’t even tell if I am full half the time. So always sit down to eat your meal.
5. Keep only one of your favorite snacks at home at a time
Ever heard of the saying “Out of sight, out of mind.” I have found that there are times when I want a treat. And while we like to go out to go get them, like let’s say we want a Crumbl Cookie , when at home we keep the least amount of treats. And if you do pick your favorite. Pick your absolute favorite, and only keep that one at home. And make it that, a treat and treat only. I tell my kids that a treat means is something you eat occasionally. Not all day long.
6. Be a food snob
We live in world where there is enough bad food. So be picky about what you put in your body. Unfortunately I will not tell you that you are going to cut out fish and veggies. But, when it comes to junk food and desserts, fat foods, and high calorie junk, I want you to become a food snob. Eat only the ones you absolutely love and the ones you like so so, you can politely decline and easily pass on because you don’t even love them to begin with anyways. And if you ever find that you have already put it on your plate at a party, look at times you may need to be polite and eat, other times you can turn your plate inside out in the trash can and toss it. Just remember that you are not going to do any better to the world by actually eating it. You will most likely only shorten your life. And you are more important than that junky snack on your plate. If you are the type of person that thinks you will do the world a monetary favor in that moment by not wasting that food, remember that by putting it in your body and storing it as fat, you are not really investing in anything or making the world a better place.
7. Eat and eat only
You may be sitting down, but at times you may be also doing other things. So if you are eating and driving it doesn’t count. 🙂 Or eating and being on your phone, or eating and working. Remember to take the time to focus on what is in front of you. You will not only feel more satisfied with what you ate and avoid cravings later, you will also eat less like we mentioned earlier.
8. Do not eat after 8 p.m.
For some this may be 7 p.m. or 9 p.m. The point is that often times by the end of the day we have already consumed all the calories that our body needs, so by eating late at night we will be only getting calories that are going to be stored in our bodies rather than being used. We say at our home that our kitchen is closed after we have eaten dinner. There are many benefits to this. Better sleep because we don’t go to bed with a super full stomach. Ever had those nightmares caused by poor digestion? I also find that this is the perfect way for me to get in some intermittent fasting. You can read more about this here. I don’t go extreme on it. For me if I don’t eat after 8 and then eat breakfast between 7 and 8, then I know I have given my body a full 12 hours to rest and regulate all my blood levels and bring things down to normal.
9. Drink more water
You can easily fight away lots of cravings and be satisfied sooner by drinking more water. I keep a jag of water in my car all the time, and an empty cup by my bathroom sink. I still manage to get dehydrated at times. But often times when we are hungry, in reality our bodies are craving more water.
10. Eat before you are too hungry
Unless you are fasting for religious purposes, I have learned that often times if I wait too much before I eat, then I want to reach for sugary treats, or I want to just eat super fast, eat while standing, and break all the food rules I have mentioned above. And being that we all like to eat, this one should be pretty easy to do. So if you can, don’t wait until you are shaking before you eat something. I know it’s not always easy to do. But something to keep in mind if you can.
11. Stop eating when you are full
You body sends you signals for a reason, and those signals are for us to know how to manage our bodies. So when our digestive system tells us we are full, we want to trust that and listen to our bodies. There are some rare cases where our hormones may be out of balance and may not be giving us this type of signal at the right time, if you think that is your case, have your doctor check you out. For the rest of us, remember to stop eating when your body is full. It’s that little bit of almost pain coming in, that sensation that is saying too much in here, please stop. Trust your body in that, and listen to it. It’s what will prevent you from over eating and taking in more than what your body can handle.
12. Portion Control
This is what I call it with our kids. Whenever we eat a snack we never eat it straight out of the bag. We place our desired portion in a bowl or a napkin. It’s easy to lose of what we are eating by eating straight out of the bag.
Last and foremost: Love food!
My biggest thing has been to remember to love food for what it is. Because food is a daily part of our lives. And we need to accept it and make peace with it, while also learn to place it where it needs to be. If you find yourself reaching for food for emotional reasons, read up about, or reach out for help from a trusted and certified doctor, expert, or therapist. Food can be a joyful experience and it’s also a journey. No one is perfect at it, we are all working at it. But it’s also something that it’s ok to love and to enjoy and I am glad it’s a daily part of our lives!