Many of us were brought up to finish the food on our plates. However, in these days when larger portions are the norm and most people can afford to overeat easily, that can be a very dangerous attitude. It is a terrible shame to throw food away, but it is a bigger shame to damage your health by eating more than you need. In this case 2 wrongs very definitely don't make a right!
With a hectic lifestyle and snack foods available everywhere we turn (including the vending machines at the gym!), It can also be easy to consume food and drinks high in calories without even realizing we're doing it. Try the following tips to avoid unknowingly consuming too many calories. Sticking to these simple guidelines will help you to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat & drink slowly. It takes time for our brains to register we are full, so try to eat & drink more slowly. If you are with other people try pacing yourself to the slow eater or drinker.
- Focus on your food. Eating distractedly, such as in front of the TV or whist surfing the internet, means we eat more without noting it. Try to make a point of sitting at the table.
- Never eat straight from a packet. Many snack foods are packed for sharing, so if you are eating by yourself avoid over eating by putting snacks in a bowl and putting the rest away to eat later.
- Plate the food in the kitchen. Avoid bringing bowls and plates of food to the table to graze on and do not go back for seconds.
- "Ruin" what you do not want. If you are eating out and are finished eating even though there is still food on your plate, add so much salt, pepper, vinegar or sauce to the leftovers that picking on them is not an attractive idea.
- Do not be tempted to skip breakfast. Even if you are trying to lose weight. If you have a good breakfast you are less likely to want an unhealthy snack before lunch.
- Avoid fried foods. Try grilling instead.
- Anticipate high calorie events. If you will be at a party or full dinner late in the day, control your overall calorie intake by eating lighter earlier in the day. However, have a snack before heading to the event so that you are not ravenous by the time the canapés or the menu is passed around.
- Pack your lunch. Plan ahead and try to take a packed lunch to work or when you go out for the day.
- Make dinners up in batches. Short of time for preparing healthy meals after work? Plan ahead and prepare your dinner meals for the week (s) ahead, then freeze them.
- Eat lots of vegetables. Aim to fill at least a third (preferably half) of your plate with vegetables at every meal.
- Eat fruit. Eat fruit as a snack or swap a large main course for a smaller meal with fruit for dessert.
- Plan your snacks. Snack on small portions of nuts, fruit and fat-free yoghurts.
- Eat from a smaller plate. Portions will look larger.
- Drink from a smaller glass. Order beer by the bottle rather than the pint. Avoid drinking from wine glasses that hold half a bottle or more!
- Avoid whole milk lattes or cappuccinos. Try them made with skimmed or semi-skimmed milk or enjoy your coffee "solo", "Americano" or with just a splash of milk.