Being in control of what you eat is hard. So, how do we stick to a regimen that requires us to eat fewer calories when there are so many delicious things to eat? What is the answer to how to have self-control with food? There is no “silver bullet” answer. Instead, you need to take a holistic approach that includes many changes to your lifestyle.
Get Full Without Pigging Out
Feeling full is very important when trying to lose weight. If you have constant, nagging hunger pains, chances are you won’t be able to resist the fridge’s siren call. But how can we feel full without eating lots of stuff? The answer is found in fiber.
Fiber is a type of non-digestible carbohydrate most plentiful in fruits and vegetables. Fiber forms the structure of our poop, and it also fills up our stomachs without giving our bodies a lot of stuff that can become fat or muscle.
Let’s use a somewhat practical example to help you understand why fibrous foods are important for weight management. Imagine eating five pounds of broccoli versus five pounds of hamburger – do not try either of these at home, please.
Broccoli is mostly fiber, so it adds a lot of bulk to your stool without having a lot of calories that your body can convert to sugars, fat, or muscle. When you eat broccoli, you will feel full more quickly and for a longer period even in small amounts. But after a week or so, much of it will have passed. Then, if you step on the scale, you are less likely to have gained weight; you may even find you lose weight!
The hamburger is different. Hamburger is dense with fat and protein (high in calories) that that the body will break down and absorb before converting it to either muscle or fat. You can eat more of it initially and will feel hungry soon after. After a week, if you step on a scale, you will see that you most likely gained more weight from the hamburger than you did the broccoli.
While you need to eat proteins and good fats, eating too much can quickly derail your weight loss goals. Instead, you need to put both a larger helping of broccoli (or other vegetables or fruit of choice) on your plate with a smaller helping of hamburger. By eating a fibrous food with a regular meal consisting of good fats and protein, you will fill up more quickly and be less tempted to “pig out.” Then, along with regular exercise and avoidance of snack foods, you may find that you lose weight.
If you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet, you can supplement with natural fiber with Bioclinic Naturals PGX Daily Granules from Bioclinic Naturals. This formula seeks to provide feelings of fullness each day, which will keep your diet on track. While we always recommend getting your veggies each day, not everyone can get to the store or farmers market to buy fresh produce. This is why keeping fiber supplements in the house is so important.
Here are some other helpful tips that may help to keep you on track!
Cook Delicious Food
It’s hard to lose weight while eating nothing but the food you do not enjoy. Instead, learn to cook meals that please you, but without the high calorie or sodium (makes you bloated) content of frozen, fast, or other prepared foods. When you cook for yourself, you know what goes into your food, and you can better manage your weight.
Keep Track of Your Weight Daily
Apps like MyFitnessPal or Lifesum provide an easy way to log what you eat, weight, and how much you exercise each day. When using these apps, weigh yourself in the morning after using the bathroom, but before eating breakfast. Don’t worry if your weight fluctuates by several pounds each time your step on the scale. By keeping track of your weight, you will gradually see your average weight start to decrease week after week.
Develop a Community
You might be the kind of person who needs friends to help them towards a goal. With weight loss, there are many local and online communities you can join. These give you moral support, but they will also help you learn methods that can accelerate your weight loss.
Every diet that claims to help individuals lose weight is just a different way of helping you to cut calories or keep you from over-indulging in specific food groups.
One pound of fat is equal to around 3,500 calories. So if you want to lose a single pound (not water weight) of fat each week, you would need to find your “base metabolic rate” using a BMR calculator. Then subtract 500 from that each day for seven days. Just be mindful that depending on your weight and eating habits, losing this much weight may be unsafe. Likewise, not eating properly can result in your body burning muscle instead of fat. Speak with a dietitian or primary care physician to learn more.
Daily exercise will burn extra calories and build new muscle, which will help you chip away at your extra fat. Choose an exercise plan that you enjoy: weightlifting, running, swimming, yoga, or anything else. The important thing is to stick with it. You won’t see results after one day or even a month. But after a few months of steady progress, you’ll see an undeniable difference in your body.
Also, avoid falling into the trap of increased exercise leading to uncontrollable eating; you are likely to feel more hungry after exercise, which can lead some people to ditch healthy eating habits to “reward” their efforts.
Losing weight isn’t easy, but all of the above methods can make weight loss part of your lifestyle, which will help you say no to the fattening foods that keep you from achieving your goals.