Everybody is looking for new, fancy, magic ways to lose weight. Unfortunately for us all the bottom line hasn’t changed.
Consistent application of the basics, aided by a couple of tricks here and there, is what gets you the body you want.
Here are 5 ways to make any meal more weight-loss friendly:
1. The REAL Food Pyramid
Around 60 years ago the USA government released a food pyramid diagram instructing us to eat different food groups in different ratios based on where they fell on the pyramid. They told us it was for optimum health, but time and science have taught us that it was really just a clever way to stimulate the American agricultural industry in the most profitable manner.
The true food pyramid – especially for weight loss – has vegetables at the bottom, then fruits, then protein sources, then nuts and seeds, then starches, grains and dairy. It does not include a level for junk foods.
Your meals should reflect this pyramid. That is, if you’re only eating one thing, it’s veggies or fruit… Not an energy bar.
2. Get control of your portion sizes
One of the things that I love about my dogs is they treat every meal as though it may be their last. They may not be hungry, buy hey, who knows when they’ll get food again right? (Even though they have years of experience that they eat twice per day)
We humans SHOULD BE different. We don’t need to eat to overflowing every time we eat because WE KNOW THERE’S ANOTHER MEAL-TIME COMING SOON.
Make each meal just large enough that you begin to feel hungry by the next meal-time. If you’re not hungry yet, don’t eat.
3. The Quota System is best used in meal planning
While there is much debate around the quota system in business and sport, there is no room for argument in nutrition. Your plate at meal-time must represent the food-groups on the pyramid if you wish to lose weight and be healthy.
This means that about 65% of your plate should be vegetables, 15% protein, 15% starch and 5% fats. This makes for a good balance of calories across the nutrient spectrum.
4. Leave some food on your plate
Our parents – with the best intentions – taught most of us to eat all of the food on our plates.
While this may be important for growing children it is much less important, almost counterproductive, for adults.
Leaving some food on your plate at a meal is a way of teaching yourself that you are in control of your food, not the other way around. This is extremely important if you want to be successful on a diet.
And no, just because you left a mouthful of broccoli on your plate it doesn’t mean you can have an entire cake for dessert.
5. Don’t eat more when you exercise
Unless you’re training ultra-hard – like for an ultramarathon or the Olympics – eat the normal amount of food for weight loss even when you’re doing some exercise.
People find it VERY difficult to increase their calories in proportion to the amount of exercise they do, usually overshooting pretty massively and ending up gaining some weight as a result.
Rather keep calorie intake the same and use exercise to enhance your weight loss than eat more and have exercise be the reason you are gaining weight.