We all want to eat better. But it’s a hard thing to do. It takes commitment and discipline, and for most of us food is such a passionate topic, that avoiding certain foods seems like a very harsh punishment to bear.
Everyone that’s getting fitter focuses on the same key changes in order to kickstart the health journey – avoiding sugar, avoiding too many carbs (rice, potatoes and pasta), drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep. The psychology of doing this is way harder to overcome though.
So here’s 5 tips we’ve put together that really work. These are a mix of behaviours you need to develop and healthier alternatives to incorporate.
Bookmark this blog for reference and start by doing just 1 of these 5 every week for the next 5 weeks. By the end of the 5th week, you’ll see a change in how you relate to the food on your plate and in your stomach at the end of a meal.
1. Coffee / tea with half the sugar
There’s plenty of literature about why caffeine isn’t the best for your body but let’s face it, I can’t function in the morning without my cuppa. It’s easy to say ‘ditch the sugar completely’, and yes the ideal is a black cup of coffee or tea. But if that doesn’t give you the happy feels, then start by cutting to half the sugar you’re used to. If you have a spoon, have half. If you have 2 spoons in a cup, cut down to 1. You’ll still get a sweeter taste, but it'll cut your sugar intake to half.
Don’t move to artificial sweeteners please. That’s a topic for another day, but they’re not healthy and not necessary.
2. Use smaller plates
This hack is our personal favourite. The mind is tuned to eat what’s in front of you. Most of us have been brought up being asked to finish what’s in front of us. So put less there. If you can fill a small plate and eat that, you’ll find that you’re starting to feel full. If you’re used to taking a second helping then go ahead, and at the end of your meal you would still have eaten much less than you usually do. Don’t believe us? Try it. It’s a great trick to signal your mind that your body has in fact had enough.
3. Eat breakfast everyday
Eating breakfast, especially a high protein one, is known to kickstart your day in the best manner possible. Protein keeps you feeling full – it slow releases energy in the body and doesn’t cause sugar spikes and crashes. As an experiment, tomorrow eat a toast with peanut butter instead of one with plain butter and then note how you feel just before lunch. You’ll be less famished, especially if you’re the kinds that usually skips breakfast altogether.
If you do skip breakfast because you’re busy or can’t make time, then you need to try this for one week. Eat anything – a fruit, a handful of nuts or one toast – it hardly takes any effort to prepare. Once you experience what a morning feels like without the growling stomach, or the acidity from a plain cup of coffee, you’ll see what we mean. It’s important to have fuel in the body, especially when you’re coming off 7-8 hours of a fasting body – when you’re sleeping, you’re digesting so you’re hungry when you wake up. It’s natural and you need to fuel your body at this time.
If you are following an Intermittent Fasting regime and your brunch is your first meal, make that high protein. Also make sure you follow the timings of IF and eat your first meal when you’re supposed to. Don’t delay it and make it lunch, because that defeats the purpose.
4. Eat something at 4pm
The mid-day crash is a reality. You’re 3 hours away from your last meal, and approximately 4 hours away from your next one, so your body needs fuel and deserves it. The problem with this mid-day meal is that if you don’t plan it in advance, you’ll eat the wrong thing. This is when samosa, kachori, dhokla and cookies find their place in our diet. So don’t fall into that trap.
Carry a box of nuts and dry fruits. We recommend a small fistful of almonds. They are an excellent source of healthy fats, protein and other trace minerals like magnesium. They fill you up and they’re a great stomach filler for 4pm.
5. Eat with the opposite hand
Sounds crazy right? But it’s a great tip! If you’re a righty, eat with your left. Your brain will focus so much on holding the spoon right and getting the food into your mouth without dropping it, that your body will be more aligned with your mind about when it’s had enough. Wait till you try to eat roti and dal like this – hilarious and effective.
This rule applies for when you’re eating snacks too. Pick them with your opposite hand and you’ll find that you’re fuller with eating less.
Being fit is not a destination. It’s a journey and a long one at that. Drop us a line below and share with us which of these works for you.