Small changes to help you lose weight — Part 2

By April 1, 2019 Health & Nutrition

Most of us have been trying to lose weight some time or the other. But more often than not we tend to get overwhelmed by the big changes to be made to our diet and eating habits. However, if we were to deal a number of small changes we might find ourselves more comfortable pursuing a weight loss programme. Here is the concluding part of the two part article on such changes that can help you. Team RetyrSmart

Small changes to help you lose weight — Part 2

Display healthy foods — and keep tempting options hidden

Keeping fruits and vegetables in your line of sight could encourage you to eat more of them — rather than other high-calorie snack options. On the other hand, research shows that when unhealthy options are in full view, hunger and cravings may increase.

Use smaller dishes or plates

Opt for smaller bowls instead of large dinner plates, suggests Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS, a senior bariatric psychologist at the Bellevue Center for Obesity & Weight Management. Try plating dinner away from the table instead of serving family-style to combat overeating or mindless grazing.

Skip foods marked “sugar-free” or “fat-free”

It might seem like swapping regular products for “sugar-free,” “fat-free,” or “diet foods” is an easy fix. But they could do more harm than good. In fact, artificial sweeteners they could even cause weight gain, according to research published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. As for fat-free foods, choosing the full-fat option will keep you fuller longer, according to Pashko. Steering clear of ravenous hunger will ensure you don’t overeat later.

Balance your meals

Cutting out food groups is not the healthiest weight loss solution. “When you eliminate either fats or carbohydrates, you’re probably eating way too much of what’s left over,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, manager of wellness nutrition services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For example, if you cut out fat, you could overdo it on carbohydrates or vice versa. Instead, Kirkpatrick recommends balancing your meals and having one whole grain carbohydrate at each meal and opting for low-fat dairy products and lean meats.

Always keep healthy snacks on hand

Eating healthy is easier if you prepare for the expected and the unexpected. That’s why Lara Felton, RDN, head of the dietary team at mobile nutrition app ShopWell recommends preparing filling snacks for work or school. “I find that people often make poor food choices because they get so hungry they just grab whatever is close,” she says. She recommends packing snacks that have a balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fat to keep your energy levels up and hunger at bay, but nothing too perishable or fragile.

Try measuring high-calorie ingredients

Portion control is another key element of weight loss. Part of the process is understanding an actual serving size. Measuring high-calorie ingredients will help you learn to eyeball portions. Even calories from healthy foods add up. “One of the foods people love are healthy fats, which are great,” Amari Thomsen, MS, RD, LDN, dietitian, and founder of Eat Chic Chicago says. Your definition of a handful of nuts might be four times bigger than an actual serving size, she warns.

Skip the sugar in your daily coffee or tea

Coffee add-ins could be adding in unnecessary extra calories to your diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, common calorie culprits include sugar, half-and-half, whipping cream, and even fat-free milk. Meanwhile, black coffee has only five calories. Registered dietitian Andy Bellatti adds that another good swap is unsweetened plant milk instead of the sweetened ones for your beverages.

Ditch the condiments

Topping foods with heavy sauces or condiments could add extra calories and often little nutritional value. For example, ketchup often has a high amount of sugar. According to Monica Auslander, a registered dietitian and founder of Essence Nutrition, one teaspoon of ketchup is equal to eating a sugar packet. “It’s deceiving because it has no fat, so people think they can enjoy freely,” she says. “Unfortunately, we now know that sugar is far more insidious than fat.”

Cut back on alcoholic drinks

It could be beneficial for your health and your weight loss goals to drink more water and less alcohol. Dr. Bazilian says that alcohol doesn’t have to necessarily be avoided altogether. but you should think if and where alcohol fits in the context of your overall health goals. “Aside from calories, alcohol doesn’t offer much by way of nutrition, so it’s at minimum an important decision to have going into any weight-loss program for yourself whether, how often, what type and how much may or may not fit in your timeline and goals,” she says. Alcohol also reduces inhibitions sometimes making it more challenging to make healthy eating choices, according to Dr. Bazilian. And alcohol may negatively impact sleep which plays a role in healthy metabolism, she adds. …..