Whether it’s late night snacking or indulging in a tub of ice cream to soothe a recent breakup—most of us have turned to food out of boredom or for some emotional relief. In addition to the precious minerals, vitamins and other nutrients a proper diet provides, we all have an intimate relationship with food that can either be healthy and balanced or can be destructive and guilt-ridden.
Obesity and overweight issues are due in part to the fact that we have numbed ourselves to our hunger cues. Instead of eating when we’re hungry and to a point where we’re sufficiently sated, most people eat until they are stuffed, bloated and uncomfortable. In fact, due to the super-sizing of foods, most of us are consuming more calories, fat and carbohydrates without even realizing it.
Vive la France!
In comparison to our Parisian counterparts, North Americans appear to be eating significantly more on a day-to-day basis. Consider the following findings:
• The average portion size in Paris was 25% smaller than in Philadelphia;
• Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia served dishes that were 72% larger than in Parisian Chinese food restaurants;
• A candy bar in Philadelphia was 41% larger than the same candy bar in Paris;
• A soft drink was 53% larger and a hot dog was 63% larger.
Although the French diet appears to be higher in saturated fats, they consume fewer calories, resulting in decreased numbers of overweight and obese individuals.
Keep the bad out!
Instead of setting yourself up for diet failure, the key is to not bring unhealthy food items into your home. There will always be times of stress and boredom and if those sugary cookies or tasty chips are sitting in your cupboard it is very difficult to have just one! Becoming familiar with all the delicious and health friendly options that can fill your cupboards and fridge will be your key to weight-loss success! Follow the steps below to learn how to continue to eat the food you love while losing weight and feeling great!
1. Try to eat smaller meals and snacks more frequently throughout the day. The average meal should be approximately 300-400 calories and the average snack should be approximately 100-200 calories. Refer to the Truestar meal plans and design your optimal plan today!
2. Remove all white flour and sugar from your cupboards and replace with whole grain items and naturally sweetened foods. For example, replace all white bread and pasta with whole grain flax, rye, spelt or kamut products.
3. Pay attention to your hunger signals. Are you really hungry? Do you actually feel your stomach grumbling or are you wolfing down your meal or snack for other reasons? Play a game with yourself to slow down your meals and see just how long you can make your meal last. The slower you eat, the less you tend to eat.
4. Brush your teeth after dinner to avoid the temptation to munch late at night.
5. Drink a lot of water in between meals to help keep you full and satisfied.
6. Craving something sweet? Why not whip up a quick and tasty smoothie to fill you up and still help you shed excess pounds. Visit Make the Perfect Morning Shake to learn more.
7. Protein-filled foods will make you feel fuller for longer. Ideal protein staples to keep at home are protein bars and powders, eggs and egg whites, low fat dairy products, lean meats (like turkey and chicken) and fish.
8. If you are an emotional eater, there are many effective ways to combat this behavior and turn it around into a positive relationship with food. For helpful tips, please visit "Feeling Less, Weighing More – Ways to Battle Emotional Eating."