All over the world, people spend time and money trying to get themselves to their perfect size, shape and weight.
Controlling your weight can be very difficult. Theres not only physical challenges, but there is a drain on your emotions, time, and pocket book. Many people end up going on a diet for a couple of weeks and find themselves 2 weeks later eating chocolate cake and fast food again.
There are many reasons that people fail on diets. Media images of perfect people that we just can’t live up to, peer pressure to stay the same and not to change, and misguided beliefs that less you eat, the thinner you’ll get -because the more weight you’ll shed.
As any seasoned dieter knows this isn’t the way it works at all. People ditch diets because they feel hungry and depriving themselves of certain foods – especially ones that they enjoy is destined to end badly for the ‘diet’ and the poor dieter.
But being overweight is creating health issues - heart problems, diabetes, cancers are all on the increase and carrying too much fat around the belly (central obesity) plays a central role in all of these conditions. So much so that resarch on the topic of how to reduce your waist line is on the cover of every popular magazine, it seems.
A tried and true method to reduce your body fat is to choose foods with low energy density. Basically, energy density is the amount of calories an item of food has per gram, if you choose foods with low energy density then you will cut calories from your diet naturally and you don’t need to count every calorie that enters your mouth.
Foods with low energy density tend to be water rich and low in fat. Fruits and vegetables and soups (as long as they aren’t cream based) are examples of low energy density foods. On the other hand though, foods that have a high energy density are usually very high in fat, sugar and tend to be low in water. Reducing the amont of high energy desnity foods, and choosing foods that are lower in energy density is a sensible approach to keeping your weight at a healthy level.
There is no magical way to lose weight- the truth is that it requires a lifestyle change, a decision to make healthier choices. At the end of the day, it’s calories consumed and calories burned that influences whether we gain, maintain or lose weight.
Being a couch potato – watching television and mindlessly munching away on high calorie snacks just won’t get you to where you want to be. Losing weight can be very straightforward when it comes down to it – there is no need to stop eating or eat one grape a day, you just need to eat healthy and what we do consume needs to be burned off in order to start shedding some of that fat.
Its all about making healthy choices 80-90% of the time. You can’t eat 3 fast food meals because you’re going to do 4 hours of running that evening and expect that your health and weight will be great, because some of those unhealthy fats (trans fats especially) stay in the body for up to 3 months, and sugars, unless they are burned as fuel for excercise immediately, cause a spike in blood sugar levels and lay down the building blocks for fat. With there being such a huge variety of fast food out there on the market it makes it very easy for us to eat more than our daily intake in calories, causing a weight gain.
In today’s world, many people really aren’t that active. Cars, elevators, and sitting around watching television or spending too much computer time creates a situation where its easy to consume more calories than you burn. Combine this with snack foods in our cupboards, vending machines and local shops and its easy to see why we weight gain over time.
Not to mention portion size! We seem to have lost sight of what a normal portion, for a normal body size is. Portion sizes have changed dramatically over the years and we are used to being served double the amount at a single meal than what our bodies need. And many ready to eat foods a lot of added fat and sugar that go toward piling on the pounds as well.
We are so used to eating such large portions that it doesn’t seem possible that we might be satisfied with smaller portions. If do try to cut calories to much it often ends in failure as we can wind up feeling so hungry that by the end of the day we have forgotton our reslove to lose weight and grab candy, chips, or anything handy.
There are better ways to lose weight- where you’re not feeling deprived of anything that tastes semi-decent and doesn’t look like rabbit food. Its all about choosing foods that have low energy density – likes fruits, vegetables, lean dairy, and whole grain carbohydrate, and not so much of the foods with added fats and sugars. It is very possible to lose weight while eating more food, just as long as they’re the right ones.
There are other things – like hormonal effects that also affect how much we eat. Two hormones called grehlin and leptin are involved in feeling hungy (grehlin) and feeling full (leptin). Lack of sleep can have an effect on these hormones and make us hungry without the ususal feeling of fullness and we wind up eating more calories than we can burn off.
Losing Weight By Drinking Fluids
People find themselves walking over to the refrigerator, looking inside, not sure what to eat, and just picking up anything. It’s times like this when we should be reaching for a glass of water more than a piece of ham. A lot of times people think that they are hungry when having a drink first can be the solution to your hunger and stop you from scoffing down 100 extra calories that you’re hips or stomach don’t need.
Drinks are important when it comes to keeping our bodies hydrated and healthy, but not all drinks are nice to our body - for example, coffee, cappuccinos, and lattes that we pick up on the way to work are filled with calories, milk, cream, sugar and so on. If you are not the type of person who can live without their morning coffee, then you can simply ask for a light coffee, a low fat milk, or no milk at all.
Little changes like that can keep the calorie level down. So it can be possible to still eat what you want – just try the low fat, low sugar, and low salt version next time.