Healthy habits can go out of hand when we have no time for the gym and few options besides Seamless. Losing weight is not easy—and doing it in a healthy, sustainable way can make the task feel even harder.
Freeze what you won’t be serving.
Once meal prep is over, serve yourself a reasonable portion, then package up the rest and immediately stash it in the fridge or freezer for a later date. When the food is out of sight, studies show you’ll be less likely to reach for a second helping.
Wait before grabbing second helpings.
The quicker we shovel down a meal, the less time we give our bodies to register fullness. Since it takes a little time for the brain to get the message that dinner’s been served, it’s best to go for a walk or get up from the table before dishing up seconds or moving on to dessert.
Eating slowly may not fit into a busy workday, but it pays to pace your chewing: The quicker you eat, the less time your body has to register fullness. So slow down, and take a second to savor.
Turn off the TV.
Eating while watching television is linked to poor food choices and overeating. Getting sucked into the latest episode of “Scandal” can bring on mindless eating—making it easy to lose track of just how many chips you’ve gone through. It’s not just the mindlessness of watching televsion that’ll get us. Commercials for unhealthy foods and drinks may increase our desire for low-nutrient junk, fast food, and sugary beverages.
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Sneak in your veggies.
Bumping up vegetable consumption has long been recognized as a way to protect against obesity. Add veggies to omlets, baked goods, and of course, pasta dishes (Bonus: Try zucchini ribbons, or spaghetti squash instead or traditional grain pastas). Pump pureed veggies, like pumpkin, into oatmeal or casseroles. Adding a little vegetable action into a meal or snack will increase fiber levels, which helps make us fuller, faster.
Turn your back on temptation.
The closer we are situated to food that’s in our line of vision, the more likely we are to actually eat it. If we face away from food that might tempt us when we’re not hungry (like an office candy bowl), we may be more likely to listen to cues from our gut rather than our eyes.
Grab a handful—not the whole bag.
When snacktime hits, our brains can be unreliable. It’s tempting to reach for a bag of chips, but instead, grab a handful (or measure out the serving size) then seal the bag and put it away. Odds are, you’ll be more mindful of how much you’re polishing off when you see it right in front of you. Or, try one of these healthy 100-calorie snacks.
Bring on the protein.
Protein can help promote a healthy weight because high protein diets are associated with greater satiety. Plus, protein is important for healthy muscle growth. Animal sources aren’t the only option—try alternatives like quinoa, tempeh, and lentils.
Fill up on fiber.
Eating more vegetables and other high-fiber items like legumes can help keep us fuller, longer. Look for at least five grams or more of the stuff per serving. Snack on some of our favorite high-fiber picks like stuffed baked apples or jazzed-up oats.
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Make room for healthy fats.
Cutting butter and oil can slash calories, and it’s easy to swap in foods like applesauce, avocado, banana, or flax for baking. But, it’s important to remember that we still need fat in our diets as a source of energy and to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Plus it helps us feel full. Get healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts, coconuts, seeds, and fish. Pro tip: Combining fat with fiber has been shown to increase fat’s power to make us feel full.