It’s easy to lose weight.
Eat less than you burn.
But general weight loss isn’t what we’re after–it’s actually fat loss. So preserving as much muscle as possible (or gaining) while losing fat. And it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously.
So then it gets a bit more “technical”–sure, you can lose weight by eating just 1 Snickers bar each day; however, the quality of the weight lost is not anything most would want. Who wants to be a skinny person without any muscle or tone whatsoever?
Without getting into those technicalities in today’s blog, we wanted to highlight some simple ways to cut calories…without counting foods, weighing foods, measuring foods…or, really, making any tough changes at all!
Here it goes.
1. Eat with your nondominant hand. Simple, right? So if you’re right handed eat only with your left or vice versa. Why this works…it slows you down. And the more slowly you eat, the less you’ll eat. Pretty simple and pretty straightforward. Here’s another benefit — it will work your brain more, which is never a bad thing. Give it a try!
2. Don’t let your foods touch on your plate. OK, this isn’t some weird OCD thing. It’s all about portion control. Like I said, not changing WHAT you’re eating…this one simply helps you cut down the amount you’re eating. And that’s a fantastic first step with changing behavior.
3. Put your fork down between every bite. Similar to the first suggestion, this allows you to slow down when you’re eating. It takes around 15-20 minutes for your brain to sense that it’s full…well if you’re inhaling your food, you’ll eat way more than you need to within that time frame. Let your brain tell you you’re satisfied before your stomach “tells you” you’ve eaten way too much and feel sick.
4. Chew your food more. We have a Medical Dictionary in our office from 1903. In there they suggest chewing each bite 39 times. My grandpa used to always say chew it 54 times (granted, he had no teeth). But chewing each bite more will not only allow you to better taste the food, but it will also have the added benefit of slowing you down when eating. A win win. So now that you’re putting your fork down between bites, you’ll have time to chew each bite more thoroughly.
5. Power down. This is one of our biggest pet peeves — cell phones at the table, particularly when people are merely at the table together but not even close to engaged because their eyes are buried in their phones. But aside from that, when you’re distracted you eat more. Whether it’s your phone, a book, or the TV…distracted eaters eat more. Instead, fully engage with the person (or people) at the table with no other distractions. We have a habit every night of asking Ella what the best part of her day was. Now, granted she’s not quite 3 yet but she still often gives a legit answer — playing, jumping on her trampoline, hitting her sister (yes, that was an answer one night — but we’ll keep trying) etc. And we’ll keep asking that until she moves out, even if as a teenager she thinks it’s silly.
6. START your meal with salad. At restaurants there’s always a bread basket at the table. But if that was swapped with salad…or when you’re home start each meal with a salad, you’ll eat less overall. Granted that salad can’t be loaded with cheese, creamy dressings and bacon…but that’s a different issue. Veggies take up lots of room in your stomach (a good thing) so you eat less of the “heavier” calories.
7. Make veggies or fruit the biggest part of your meal. Enjoying stir fry? Great–use veggies as the base, add your protein on top and whatever else. Want oatmeal in the AM? Fill the bowl with berries, first, then add the cooked oatmeal on top of that. See how this works? Again, the veggies and fruit then becomes the main part of the meal and the rest just fills in the gaps.
There you have it. Seven simple ways to cut calories…yet we didn’t ask you to weigh or measure one single food item. Easy, right? Give it a whirl.