If your diet isn't producing the results you want, maybe it's time to switch things up a little. Try these five tips for losing weight and keeping it off.
Choose Whole Foods. Eating processed foods can hurt you in more than one way. Not only are they calorie-dense, but they can stimulate your appetite by goosing your hunger hormones. Foods that are processed, from refined flour to frozen meals, can alter the relationship between sugar and insulin in your blood. Stick to whole foods, grown in healthy soil, and you'll find it becomes a way of life – you actually stop craving sugary/starchy processed foods.
Start With Salad or Soup. Spas have known this secret for years. At lunch and dinner, they serve both. Here's why. By filling your stomach at the beginning of the meal with food that has high water and fiber content, you trigger a feeling of satiety. You can eat a smaller entree and still feel satisfied.
Savor Every Bite. We all know mindless eating is bad, but did you realize that it takes up to half an hour for your satiety hormones to peak? If you gobble your meal, you don't give your stomach a chance to send the signal that it's full.
Eat Often. Eating three meals and three snacks – essentially six mini-meals – can supercharge your diet in several ways. For one thing, it keeps your blood sugar on an even keel. No crashes that make you run to the cupboard for a bag of chips. In addition, smaller meals can generate smaller responses in the rewards center of the brain, minimizing future desire to eat a big meal for a big reward.
Record Your "Cheats." Keeping a food diary is a classic diet technique. If writing down every morsel you put in your mouth seems too cumbersome, try just recording the times you go astray. This can curb mindless eating – you suddenly realize you're finishing your kids' mac and cheese, and you can no longer remain in denial about that chocolate donut you grabbed after dinner.