Healthy Eating for Weight Loss
The path to sustainable weight loss is paved with healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. This is especially true for anyone in a medical weight loss program. Developing healthy eating habits can help you lose weight and keep it off without feeling hungry.
Share a Meal
Avoid eating alone. Sharing healthy meals with others provides many social and emotional benefits – good company makes food taste better. Eating with others also provides subconscious clues about healthy choices, portion sizes, and a cue to stop eating. Dining alone, especially in front of the television or computer, leads to mindless overeating and habitual snacking.
Eating a Rainbow
Eat a variety of foods to keep healthy eating interesting. One good rule of thumb is to eat every color of the rainbow. Fresh foods that are naturally colorful, such as red strawberries, purple grapes, white cauliflower, green broccoli, yellow corn and orange carrots contain phytochemicals that work as powerful disease fighting agents. Phytochemicals can strengthen the immune system, lower the risk for some types of cancer, helps ward off type 2 diabetes, and helps maintain a healthy heart, eyes, bones, and urinary tract.
Enough is Enough
Learn to recognize the signs that your stomach is full, then determine how much food it took to fill it up. Reduce your portion size to accommodate the size of your stomach. Stop eating before you feel full, rather than when your plate is empty as it takes several minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food.
Start with Small Portions
Fill your plate with small servings at first. You are more inclined to eat food if it is already on your plate, even if you are no longer hungry. As you serve up that first portion, remind yourself of your goals and that you can always get more if you absolutely have to.
Discourage second helpings by drinking a large glass of water between servings.
Schedule Meals and Snacks
Eat your meals and snacks on a strict schedule so that you are never hungry – and easily tempted by unhealthy snacks – for very long. Keeping a tight schedule will also help you adjust your calorie intake in case of a major disruption, such as an unexpected lunch out with an old friend or a planned holiday meal with family.
Avoid eating late at night too. Boredom, television watching and simply being tired can fool you into thinking you need to snack when you really don’t.
Integrating these healthy eating habits can optimize your weight loss efforts, and especially as part of a medical weight loss program. Develop healthy eating habits for a lifetime of health and wellbeing.