Losing weight can be a challenging and slow process; today, we’ve lost track of our internal hunger and fullness cues as we tend to eat during predetermined hours of the day and according to specific diets. Here are our tips to speed up weight loss in a natural, healthy and mindful way by understanding your true hunger and recognizing cravings.
Drink Lots of Water and Avoid Alcohol and Soft Drinks
Many of us are not drinking enough water and we don’t even realize it. When we don’t drink enough, we run the risk of dehydration, which can affect us physically, emotionally and mentally. Especially at the beginning of a weight loss program, we tend to lose lots of water weight, so it’s important to drink enough water during dieting to avoid becoming dehydrated. Studies have also shown that increased hydration leads to weight loss, as it helps us to eat less and burn more fat.
Furthermore, sometimes we think we are hungry but we are actually just thirsty. Before eating, ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if perhaps you’re just thirsty or bored. Avoid alcohol, which contributes to dehydration, and soft drinks, which are filled with sugar and sometimes caffeine and hinder your weight loss.
Learn to Recognize When You’re Full
Today, we are often served huge portions in name of good value, to the point that we don’t really have any idea of how much we need to eat. As children, we would simply stop when we were full, rebelling against the adults that tried to make us eat more. We need to take an example from that, and learn to recognize the feeling of being full to stop overeating; in this way, we will naturally reduce portion sizes.
Eating slowly and mindfully is another way to reduce portion sizes; the aim is to stop eating when you are no longer hungry, despite the temptations placed right in front of us. Slow down and really taste your food; be mindful about what you are eating and plan to stop after one small plate or as soon as your hunger is gone. Remind yourself that if you’re still hungry in twenty minutes you can always have more!
Savor Your Food
Choosing and savoring food far away from electronic distractions and stimuli which we are submitted to every day can help us lose weight. Eating our favorite foods mindfully helps us stop after one or two very pleasurable and aware bites. Research has in fact shown that the first two bites are those associated with the most enjoyment; eating more will not necessarily give you more pleasure but it will certainly give you more calories.
Eating mindfully and with purpose, away from all distractions, helps us enjoy smaller portions of the foods we love and therefore lose weight without really focusing on the difficulties of dieting.
Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals isn’t necessarily harmful, and, in the case of intermittent and longer fasting, it can even help be beneficial for detoxing the body. However, on normal days, skipping meal can make us weak and groggy. In particular, breakfast is the meal we tend to skip most because of everything that needs to get done in the morning; however, a healthy and balanced breakfast can give us the energy we need to start our day with energy and purpose. Aim for a healthy, nutritious breakfast such as scrambled eggs, Greek yogurt or perhaps a healthy porridge made with whole-grain oatmeal, coconut or almond milk, and honey. Top it off with nuts and dark chocolate for a yummy and energetic treat!
You are not defined by your body; keep this in mind and remember that your spirit is first and foremost. The way you look does not define you. You do not need to comply with society’s standards of beauty in order to be valuable, as your true value does not depend on the size of your body.
Aim to lose weight and eat better in order to be healthier and engage fully in life, and not simply to look better. Take care of your soul as well as your body through relaxation techniques, meditation, and breathing. In turn, this will lead to reduced stress and increase mindful eating, which translates to eating better meals thanks to an improved consciousness of what we are putting into our body. This may even cause weight loss without dieting, simply because we are paying more attention to what we eat and have a new sense of wellness, fulfillment, and purpose. Living with purpose will help you realize that a healthy weight is a gateway to a rich and meaningful life, not just a beautiful body.
Bio: Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer with over 10 years’ experience in many different fields. She decided to move into freelancing to take advantage of the flexibility and work-life balance it offers. Sally has a particular interest in health, fitness, and nutrition which is where she currently focuses much of her work.