Many of us tend to gain weight not by stuffing ourselves too full, but by eating a little bit too much each day without even thinking about it. Use these easy tips to help you cut back on calories and eat more mindfully:
1 Downsize your dinnerware.
The size of the plates and glasses we use has an impact on how much we eat. Try using smaller plates and tall, narrow glasses. You’re more likely to eat significantly less without even thinking about it.
2 Enjoy soup-er nutrition!
Nutritious soups can boost your health and your weight-management efforts. Fiber-rich veggies help you feel fuller so you eat less, while giving your body the nutrients it needs.
3 Snack on nuts.
Enjoying a handful of nuts can be healthy. They’re a source of important vitamins and minerals and heart-healthy fats. Studies have shown that eating nuts may reduce your risk of heart disease and could even increase your longevity.
4 Eat an early, light dinner.
Eat a light dinner early in the evening to give your body plenty of time to digest the food before going to bed. This practice may promote better sleep during the night and a lower BMI.
5 Slow down and be mindful of your food.
Many of us eat while on the run, or sitting in front of the computer or the TV. This often means we don’t notice what we’re eating or how fast we’re consuming it. Make it a habit to sit down and savor the tastes and textures of what you’re eating. You’ll slow down, eat less (hara hachi bu!), and enjoy your food more.
*To calculate your BMI, please visit: Calculate BMI.
Q & A: Ask the Expert
Q: How many calories do I need to consume every day to maintain a healthy weight? How many calories less do I need to consume every day if I want to lose weight?
A: It depends on how much activity you get each day, how much you currently weigh, and your percentage of body fat. Your body mass index, or BMI, is one way to determine if you are at a healthy weight. BMI is calculated based on your height to weight ratio.*
As far as healthy weight loss goes, most experts agree it is safe to lose one to two pounds a week. Losing 10 pounds can be as easy as eating 100 calories less each day for a year. Talk to your doctor and health advisors about developing a personal plan that is suited to your lifestyle. Remember to celebrate your successes, large and small, as you progress down the path to better health.
Check out our Blue Zones 80% Rule article for more weight loss tips!