Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Shape up for summer part IV

Anyone who's spoken to me about diets will know I'm totally against counting calories and think it's much more important to focus on eating healthy foods than counting points.
However even if you're eating super healthily it is still possible to eat too much.

You don't need a points system or calorie counter to know how much you should be eating - your body can tell you this through your appetite. The problem is a lot of people don't use their appetite in deciding how much to eat.

If you tune into your appetite and eat only when you're genuinely hungry then you will most likely eat less. If, like me, you tend to graze on food or eat when stressed this may be difficult at first, but try it for a week and it will become a habit.

Here's some extra tips to help you tune into your appetite:

- Don't multi-task when you're eating, this will distract you from knowing when you're full so try not to work, read or watch tv whilst you eat. Equally try not to eat on the run.

- Savour your food and eat it slowly. Imagine you've been served a tiny portion of a delicious dessert. You wouldn't wolf it down, you'd eat it slowly savouring each mouthful. Try and eat all your food in this way and you will slow the pace you eat at and likely feel fuller sooner.

- Don't start eating unless you're hungry. Firstly because if you're not hungry it's probably because you don't need any food and also if you start eating you won't be able to use your appetite to know when to stop.

- Practice leaving food on your plate. This can be difficult especially if you've been brought up in a British household where it's common to be told to finish everything on your plate. However it is your appetite that should determine how much you eat, not the serving size you are presented with. By practicing leaving some food uneaten it will become easier to stop eating when you're full rather than when your plate is clean.

- Make sure your hunger isn't dehydration in disguise as per yesterday's blog.

- If you eat when you're bored or stressed find yourself another distraction - have a hot drink, have a stretch, take a break from whatever you are doing. If you eat to treat yourself find a non-food reward such as going for a massage or having a facial.

If you find it difficult not to comfort eat then I'd also recommend reading 'Choosing Weight Intentionally' by Xandria Williams.

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