lose belly fat is such a frustrating goal for so many people because it can be difficult to identify a specific food or behavior that is causing weight gain. There are many, many ways to sabotage our efforts to eat healthy and losing weight. After all, food is everywhere we turn today, and the most options seem to be those high in calories and mouth-watering flavors that keep us eating more and more.
This is why dietitians are so adamant about practicing mindful eating. It is this awareness of temptations and our responses to them (the nibble without thinking) that can give us the greatest control over what we consume and how much. So to put mindful eating into practice, put these fat burning habits on your radar. So try these Mindfulness tips for weight loss.
We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that eat as little as possible is the most effective way to lose weight when this approach often fails.
“Not only can this lead to increased food cravings and potentially more uncontrollable feeling around food, but getting into the starvation zone can slow your metabolism through adaptive thermogenesis,” says medical board member Lisa Moskovitz, Dt.P.a dietitian registered with the New York Nutrition Group and author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan.
Your body needs a number of calories and nutrients to function properly. Threatening this basic need can cause your body to “hold on to fat cells and send your body into a premature protective plateau instead of burning body fat,” she says.
If you’re not regularly eating foods in their whole, natural form, you’re probably eating too many foods that are overly processed and contain empty calories, like cakes, cookies, etc., which can sabotage your weight loss efforts.
“processed foods tend to be high in calories, saturated fat and added sugars and low in the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy,” says a medical expert Toby AmidorMS, RD, CNDbestselling author Diabetes Build Your Plate Meal Prep Cookbook. “You don’t have to stay away from these foods completely, but try to fill up on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, protein first. lean, low-fat milk and dairy products and healthy fats, then if you’re craving sweets, make it a small portion.”
Leafy greens are powerful foods for weight loss. Why? They mainly provide water and healthy nutrients for very few calories.
“Fresh leafy greens from spinach for kale for romaine lettuce take up a lot of bulk on our plate and help ‘trick’ us into feeling fuller,” says medical board member Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD. “Leafy greens provide only about 5-10 calories per cup, which barely lowers our caloric needs for a meal or snack. They also provide fiber, vitamins A and C, folate, and other beneficial compounds to help control our health and body weight.”
You can turn a fresh, healthy vegetable salad into a total calorie bomb without even realizing it by pouring heavy dressings, medical experts warn Tammy Lakatos Shame, RDN, CDN, CFTand Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFTalso known as The twins of nutrition. Creamy dressings like Ranch and Caesar can pack around 12 grams of fat and over 140 calories in a two-tablespoon serving (and most people use more).
“Instead of high-calorie oils and fatty dressings, use lemon; spray it on salads, vegetables, fish, chicken, rice dishes, etc. “, they say. “It’s a flavor-enhancing trick used by top chefs to create lots of flavor while keeping meals light.”
To research suggests that the antioxidant polyphenols in lemon can help suppress body weight and body fat accumulation.
“Fiber helps us stay full and break the cycle of overeating that can lead to excessive calorie consumption and weight gain,” says Hembree.
But bland oatmeal isn’t your only option.
“Berries, ideally blackberries or raspberriesare high in fiber at five grams or more per serving,” she says. “Put blackberries in your next oatmeal or raspberries in your next pudding or yogurt parfait.”
You’ve heard the term “liquid lunch”. That doesn’t just mean having a beer at noon. High calorie drinks are often a sneaky way to consume more calories each day than you think. Make water, sparkling water and unsweetened iced tea your favorite drinks.
“We tell patients to reconsider all drinkable calories, like a sodajuices and even smoothies or healthy ‘green’ juices, as they are generally not considered a meal,” explains Avantika Waring, MDand chief medical officer 9 a.m. healthy. “Most of them contain sugar. Be sure to check the nutrition information on all beverages you buy and drink.”
Do you usually shake those paper sugar packets before pouring them into your coffee drink? Satisfying, isn’t it? Or maybe you prefer pouring those sweet flavored syrups into your coffee. Sweetening your drinks or cereal with sugar can mean a lot of added sugar calories without realizing it.
The Nutrition Twins recommend replacing sugar with cinnamon. “You’ll avoid the extra calories and inflammation caused by sugar that’s linked to weight gain,” they say. In addition, cinnamon has beneficial effects on weight loss and blood sugar.”
A 2019 study in the International Journal of Food Science suggests that as little as a third of a teaspoon a day of cinnamon can lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
“Sprinkle cinnamon in your coffee, cereal, smoothies, popcorn, yogurt, oatmeal, muffins, pastries, etc.,” the Nutrition Twins advise.
Don’t abandon your friends, but be aware that social pressure can definitely lead to more food consumption at dinner than you actually expected.
“Whether it’s a alcoholic drink or getting multiple desserts, having friends who aren’t necessarily supportive of your weight loss efforts can be difficult,” says Amidor. “Your best bet is to review the menu ahead of time and figure out, based on your intake for the day, what you’re going to eat. You can leave room for dessert if you know your friends like to order it, but recommend sharing a dessert with one or two other people.”
Step on a scale can be a useful tool for weight loss. Or not. For one thing, it doesn’t always accurately reflect the progress you’re making in losing body fat.
“Overreliance on total weight can be disheartening and make it difficult to maintain motivation,” says Moskovtiz. “Instead of worrying about your weight, pay attention to off-the-scale successes like improved energy, digestion, sleep, and mood stability.”
A more reliable way to get hard numbers if you need them to stay motivated is through body composition analysis, which reveals your body fat versus muscle mass versus water weight.
All the behaviors written above are just words if you don’t remember them. So take a pen.
“The best tool to help you recognize self-sabotaging behaviors is to keep a diarysays Moskovitz. “Don’t just track the food you eat, but also the portions, levels of hunger and satiety, the emotions involved around meals, and where you are during the meal. Writing down eating behaviors in real time is a very effective method of staying accountable and self-aware.”
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