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We all know that weight loss does not just happen without a plan. However, many of us choose drastic measures instead of making small changes to our existing lifestyle. While drastic diets do work in the short run, most of us probably have a personal story of how they failed miserably in the end because they did not ever really develop a weight loss mindset for the long haul. Here are 5 eating habits that yield lasting weight results.
After I got started, I realized that all ten would constitute a particularly long post, so instead, I am writing a two-part series.
5 Eating Habits That Yield Lasting Results
1.Replace sugared beverages with water or unsweetened tea.
The term “soft drink” refers to any beverage with added sugar or other sweetener, and includes soda, fruit punch, lemonade and other “ades,” sweetened powdered drinks, and sports and energy drinks. People who drink sugary beverages do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same calories from solid food, and studies show that people consuming sugary beverages don’t compensate for their high caloric content by eating less food.
A 12 ounce can of coke contains 39 grams of sugar and 149 calories, while a Snapple Lemon iced tea has 23 grams of sugar and 100 calories. Compare these numbers with the American Heart Association’s recommendation of no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for women (25g) and 9 teaspoons for men (37.5g) per day. This really gives you a better idea of the sugar content in just one serving of a sugary drink.
Essentially, the primary issue with sugar is that it has zero nutritional value. So, when you waste 150 calories on a sugary drink, your body receives absolutely no nutritional benefit. What’s more, we seldom count our drinks toward our daily food intake. Whereas, we may consciously cut back on something during the day because we ate a donut for breakfast, we are far less likely to even consider the calories from a beverage.
However, if you pass on the sugary drink, you then have 150 calories to spend on a food choice that will actually satisfy your hunger and fuel your body. Bottom line, save the calories for food.
One reason I often go for unsweetened tea is for the caffeine source. Since I don’t drink coffee, tea is my primary source of caffeine. Although, there are those who would suggest banning caffeine from your diet as well, that is not a step I am ready to take at this point in my life journey. I guess it’s just an issue of picking your life battles.
2. Use the “three bite rule” when eating sweets.
Most of us have a sweet tooth. Just one stroll down the grocery store aisle attests to that. Couple this with the fact that every main holiday or celebration comes with its own celebratory confection. Unless you are one of those rare individuals who doesn’t really care for sweets, you are always going to be tempted to indulge. So, stop trying to ban all sugar from your life. Instead, take it from the realm of indulgence to that of enjoyment.
The “three bite rule” has been around a long time and it works on a simple principle. The first bite of a rich, decadent dessert is heaven to the taste buds and the second bite is usually just as stimulating as the first. But, by the third bite, your taste buds have grown accustomed to the taste, so the food begins to lose it’s initial appeal.
For sake of illustration, a piece of classic cheese cake from the Cheesecake Factory is 710 calories. It is safe to say that three good bites would be about 170 calories. So, you can see how this technique works well to keep the calories in check, because calorie wise, three bites seldom pack enough punch to derail your daily calorie expenditure.
Even so, remember that you can only do the “three bite rule” once in a day. Also, some desserts are so treacherous that three bites could pack quite a calorie wallop. I found a dessert on the Cheesecake Factory menu called Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake that rolled in at a hefty 1680 calories. Um, those gold standard desserts should be reserved for very special occasions.
3. Pass on chips at lunch and add a slice of cheese to your sandwich instead.
In this instance, it is not only important to consider the calorie-count of a particular food, but also the quality of those calories. In the case of chips, a snack-size bag of Lay’s classic potato chips has 220 calories and 14 fat grams, which is 25% of the daily fat allowance.
On the other hand, a slice of chedder has about 120 calories and 10 grams of fat, but it also has 7 grams of protein that will help satisfy your hunger for much longer. Also, this choice has some nutritional benefit.
You may be thinking, “Wouldn’t it be better to pass on the cheese as well?” A simple answer to that, in terms of fat and calories, is yes. But, successfully navigating food choices for the long-haul involves a give and take. Ultimately, the slice of cheese adds a level of richness to a food while still lending some nutritional value.
There are also other cheese choices that are equally satisfying with fewer fat calories, like provolone or feta.
4. Eat sandwiches and burgers with only one bun instead of two.
This is a big one for me because I have always been a huge bread lover. I couldn’t envision a life without bread at all, so instead I decided to put some limits on it instead.
The main problem with bread, especially the white bread in your typical hamburger bun, is that it is classified as a simple carbohydrate. Now, the human body relies on carbohydrates for energy. When you eat carbohydrates, the body breaks them down to create glucose or blood sugar.
The problem with simple carbohydrates is that they also contain sugar. This means that once your body extracts the energy it needs, it reads white bread almost identically to pure unadulterated sugar. As far as your body is concerned, your hamburger bun might as well be a cupcake, because it breaks down and processes simple carbohydrates and sugars in the same way.
By limiting half of your bread serving , you lower the carbohydrate level and proportionately increase the protein level of a meal.
5. Plan to always have a mid-afternoon snack.
I want you to consider hunger as the arch enemy of informed food choices. Plainly put, you just can’t get your head screwed on straight when you are hungry. This is the time when you slip up and wreck all the progress you have made throughout the day by rushing to eat the first food in sight.
You need to actively plan for a mid-afternoon snack. Your body will need fuel, and unless you plan ahead, you are left with two unappealing options. Either you suffer through the afternoon with the negative effects of rapidly dropping blood sugar or you head to the vending machine to purchase a high-calorie snack.
Preparation is the key to mindful eating. Purchase a variety of high-fiber snacks to have on hand at all times. Then, set a time to have a snack BEFORE you actually feel hungry. Typically, the best time for snacking is a few hours after lunch.
There you have the first five habits to yield lasting weight results. Why don’t you give them a try this week and then I’ll be back next week with five more.
Just remember, I am in this with you. Everything that I mention or suggest on this site has worked successfully for me and has yielded big results. I am confident these steps can do the same for you.
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