Your body weight depends on two parameters.
The number of calories that go into your body through food. And the number of calories you burn throughout the day for the upkeep of your bodily functions and during strenuous exercises.
If the former exceeds the latter, you end up gaining weight. And vice versa.
So if you want to lose weight, here are some of the best eating habits that can help you cut down on the number of calories going into your body.
1. Eat Before 7 At Night
Why 7 PM? Because for most people it is almost 3 or 4 hours ahead of bed time, which is enough for your digestive tract to digest your dinner, so you are not uncomfortable when you lie down on your bed later.
Plus, eating by 7 o'clock gives your body a 12 or 13 hour-long fasting period from dinner till breakfast, which is a great way to cut down the number of calories you eat throughout the day.
RELATED - 10 Health Benefits of Early Dinner
2. Get Rid Of All Distractions When You Eat
If you are focused on your smartphone screen or watching a movie or even reading a book while you have your meal, you essentially are not focusing on what you are putting into your mouth and body.
This is the quickest way to gain weight, since an unfocused eater is unmindful of his or her body's cues of being full, and so tends to overeat.
3. Sit Down For Your Meals
It might sound weird, but researchers have proven that those who stand and eat end up eating 30% more than what is required during their next meal.
And while the exact mechanism behind this phenomenon is not known, scientists theorize that it is because human beings are genetically programmed to sit down and eat. So, when you stand, your body fails to register the food you just ate, causing you to overeat during your next meal.
4. Cook Your Meals At Home
When you are the boss of your kitchen, you are more mindful of what you put into your meals and what you put onto your plate.
So if you want to lose weight, cook your meals at home more often.
5. Order Your Lunch When You Are Not Hungry
Nowadays, the food-ordering systems are very suave. They let you choose when you want your meal to be delivered.
So do yourself a favour and order your lunch at least 2 hours before time.
This way, you will not be hungry when you place the order and will order according to your actual capacity to eat instead of ordering more because you are dying of hunger!
6. Don’t Eat When You Are Bored
Do I see a guilty smile?
Don't worry. You are not the only one who eats when bored.
But that does not mean you cannot change your bad habit.
So, the next time you are bored, look for other streams of entertainment instead of munching on whatever you happen to have close at hand.
Want some ideas? Read a book, watch a movie, play a game, etc!
RELATED - 10 Reasons We Eat When We Are Not Hungry
7. Foods You Can Chew Are Better Than Substitutes You Can Drink
Why? Because meal substitutes may fill up your stomach fast momentarily, but after a while you will get hungry once again, which may cause you to end up consuming more calories throughout the day.
So eat whole foods because they contain a lot of fibre in them that keeps you full for a longer period of time.
8. Reward Yourself With Things, Not Food
Have you ever won something big and then decided to eat out to celebrate your success? I have too.
And while doing this occasionally will not harm you, if you keep "celebrating" multiple times every month, you will end up gaining a lot of weight because of it.
So, do yourself a favour and choose a different reward for yourself when you win something.
It can be a trip to a place you had been looking forward to, saying yes to a date, or even buying yourself clothes or shoes you wanted for long. Just make sure it has got nothing to do with food!
9. When You Are At The Movies, Ask Yourself If You Are Hungry
A lot of us buy popcorn tubs and hotdogs before cozing up in a multiplex for a movie. But all this does is train your body to crave munchies even when you are not hungry.
So, the next time you go for a movie, ask yourself if you are truly hungry.
If the answer is yes, then go ahead and buy that overpriced popcorn! But if it's a no, then don't buy anything.
10. Ask Yourself, “Where Is My P.F.F” Before Every Meal
P.F.F is a term coined by the Zero Belly Diet Plan, which is popular because of its successful track record of helping people lose 16 pounds by the end of 14 weeks.
It means protein, fibre, and healthy fat, which are three main macronutrients responsible for keeping us full for a longer period of time.
So, the next time you are about to sit down for a meal (remember point #3), ask yourself if your meal has P.F.F in it.
If it does, you are good to go!
11. Carry Some Health Snacks With You
We tend to overeat during our next meal when we deny our hunger pangs because our bodies are programmed to store extra fats in case we are unable to eat when we are hungry again.
Instead, carry a small apple, or some nuts, or any other healthy snacks with you at all times, so that when you are struck by hunger, you can shut up your stomach with it fast.
12. Drink Water When You Are Thirsty, Do Not Quench Thirst By Food
Yes, it's true. We often tend to eat when we are thirsty and don't have water around us.
So do your body a favour and carry a small bottle of water with you at all times, so that if you are struck by thirst, you can quench it with the right drink and not with the wrong foods.
13. Make A Meal Plan
Knowing exactly what you will eat for your meals can help you boot out unhealthy cravings.
So plan your meals beforehand and prepare for it, like buying groceries, cutting up some of the veggies, and keeping the recipe handy.
This way, you will be less likely to abandon your plan when you are struck by hunger.
14. Don’t Drink Zero-calorie Drinks
They all say you won't put on weight if you drink them, but they are all lying.
Because the truth is that zero-calorie drinks replace sugars with artificial sweeteners that fool your body so accurately that they trigger all the same pathways sugars activate when consumed, thus making you gain weight without any calories.
15. Start Your Meal With A Salad
Why? Because salads have very little calories in them but a lot of fibre. So they fill you up quite a lot before you even eat the rest of your meal, thus reducing the amount of food (and calories) you end up consuming eventually.
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