Two weeks ago a friend of mine asked me whether I was still calorie counting. Just prior to my wedding last year I had been monitoring my consumption closely to make sure my dress fit on the day but calorie counting stopped the moment I said, I do!
What surprises my friend is that I have maintained my new weight nevertheless and she wanted to know exactly how. I referred her to the Fat Creep™ forum and told her that I practice most of what I preach. Here are six tips that you could benefit from too.
1. Feeling full is overrated: just try to eat the recommended portion
To maintain my body weight I know that I can only eat a given number of calories per day. With this view in mind I started ensuring that I only put on my plate the quantity that I SHOULD eat not the quantity that I WANT to eat.
Since I always underestimate the quantity when I measure with my eyes, I tend to weigh the carbs: breakfast cereal, rice and pasta to make sure I eat the right amount.
If after the meal I still feel hungry I fill myself up with very low or no- calorie stuff: water, carrots, celery, tea, coffee and so forth.
Dieticians are always on about portion control and I finally decided to listen. It’s an everyday struggle but I try.
2. 2000/2500 calories per day is an average!
I have experienced fat creep a fair few times in my life. Each time, after I finished shedding the excess I reverted to consuming about 2,000 calories per day to stay constant. Then I would experience more fat creep. It didn’t make sense until I realized that I burn less than 2,000 calories in an ordinary day!
You will read that women need 2,000 calories per day and men 2,500 but these are just average figures; those of us with sedentary jobs don’t consume much energy at all.
I worked out what I burn when I am at rest: my basal metabolic rate (BMR) and I don’t eat much more than that if I’m not planning on exercising that day. Here's an article to help you calculate your BMR. After I stopped counting calories I didn't lose the knowledge that I had already acquired on the type of foods that take me over the 'eating limit'. I eat less of those.
3. At restaurants, dump some of your food onto another plate and don't eat it!
You don't have to eat everything that is delivered to you even if you feel guilty about wasting food!
This is especially true in the US where restaurant portions are 3, 4 or more times what they should be. It's very hard to stop eating something that tastes great so the best solution is always to remove it before you start. That way you avoid the temptation.
4. Drink two glasses of water before every meal - eat slower, eat less
When I am very hungry I eat extremely fast and therefore take in a lot more food than when I approach the meal with a normal level of hunger.
For almost a year now, just prior to every main meal, I have two 250ml glasses of warm water. Sometimes with lemon squeezed in them. The lemon adds flavor to the water making it a lot more drinkable and some say it has a cleansing effect on the body.
I drink my water warm just because I like it that way, I figured that the enzymes in my stomach are accustomed to working at a given temperature so I don't want to shock them with freezing cold water.
The water regime works wonderfully; a) it reduces my appetite and b) it helps me to eat slower and hence eat less. It has become so habitual that now I do it in restaurants as well, at times I get a strange look but hey, who cares, right? An alternative to hot water is a peppermint or green tea, they also suppress appetite.
5. Do NOT shop on an empty stomach
You will always throw more junk into your shopping cart if you are hungry. When you’re full, your shopping trip will be faster, more efficient and you will not be as attracted to high calorie snacks.
Have you noticed a difference in your shopping behavior when you are full versus hungry?
6. Weigh yourself regularly, at least once a week
Research by the National Weight Control Registry in the USA has shown that 75% of those that manage to maintain weight loss following a diet weigh themselves at least weekly.
This is what the Fat Creep™ weight tracker is all about. It makes sense that regular weigh-ins will help you to catch and react to weight gain as soon as it starts to happen. My weekly weigh-ins are the key reason for staying slim. When I'm slightly up I know I need to eat better. I track weekly without fail.
More tips on the forum.
Although your personal finances and your business success are my primary interest, I believe you only operate at peak efficiency when you're fit and healthy. If you feel good, it filters through to your work. To help you with that, click for your free ebook: The Quick Guide to Sexy