When you’re trying to lose weight, you might start by eating less. But how do you scale back your portions without going hungry? Thankfully, there are several strategies you can use to cut calories while keeping hunger at bay. This article contains great tips to reduce food portions without making you hungrier.
Make at least half your plate veggies
Vegetables have lots of filling water and fibre, but not a lot of calories. By replacing half the starch or protein of your meal with non-starchy vegetables, you can eat the same volume of food and still slash overall calories. And research has shown that the amount of food you eat is a factor in feeling full. Try scaling down the portions of other foods and fill the rest of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. You can apply this same concept when making mixed dishes. Just add more vegetables to your favourite recipes to make them lower in calories and more nutrient-dense.
Eat protein with every meal or snack
Protein increases feelings of fullness more than carbs or fat. The effects of eating high-protein meals on feelings of fullness. If you eat protein-rich meals, you will feel fuller in both the short and long term, compared to when your meals contained half that amount of protein. Take advantage of protein’s filling properties by including it in every meal and snack. Focus on lean sources of protein, such as eggs, skinless poultry, dairy, seafood and fish.
Drink water with your meal
Drinking calorie-rich beverages like juice or soda don’t make you feel full but do leave you with extra calories you don’t need. For older adults, drinking water right before a meal could help fill you up and reduce the likelihood you’ll overeat. Drinking water before a meal doesn’t seem to have the same effect on younger adults. Nevertheless, replacing high-calorie drinks with water can save you total calories at your meal. Drink water or other zero-calorie beverages with your meal to quench your thirst without increasing your calorie intake.
Use smaller plates
It might sound strange, but the size of your plates and eating utensils affects how much you eat. And when you have more on your plate, you’re likely to eat more. So harness the power of illusion and use a smaller plate and utensils. The same portion will look bigger and you’ll likely eat less.
Between your smartphone, the television and a hectic lifestyle, it can be all too easy to eat while distracted. Distracted eating tends to lead you to eat more, not just at that meal, but for the rest of the day. Mindful eating, the practice of paying full attention to what you eat without distractions, helps you notice your body’s hunger and fullness cues so that you can actually know when you’ve had enough. Mindfulness can also help you distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger. When you feel hungry, ask yourself if you’re actually hungry or if you’re just wanting to eat because you’re bored or experiencing another emotion.
Spice up your meals
Adding hot peppers to your food may help you eat less. A compound in hot peppers called capsaicin can actually help reduce appetite and hunger. If you can’t take the heat, ginger may have a similar effect.
By: Damilola Faustino
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