Tiny creatures that live in your wardrobe and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night.
Who likes dieting?
If you’re a normal human being, then you probably enjoy food. If you’re anything like me, you relish hearty meals, delicate desserts and after-dinner drinks. My point is, you don’t like dieting. Portion control feels weird, restrictions are annoying and unless you have an allergy or are diabetic, you find it silly to exclude a food you fancy. As long as you’re not eating a box of donuts a day, or regularly washing down deep-fried meats with high-sugar sodas, you’re probably fine.
At the same time, you don’t want to be out of shape, jiggling around all over the place or seasonally piling on kilos that never get shed. I mean, I prefer not to restrict myself but I also think it’s important to educate yourself on nutrition and ensure you’re getting proper nourishment. Finding myself onboard with The School of Natural Health Sciences for a while now, I’ve discovered so much about nutrition and lifestyle habits that I never even considered before.
I’ve noticed my perspectives changing, my opinions adapting to new information and most recently, my body thanking me for an increase in healthy habits. What impressed me the most was how simple my changes were, and how much of an impact I felt because of them.
Instead of sweating out my calories in a drill session, like a chiselled ab-goddess might do, I like to flick them off carelessly throughout the day. Thanks to my new habits, I’ve actually lost some weight without dieting in the slightest. Having said that, I love me some home-steamed Kale! Meaning of course, you have to start off with a base of healthy-ish eating (even if it’s high calorie, like mine.) You can’t expect to lose anything if you’re a fast-food junky. Well you might, but it doesn’t take much to introduce some greenery and lean proteins into your meal times, and if it’s only losing fat you care about and not overall health, then you might want to consider the set-backs you’ll have by not incorporating a balanced diet into the equation.
# First habit – Avoiding elasticated apparel
(This one is going to seem weird, but bare with me. It works really well if you have a problem with dieting.)
I can’t understand wearing high heels in the airport, sporting tight-fitting blouses at the grocery store or squeezing into skinny jeans just to go to the cinema. However, I will get fashionable for fancy occasions, like a normal, functioning member of society, but if there’s any excuse for down-dressing, you bet I’ll take advantage of it. The problem with leggings, sweatpants, or any relaxed fitting / loose attire for that matter, is that it doesn’t support your figure. The same way flip flops don’t support your feet. This literally leaves you room to eat more. So what do we do? We eat more, and we may not even realise we’re doing it.
I’ve found that when I take the time to put together a decent outfit with proper trousers / smart jeans or a figure-sensitive dress, I won’t go for that second helping I might usually have. This doesn’t even have to be a tight-fitting garment, it just has to fit and support your figure to an extent where over-eating would force you to pop open that top button. The button must not be popped.
# Second habit – Herbal tea
Since I’m confessing: I’m addicted to tea. Since I was 16 it’s been English tea all the way, up until recent years. Ever since switching from English Breakfast tea to herbal tea, I’ve been more hydrated, less hungry and less prone to fatty, sugary snacks. I’ve made a habit of fixing myself a large mug of deliciously blended organic tea, with just a touch of honey before each meal time. I like to make a point of stating organic tea, because the pesticides present in non-organic teas is just shocking.
I’lI finish the large tea about 20 minutes before eating and this does a few things; It soothes the throat, awakens the pallet and ensures any feelings of hunger are not being confused with feelings of thirst, a very common occurrence in slightly dehydrated people. Contrary to dieting habits the tea partially fills and pre-warms the stomach, which is great for digestion and helps me not to eat so much. Personally, I’ve also found that with herbal teas I don’t need a sneaky biscuit to dip, or a teaspoon of white sugar. I always did with my previous PG tips addiction.
# Third habit – Grocery shopping on a full stomach
Any dieting book will tell you to do this, probably because it’s effective. It really helps if you plan out your meals, make your list, and head to the grocery store with the right amount of self control to only get what’s on the list. That doesn’t always work out though, and I often find myself winging it. I also often find myself heading to the grocery store when I’m hungry and there’s nothing in my fridge that I fancy. That usually results in shopping on an empty stomach, and that leads to buying sporadically. Which can then lead to pigging out on snacks before I’ve even prepared a nice meal. This is a real disaster when you’re trying to maintain or reach a healthy weight, it’s also not ideal for blood sugar levels.
# Fourth habit – Be mindful when you eat
Don’t bolt your food down in a few seconds. Take the time to eat slowly, chew every mouthful properly, and really savor the taste of the food. Eating a good meal should be something to really appreciate and enjoy. If you find this virtually impossible, try resting your fork between bites and drinking plenty of water with your meals.
# Fifth habit – Make dinner the last morsel
Make dinner your last intake of food, don’t be tempted to eat food you don’t need after you’ve eaten a good meal. This is often where people pile on the pounds as they reach for the candy or crisps. It helps me to clean my teeth half an hour after eating dinner, not only is this great for your dental hygiene, it helps you to resist the temptation to start eating again.
# Sixth habit – Staying updated, educated and informed
Learning about nutrition, and the way certain foods can affect, benefit or harm the body is essential for knowing how to become and remain healthy without yo-yo dieting. New scientific evidence is surfacing constantly, informing us to be wary of certain foods and why. Only in recent years have I really given organic foods a second look for example, and that’s thanks to the information being made so easily available. I haven’t gone organic crazy, but I try to buy it whenever I can, and I feel good knowing I’m eating clean. I also would have never jumped on the king kale band wagon, pomegranate promise or avocado craze without the help of online health sites shoving the articles down my throat. In a good way!
Bottom line: When we’re educated and stay updated, we’re able to keep the importance of nutrition fresh in our minds, and hopefully get inspired to do something about it. Dieting will no longer be an issue.
Sources: Web MD
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