It’s not uncommon for people to be unhappy with their body weight. In fact, approximately 95% of Americans have struggled to lose weight over the last five years. A major issue people experience is being unable to budge the scale no matter what they do.
It might surprise you to learn that the solution is easier than most people anticipate. Understanding how to eat in moderation goes a long way toward helping you achieve your goals. Let’s explore the key factors you should consider.
Portion Your Meals Appropriately
One of the biggest mistakes people make with balanced eating is failing to portion their meals appropriately. It’s not uncommon for people to eat much more than they actually need. This is primarily due to their appetite and being accustomed to larger portion sizes.
For example, someone might be prone to eating an entire sandwich when they should only have half of it for a meal. Issues can also arise for people who have a tendency to fill their entire plate with food when preparing a meal.
Consider spaghetti, for instance. Someone might generally fill a large bowl full of pasta while remaining unaware of how many calories they’re consuming.
The good news is that you can easily change this behavior by eating less over time. Get in the habit of measuring portion sizes and sticking to them.
Not only will this help you eat less, but it provides greater insight into the calories you consume. If you fall short of your target calories for the day, you’ll also have room for a small treat.
Have an Occasional Cheat Meal
It’s no secret that long-term dieting is a grueling process. People are often constantly hungry and tired, and they crave their favorite foods.
Having the occasional cheat meal won’t derail your progress. In fact, it will make your progress more sustainable. Many people incorporate a cheat meal with their favorite food once per week.
Avoid having an entire “cheat day,” as this can easily cause you to enter a caloric surplus. This is especially true if your favorite foods are calorie-dense. A common scenario is someone waking up on a Saturday morning and thinking to themselves, “Today’s my cheat day.”
Their diet then consists of foods like sweets, pizza, burgers, etc. Not only can situations like these impede your ability to lose weight, but they’re also bad for your overall health. Foods high in sugar and saturated fat can lead to various issues over time.
Your brain won’t instantly feel satiated after eating. It often takes a few minutes for your body to understand that you’re no longer hungry. If you eat too quickly, you’ll be much more likely to overeat.
This is a difficult habit for many people to break. Most people eat for pleasure, and they can feel compelled to continue eating if their meal is enjoyable.
The slower you eat, the less you will eat overall. A good way to implement slower eating is by chewing each bite a greater number of times. This will provide plenty of opportunity for you to feel full before finishing a large meal.
Don’t Skip Meals
It’s never recommended to skip meals. Skipping meals is different than fasting, as fasting involves windows of time where you don’t eat at all before entering a period where you consume your calories for the day.
When you skip meals, you avoid eating food that you should have eaten. You’ll certainly lose weight by doing so, but you can’t do so in a healthy or sustainable way.
Undereating prevents you from acquiring your body’s essential nutrients. If you’re focused on retaining muscle, it will also make it difficult to get enough protein in your diet.
This can cause you to lose your hard-earned muscle mass. Instead, focus on getting all of your required meals each day.
If you don’t feel particularly hungry, you can have smaller portion sizes. Don’t let life’s other responsibilities get in the way, either.
Some people skip meals while at work, for example. If you don’t have time to get food while on the job, cook food the night before and take it with you. With a bit of planning, you can stay on track.
Drink More Water
Drinking water will suppress your appetite. If you feel hungry but it’s not time to eat yet, a glass of water or two will likely resolve this issue. It will also help you stay hydrated, which is something many people struggle with.
People often prioritize tasty drinks like soda or juice instead of water. Make it a goal to consume water throughout each day.
Most people find this simple to achieve by carrying a refillable water bottle with them. You can also have a glass of water with each meal to help you limit your portion sizes.
It can be tempting to eat a snack in between meals. If you’re on a strict diet, you should avoid doing so at all costs. Let’s break this down a bit further.
Assume you can only consume 2,000 calories per day to lose one pound of body weight per week. Burning 3,500 calories is equivalent to losing one pound, which means your body will burn an average of 2,500 calories per day based on your activity level.
Adding in daily snacks pushes your calorie total to around 2,500. In this scenario, the scale will hardly budge and you’ll have a difficult time losing weight.
People also tend to overeat when they eat snacks. If your daily calories exceeded 2,500 in the above scenario due to snacking, you’d eventually gain weight!
Understand How to Eat in Moderation
At first, knowing how to eat in moderation can seem difficult. Some people have a hard time adjusting. With enough diligence, you’ll get your diet in check and have greater control over your body weight.
At Z Physique, we proudly help our clients manage their lifestyles and take their physiques to the next level. We do so without the use of “magic” supplements or shortcuts. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can start on the path toward greater health.