One of the most prevalent myths about weight loss and dieting is that you have to starve in order to be successful. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says people who skip meals tend to be more overweight than people who eat several meals a day. The key to losing weight is portion control and calorie counting. These things can be done without starving yourself.
Plan your meals and snacks every week. Spend time using nutrition guides and meal plans that are aimed at weight loss. This planning will make the meal ingredient purchase and preparation more efficient. It will also act as a guide for your eating throughout the week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a nutrition resource to get you started. See resources for more details.
Eat three meals and two or three snacks each day. To lose weight, your body needs fuel all day long. Eating four to five nutritional meals a day ensures that you have enough energy to get through your day and to add exercise to help with the weight loss.
Prepare a breakfast of protein and fiber, also a way to fuel your body for the day. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, eating breakfast reduces your chances of overeating later in your day.
Replace the fats and sugars in your diet with fruits, whole grains, nuts, and lean meats. You can eat a lot of these foods and still lose weight, with weekly exercise. Make sure that your four to five meals contain more of these foods.
Take time to enjoy the meal in order to get full faster. According to the Reader’s Digest article “Lose Weight by Eating Slowly,” it take more time for the brain to register fullness than the stomach. Eating slowly allows your brain to catch up with the stomach’s fullness to curb the amount of food you eat. In this way, you can lose weight by eating less and without being full.
References and ResourcesUSDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010; Page 78
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: Losing Weight the Healthy Way
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease: Weight Loss and Nutrition Myths
USDA: Choose My Plate; Daily Food Plan
Reader's Digest: Lose Weight by Eating Slowly