America is known for its super-sized, oversized portions and that is one of the reasons obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are on the rise. With these larger portions, our stomachs stretch and require more food to feel satiated, much more than we need to nourish our bodies. We are taking in exponentially more calories than we are expending and inactivity is the norm for many of us stuck in a cubicle.
If you find that your portion sizes (and waistline) are getting out of hand, try these 5 five ways to reduce the number of calories that you intake at each meal.
1. Slow Down
Some days it’s easier to scarf down your lunch at your desk at work, but it’s important to make sure you are taking an adequate amount of time to eat your meals. The slower you eat, the more time you give your brain the chance to process what you have eaten. It can take almost 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full. So If you are piling food in your mouth at record speeds, you can bet you are eating way more than your body needs.
[Related Post: Tips for Creating a Mindful Eating Environment]
2. Smaller Plate
The bigger the plate, the bigger the meal and the more calories you take in. Use a smaller plate for each meal to help you reduce calories. You will not only trick your brain into thinking you have a fuller plate, but also it will not allow you to pile too much food on it. If you take your time while eating (as mentioned above) while using a smaller plate, you are likely reducing your calories by half.
3. Eat With Chopsticks
I am convinced that I am the absolute worst chopstick user. I have even humiliated myself on a date by needing to get the children’s chopsticks that have a rubber band around them. For some, it takes twice as long to eat with chopsticks rather than a huge spoon or fork. When you pair eating more slowly, from a smaller plate and then add a eating utensil that is not only hard to master but picks up much less food than a fork, and you can cut some serious calories.
4. Six Meals A Day
Begin training your metabolism to eat six smaller meals a day instead of three large meals. This will give your metabolism the chance to keep up with your food intake. You will also ensure that you aren’t overeating because you are starving.
[Related Post: 7 Meal Prep Ideas To Make Life Easier]
5. Drink Water
Are you drinking enough water each day? The Institute of Medicine suggests the average intake for adults is 13 cups of fluid for men and 9 cups of fluid for women. If you exercise or live in warm climates, keep in mind that you lose water when you sweat, so adjust accordingly. Your kidneys need water to flush things through your body. So even if you are eating less but not drinking enough water, you will start to store toxins and food in your body for longer periods of time. Have a glass of water before you eat. This will move things through your body as well as leave less room for overeating.
We eat way too often and way too much in our society. It’s time to scale back, slow down, and drink up. Packing on useless pounds just because you’re eating too much is such a waste. It’s no fun trying to get those extra pounds off either. Be smart about how much you eat and you will soon see what a difference these few suggestions can make.