Some weight loss infomercials will say that you can eat as much as you want and still lose weight. Do you believe that? I hope not. If you consistently maintain a daily caloric surplus (eat more calories than you burn), you will consistently gain weight.
Burn fat, lose weight and then manage your weight and body fat over the long-term. If you can do those 3 things, you have it figured out. Body weight maintenance can be a problem for many people.
Here are 8 eating tips to help you control weight gain:
Tip #1 – Your Meal Plan Matters
Try to comply with your meal plan 90% of the time. This leaves plenty of room to enjoy some goodies. Your food journal will help hold you accountable during the day. If you plan and pack your meals, you will be more successful with your fat loss and weight loss program.
Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. So, a baked potato is more healthy than french fries. And, we could add foods like nuts, brown rice, fish, lean meats, etc.
Try not to eat foods stored in a box or bag. These foods are usually loaded with trans fats.
Tip #2 – Eat Protein with Every Meal
Get full on protein foods first. It will help you eat less of the other food groups. Protein helps control your blood sugar levels when you eat carbohydrates. Protein fills you up for longer (takes longer to digest) and leaves you satisfied on fewer calories. And, protein helps rebuild your muscles after a tough workout.
Here are some good sources of protein:
–Fish, lean chicken (skinless), lean beef, turkey
–Low-fat dairy: milk, cheeses, yogurts; eggs
–Beans, peas, lentils
–Soy protein foods
–Seeds, nuts, natural nut butters
Tip #3 – Eat Your Calories
Drinking sugary drinks can really pack on the pounds quickly. Drink water and unsweetened drinks like tea.
Eat your calories. Chew your food slower. One quick way to “blow a hole” through your meal plan is to drink too many empty calories contained in drinks like sodas, sugared fruit juices and designer coffees. These are empty calories because they do very little to keep you full (satiety) and you end up wanting and eating more!
Tip #4 – Eat One Serving
Eat one serving of food per meal on a plate. This is portion control. Make your snacks consist of foods like fresh fruits/veggies or a handful of raw nuts. Avoid grazing. Eating haphazardly will put tons of calories in your belly.
Tip #5 – Don’t Go Too Long on an Empty Stomach
Eat every 3-4 hours to avoid overeating when you do eat. This will help you maintain energy during the day and keep your metabolism active. And, never go to the grocery store on an empty stomach. Buy foods on your grocery list.
Tip #6 – Exercise More If You Eat More
I use this trick and it works. If I eat more calories than usual, I will burn more calories during my workout. I usually do this by adding an extra 20-minute interval cardio sprinting session. It always works to burn the extra calories.
We will all eat more food than usual on more than one occasion. Just exercise a little more. Staying active with walking, biking, etc. also helps to burn the calories.
Tip #7 – Control Your Alcohol Consumption
First, one gram of alcohol provides 7 calories. Only fat (9 cal/g) provides more calories than alcohol. So, when you are planning your food and drink consumption, don’t forget the calories from alcohol.
When you take a drink of alcohol, your body converts a small amount of it into fat and the rest is converted (by the liver) into a substance called acetate. This acetate is then quickly released into the bloodstream and used as the body’s main source of energy.
So, your body is using the acetate for energy instead of the stored fat in your body. The more you drink, the more fat your body will store (many times belly fat)!
Added to this problem is the fact that alcohol consumption can increase your appetite. Researchers from Denmark found that a group of men ate more when they were served beer or wine and they ate less when served a soft drink. Just think of all the high-calorie meals served with alcohol at a place like a restaurant or sports bar.
Tip #8 – Stay Hydrated
Water does a body good! Somehow, its not easy to drink enough water every day. About 2/3 of your body is water. Drink about half your weight in water every day. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water each day. Drinking water can help you eat less.
Remember, certain foods contain large amounts of water. This counts toward your water intake. For instance watermelon is about 90% water and lettuce has about 95% water. Some meats contain as much as 70% water.
Water also helps your body flex muscles, remove wastes, cushion joints, carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells and helps convert food into energy (although water doesn’t provide energy).
You may be experiencing dehydration if you have dry lips/mouth, dizziness, headache, nausea or muscle cramps. When you exercise, drink about a cup of water every 15 minutes.
Control the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose!