It is possible to lose weight and eat more healthily without feeling starved or deprived. In fact, taking care to eat meals that satisfy is a good way to ensure that you stay on track with your diet. Here are five tips to help make dieting more of a pleasure.
1. Shop Ahead
We've already talked about the importance of planning out your meals. A corollary to that idea is to shop well in advance, to make sure that you have healthy foods and snacks on hand when you need them. When you're hungry and too tired to run out to the store, it may be tempting to fall back on unhealthy eating habits.
2. Eat Foods that Taste Great
The ironic thing about unhealthy eating is that many of the foods we eat don't even taste that good. We eat bag after bag of chips without savoring their flavor, we wolf down hamburgers from fast food joints that have only a fraction of the taste that homemade ones do - the list goes on and on.
Many people equate being on a diet with tasteless eating, but there is no reason why that should be the case. Concentrate on eating foods that you really enjoy, in moderate quantities. Two spoonfuls of a completely decadent chocolate cake can bring more satisfaction with fewer calories than two handfuls of low-fat cookies.
3. Drink a Full Glass of Water Before you Start a Meal
Water is a very important part of a diet, because it helps wash toxins and other impurities from the cells of your body. Especially when you are on a diet, you should focus on drinking at least two liters of water a day.
Drinking a tall glass of water before your meal has two benefits - it helps you to achieve that two-liter goal, and it takes the edge off of your hunger, helping you to keep from overeating.
4. Watch Your Portion Sizes
If you're following your plan, you probably have a good idea of what you are going to eat at each meal. Where the danger comes in is when you take just a little more - for example, the large pork chop instead of the medium you calculated, the second scoop of potatoes, the extra helping of dessert. These little extras can easily add hundreds of calories to your diet every day.
If you eat out, the chances are good that the portion sizes will be far larger than what you need to feel satisfied. Ask your waiter to bring a to-go box with your food, and put half of your meal aside to bring home. This will remove the temptation to overeat just to clean your plate.
5. Don't Fear Margarine
For a while, margarine was touted as a low-fat alternative to butter, and then it was reviled as dangerous in its own rights. The advantage to margarine is that it has far less saturated fats, the unhealthiest type of fat, than butter. The problem was that it was also high in trans fats, which are also dangerous. Today, however, many brands offer a trans-fat-free margarine, which is a healthier choice for toppings.