Nothing drives people crazier than trying to lose weight. Television commercials, radio shows, and advertisements in the newspaper and your favorite magazine make it seem that losing weight is as easy as picking a fad diet out of the air. But if you've ever tried losing weight by eating only cabbage or swallowing everything you can in an hour, you probably realize that those diets only last for so long.
If you want to obtain and maintain a healthy weight, you're going to have to figure out how to eat less. Sound impossible? Prepare to do the impossible in three easy steps!
Believe it or not, you may not need to lose weight. Each year, countless Americans take on the world of dieting without consulting anyone or anything except a mirror. However, the mirror doesn't always tell the truth. And neither does the media, which insists that excessively skinny is the norm.
Before getting on a diet, ask your physician if you are at a healthy weight. If your weight isn't a problem but you don't feel confident with your body, you may need to change your exercise routine. Work with a personal trainer to formulate a regiment that will help you meet your personal goals - whether they involve weight loss, body toning, or both. If your health would benefit from losing weight, you should learn to eat less.
A common mistake made by many people is to eat everything on their plate. Doing this may indicate good manners, but it results in bad eating habits and a larger-than-desired belly. Fortunately, this problem is easily remedied. All you have to do is slow down.
Instead of shoving bite after bite of food into your mouth, take a deep breath and relax during mealtime. After each bite, set your fork down, chew, and swallow. Before taking another bite, say something to a family member or friend who is eating with you. By slowing down your eating process, you allow your brain time to figure out your stomach is full. Otherwise, you may end up eating for up to 15 minutes after your stomach is filled to capacity. Yes, that's why you occasionally feel uncomfortably stuffed beyond your limits.
If slowing down your eating isn't enough to help you eat less food, your best weapon is self-control. Determine how much food you are going to eat, put it on your plate, and don't go back for seconds. When first starting to reduce the amount you eat, cut back your eating by two or three bites. Keep reducing the amount you eat by a bite or two until you find a healthy amount that leaves you feeling content and not hurting due to excessive fullness.
Gradually, as you learn to eat less, your stomach will shrink and will have less room for food. As a result, you feel fuller faster and won't feel the need to eat the final bites of your meal just because it happens to be on your plate.