Seriously, it seems like diet tips never work. This is frustrating to say the least, but there are ways to make dieting work. It’s not easy though. The ways many of our lives are structured are not conducive to healthy eating habits.
Give these tips a try. Really give them a try. Following this advice for a day, or even a week won’t produce results, but if you stick to them, you may say to yourself, “Wow, these diet tips worked.”
1. Create an eating environment
Pick one place at home and work to do your eating. This must be a seated place. Sit down and enjoy your food, slowly. Eating in a designated area allows you to associate eating with that area, so you won’t be temped to eat wherever and whenever.
2. Become aware of your hunger
Acquaint yourself with your own rhythm for eating and hunger signals. Initially you will most likely need to set up an eating schedule: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pick a reasonable time for each meal and stick to it for a week or two. Don’t get too impatient if this is hard at first. If you have eaten compulsively or erratically for a while, it will take time to establish your own personal rhythm.
3. Rate your hunger
Throughout the day grade your hunger level on a scale from 1-10 and chart your levels. This will help you become an instinctive eater. Learn the refinements of your own cues to help you become a natural eater. When you eat make sure you are at least a 3 on the scale and only eat until you are a seven.
4. Plan meals and snacks in advance
Planning meals and snacks in advance allows your body to settle into a predictable routine and helps you avoid desperate energy crashes. Don’t wait more than three hours to have a small meal or snack.
5. Respect the structure you’ve put in place
Studies have shown that ghrelin, the hormone that signals hunger, spikes at our usual mealtimes––even if we have just eaten. If lunch comes early, expect to be hungry again. Having a healthy snack, or portion of lunch on hand, could prevent a vending-machine run.
Go ahead, give this a try and you may be pleasantly surprised. However, remember you are changing a lifestyle, so be patient. Keep in mind you are learning a way to live, not just a way to diet.