Fat Proof Your Eating for Better Weight Loss
In most industrial countries, 33 percent of adults are overweight and 36 percent are obese. But there’s good news because you can beat the odds and get weight loss using your common sense. Here are the hurdles standing between you and your goal of weight loss.
Food Is Everywhere All the Time
Turn on the TV, your laptop, or open a magazine, and there it is: food porn. Nearly 60 percent of internet content is culinary, and there are 32 percent more food ads on television today. The average person now watches 20 mouthwatering commercials a day. The problem is that seeing or smelling food activates pre-eating responses, like salivating. But just the same, leaving your running log out on the coffee table can activate your weight loss efforts. Reminders work subtly. To give your brain the hint, hang your bathing suit from your bedroom doorknob or put the card for your exercise studio in the front part of your wallet.
There’s Too Much Variety
From a buffet, if you have just a few bites of each dish, you’ll still consume far more calories than would if there were only two or three foods on your plate. Having too many choices can sabotage your weight loss diet. Your brain gets overwhelmed and your willpower suffers. Allowing patterns mean you get to eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch, or perhaps the same lunch and dinner. No patterns means food freedom leads to taking in more calories.
Fat and Sugar Are Hijacking Our Brain
Junk food has more fat, sugar, and salt than ever before, and all three can affect the brain in the same way drugs and alcohol do. Food scientists know exactly how to make French fries more addictive; they engineer them to light up the pleasure center in your brain. But you don’t need to quit eating your favorite foods. Instead, allow yourself a small serving and get used to the feeling of stopping once it’s gone.
Do You Have the Guts?
We all have a mix of good bacteria, which help us break down food and fight off sickness, and bad bacteria, which can muck up digestion, metabolism, and immunity. A weight loss diet high in fat and low in fiber can cause a proliferation of bad bugs, which tell your digestive tract to store more calories as fat. To slow the absorption of calories, aim to get 25g of fiber a day. The nutrient increases the production of mucus in the gut, and good bacteria need mucus to survive.
Not Getting Enough Zzzzz’s
The problem is that not getting enough zzz’s doesn’t just make you drowsy during the day, it can also increase levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and reduce levels of the satiety hormone leptin. The more people sleep, the less sway their genes have over their weight, and the more diet and exercise matter.
Your Social Circle is Also Overweight
If the majority of the people in your life are packing extra pounds, being overweight can begin to seem like the norm. Fight weight creep by finding ways to turn social time into slimming time. People are willing to change, but you have to take the lead. Suggest meeting going on a healthy diet or taking a kickboxing class together instead.
Control Portion Sizes
If you aren’t already eating dinner off salad-size plates, make the switch. At restaurants, ask the server to box up your leftovers. You’re paying the same amount whether you finish your food or not.
Health Fads and Diets Will Not Help with Weight Loss
Buying the light version of packaged foods instead of the regular kind could make you heavier. Just seeing the phrase “low fat” causes people to consume an extra 89 calories in a sitting. People think that if food a light version they compensate by eating more. Other health claims like “all natural” also spur us to justify eating more. Simply count out a single serving, then close up the box or bag.
We Pay for Everything with Plastic
We’re likelier to splurge on less-healthy fare when we pay with credit instead of cash, because our brains trick us into thinking that if it doesn’t count financially, it doesn’t count calorie wise either. When you’re more mindful of how much you’re spending, you’re also more mindful of how much you’re eating.