By Trevor Lomax
Since I’ve been cutting back how much I’ve been eating lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about techniques to eat less while still feeling full. This can be extremely difficult especially in a college setting where E-hall has chicken nuggets every Thursday and Chipotle is right across the street. But how can one eat less of all of this amazing, delicious food out there and remain sane? Here are my top 5 tips for eating less:
- Wait it out.
One thing I’ve learned in my journey is that it’s okay to be hungry. Being hungry doesn’t mean you’re going to die right away, it simply means that your body is hoping for another source of energy so it doesn’t have to use up those critical fat stores. You know…in case the dinosaurs trap you in a cave for a week. Now that we’re not cavemen and cavewomen fighting for every last piece of meat, we can let ourselves be hungry. Don’t wait too long though, about 30 minutes to an hour can even help space your meals out enough to consume a more appropriate amount throughout the day.
- Waste some time!
One of my favorite ways to spread my meals out is by taking some time to cook myself food. By taking an extra 20 or more minutes to cook a meal you not only space your meals out but also get the satisfaction of having something delicious that you made yourself. Often, home-cooking your food results in healthier meals but it also has the added bonus of teaching you a great skill to add to your arsenal to achieve any health or fitness goal you have.
- More Veggies!
Most veggies are very low calories. Vegetables are mostly made up of water and carbohydrates. A medium tomato has about 20 calories and a cup of spinach about 35 where as a cheeseburger from E-Hall has about 400. So eat a salad at the beginning of a meal to fill up before the calorie dense foods come into play. Make salads with grilled chicken or steak or tofu on top. Snack on carrots or celery. Sauté some mushrooms and onions to add flavor and bulk to your meals, cook asparagus or Brussels sprouts or green beans as a side. Get creative; make your favorite vegetables and experiment. You may find vegetables become a delicious and routine part of your diet. Plus, mom will be happy you got your vitamins in for the day.
- Never eat in front of the TV or computer.
Be mindful of what and how much you’re eating. Look, feel, taste, and most importantly, enjoy your food. I’ve found that when I remember each bite of my meal that I stay full and have less of an appetite. Sometimes it’s just the chewing or act of eating that your body craves. Eating in front of the TV or computer can also easily become a psychological trigger without you noticing. After the first time, the following times you watch TV or start working on the computer you may feel the need to eat even though you’re not actually hungry.
- Drink lots of water.
Zero calories and its free almost everywhere. Need I say more? Many of the times when we crave food it’s because our body is actually craving the water within the food. Ever wanted watermelon on a hot summer day? Steadily drinking water throughout the day can keep you feeling full and craving food less. Not to mention drinking plenty of water has tons of other benefits that will keep you feeling ready to tackle the day.