With the lockdown now easing across many places, it might be time that those of us who got to sit this one out at home are now reappearing in public. And some of us might be…just a little fluffier than at the start of March and maybe not so happy about it. And so, I thought it might be useful to offer you some common sense weight management tips that might help you get back to your preferred silhouette.
I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t state that your body is your business. This means that while your weight should be nobody else’s consideration, your health too is your responsibility, and yours only. And if you are sensitive to your body in the same way as I am to mine, I don’t like the feeling of heaviness in my limbs when I move and therefore I keep myself in the ‘average’ range.
Caveat, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, so use your common sense.
Your evening meal is not the main meal
I am starting with the hardest one to achieve. And that is, switching your main meal to be at lunch instead of dinner. The science tells us that it’s not so great for us to have a heavy meal before we go to sleep, regardless of whether we are trying to lose weight, maintain it or don’t care. So unless you work a night shift and dinner is your breakfast, avoid eating large or hard to digest meals in the evening. Obviously I am not telling you to go to bed hungry, however maybe instead a huge bowl of pasta washed down by ice cream, have a small plate of pasta and some nice, crunchy vegetables with it.
Have a drink of water
This tip is a two in one! Our bodies are kind of funny in a way that sometimes they make us feel like we’re hungry when we’re in reality thirsty.
So firstly, if you feel hungry and you’ve eaten within the last couple of hours, pour yourself a glass of water. If you don’t like the taste of it, get a filter because water should not have much of a taste. Ok, that might have sounded condescending so to instead of thinking that I’m a jerk (I am sometimes), try adding cucumber slices, mint, some lemon wedges or whatever makes it nicer to you if you need that. Cold brew green tea (or fruit tea without sugar/sweeteners) are also fine.
Secondly, while you work on staying hydrated, avoid drinking calories. I know, it’s tempting to have a can of soda, sugary tea or some Starbucks goodness instead of that glass of water, but some drinks have enough sugar in them to give you a rush while others have so much dairy that they’re basically a tub of cream cheese in a cup – that’s a meal and not a drink. And you should be able to tell the difference between a meal and a drink!
Take your time eating
Our stomachs are not in a rush and we shouldn’t be either if we can help it (spoiler, usually we can). So back to what Grandma said when you were little – small bites, chew properly and slow down. It really can take up to 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it has had enough, after it is already full. And given that your stomach should normally be the size of your fist, it’s way too easy to overfill it if you’re just shovelling food down your mouth. So don’t. If you are in a rush, compare what’s on your plate to your fist and decide if that’s the right portion size. If you have time, sit at a table if you have one, have a conversation with your family, colleagues or your cat while you eat, and just take your time.
I hope this article was interesting to you. If there are any tips that you found particularly helpful, leave them in the comments section.