Are you frustrated every time you look down at the scale? Perhaps no matter how hard you try, you just can’t shed those extra pounds. While there are various reasons why some people lose weight more easily than others, metabolism plays a major role.
Some people have a faster metabolism than others. Everyone knows people like this: friends who eat whatever they desire without packing on the pounds. Yet, you’re always watching your weight and carefully selecting what to eat. And no matter how hard you try, the number on the scale just doesn’t add up. Frustrating, right? The answer is not only what you’re eating, but how often are you eating.
Here are some tips to help you curb your appetite and keep your weight in check—without all the worry:
Break it Up: We’re used to the notion of having three meals a day, but this doesn’t necessarily work out for everyone. Your work schedule and personal life may make it difficult to eat at a specific time each day. But you still have to eat to keep your energy levels up. Three main meals a day may not work for you, so try breaking them into smaller meals throughout the day, which will also help keep your blood sugar levels from dipping between meals.
Bulk Up Your Meals: Don’t fill up your plate with high-calorie foods that lack nutrients. Instead, load up on fiber, which helps you to feel fuller for longer periods. This helps you avoid eating too much between meals. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and will give you a sense of satiety because they slow down the digestive process.
Skip the liquid calories: Drink a lot of water because it will help you feel full without the calories. Stay hydrated with drinks that contain a lot of water, like tea. Green tea is an especially good choice because it contains EGCG, an antioxidant. Alcohol should always be consumed in moderation; that said, drinking red wine is good for you because it contains resveratrol, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound.
Snack Smartly: Between meals, munch on healthy snacks, not processed foods that are high in salt or sugar. Fruits are a healthy choice, because they are packed with antioxidants. Try nuts, like walnuts and almonds, which contain healthy fats, too.
Enjoy Your Meal: Are you rushing through your meals? If so, slow down. Digestion is a complex process that starts from the moment that you even think about food. Several chemicals work to send signals from and to your brain to trigger other cells to break down food into energy. And the process isn’t only mechanical (think: chewing food)—it’s also sensory (because thinking, smelling, and seeing food jumpstarts cells involved in the digestive process). Take the time to chew your food: Look at it, taste it, and enjoy. By doing so, you’re also giving your body a chance to send a signal to your brain that you’re full. If you eat too quickly, you’re more likely to overeat.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with diets that require you to tally each calorie that you consume or leave you feeling guilty when you get off track. Aim to eat well and make it a long-term lifestyle choice.