I was texting a good friend of mine and as we kept rambling we touched the topic of food. She complimented about my skin (Had to type it! :P) and we both started talking about how hard it is for food – lovers to stick to a diet or healthy eating process. My curse is salt while hers was sugar. As we kept discussing it struck both of us that that could be a good blog post idea. So how can you cheat your diet and yet be healthy. Few ideas, tried and tested:
#1 50-50 rule
Eat only half on your plate . Especially when you are eating out, ask for the take out container before you start eating and fill it with 40-50% of your food. Now finish what’s on your plate. If they don’t have take out option then do the same by segregating your plate. Don’t over fill yourself. This discipline itself helped me cut down on over eating and also made me realize that that I was over eating most of the time.
#2 Stop when you aren’t hungry anymore and not when you are full
This is just another version of the above tip. Meaning stop eating once your hunger is satiated. Just stop, regardless of how much is left on your plate. If you are hungry later you can finish your plate. Initially this might lead to wastage of food but remember your body is not a trash can. So, don’t feel guilty for the leftovers. Store them if you can and over time you will start serving yourself only the right amount you need.
#3 Never skip a meal
Trust me! I have done it a gazillion times and the end result is hogging on the first junk food you see. So never starve yourself. Munch something before you get out of the house in the morning or have a snack at your table when you know your meeting is going to last through lunch. And never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Research has proven that we buy more junk food when hungry compared to when we are not.
#4 Eat your greens first
Start your meals with the good (healthy!) stuff. The salad or the fruit bowl or yogurt and then go on to eat the entree. This will help you fill up and leave less room for the chicken or the yummy roast potatoes or the pasta.
In case of Indian food, it is very hard to resist the pakoras or vadas that are appetizers. Try eating the vegetable curries (entrees) first and save the pakora for the end. Or take half of what you would if you can’t control yourself.
#5 Make Smoothies if you are lazy
So I am lazy, especially when it comes to morning foods , it is very rare that you will see me have anything other than a cup of tea. For a brief period I stuck to smoothie breakfasts. Do click on the link to read about it. And yes it was great, filling and I realized when you eat healthy first thing in the morning , you tend to tone down on quantities over the day. So that nutribullet is an investment if you like drinkable meals.
#6 Go on and indulge (with control!)
As I said, I am a foodie and it is hard for me to resist. So, I did indulge but with portion control. Previously, in a buffet I would eat my fill of everything and by the time I reached dessert I would be over-over stuffing myself. And the ride back home would be miserable. But once I started portion-control of consciously serving myself only half of normal portions. I had enough space for dessert and I enjoyed what I ate better without guilt and/or feeling like an inflated balloon. So go ahead , take a spoon of everything in that delicious buffet and you will be fine (only a spoon though!)
If it makes you feel better, it is extremely extremely hard to practice control especially when delicious food is right in front of you so over indulgences and over eating does happen but make it a habit to compensate by exercising or having healthy few meals. Over time, it will become a natural instinct thing to eat healthy in right portions.
Disclaimer: The above ideas are just ideas to help you balance and not recommended if you are working towards losing weight or toning your body.
So what do you do to stay healthy without following a strict diet regimen? Let me know!
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