This article has been put together by Gail Pinnock, our specialist Bariatric Dietitian, and offers some handy tips to help you reassess your goals and get back on track!
Weight loss isn't going to change every aspect of your life, but it will help improve your confidence and health so that you feel better. You need to think carefully about why you want to lose weight. It needs to be a personal reason for you and not to please someone else. Losing weight isn't easy, so you need to be realistic about how much weight you want to lose and how you are going to achieve it.
Most people don't appreciate how much they eat throughout the day. In fact, research has shown that nearly everyone underestimates how much they eat. This is partly because people forget what they have eaten and partly because they misunderstand how many calories some food contains. Being honest about how much you eat is the first step to taking control of your eating.
Having a regular meal pattern helps prevent snacking. Don't be tempted to skip breakfast. There is some research that shows that people who eat breakfast tend to have a lower body weight than people who don't.
There is a lot of evidence to show that when we concentrate on something else while eating, it leads us to eating too much ash taking in more calories than we need. This is because we are distracted and don't register how much we are eating. To change mindless eating to mindful eating:
- Turn the TV or computer off or move into another room when you are eating.
- Don't eat lunch while you are working at your desk.
- Try to sit at a table when you eat rather than on the sofa.
- Don't eat when standing up or walking about.
- Put all food and snacks onto a plate or into a bowl.
- Try to stop eating from open bags or packets - it's difficult to keep track on how much you have eaten.
It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that the stomach is full, so eating too quickly prevents you recognising that you are full, and you end up over-eating. Aim to take 20 minutes to eat a meal. If you do finish before the 20 minutes are up, then wait at least 10 minutes to see if you are still hungry before having second helpings or pudding. Tips to help you eat slowly:
- Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls - this will help you slow down your eating.
- Take small mouthfuls and chew the food really well before swallowing.
- Only pick up your knife and fork again after you have swallowed.
Keeping a note of all you eat and drink can help help prevent over-eating, but it can take up a lot of time. Taking a photograph of everything you eat and drink with your phone is quick and provides you with an instant record of what you have eaten that day.
If you need further help with your diet then Gail can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Cowan House.