There is no shortage of advice on how to reduce calorie intake. There’s a new way every week mentioned in the national press and there are enough books on the subject to fill a library. Open just about any book on weight loss and a significant section of it will list recipes to help you lose pounds. “Healthy” sections of supermarkets offer prepared meals have been made to try to maximise your enjoyment and feel satisfied whilst reducing the number of calories you consume.
There is a much quicker, easier and cheaper way to reduce calories and lose weight.
Instead of buying diet food or using diet recipes, prepare the food you already eat and love. This can be made from scratch or bought pre-prepared, whatever you already do. For each meal, prepare your food as usual and before eating, cut a quarter of it off and either throw it away (see blog article Weigh Less Waste Less) or put it back in the fridge for another meal.
Eating and registering fullness
Eat the remaining three quarters. Focus on the food as you eat in order fully to appreciate the enjoyment and taste. When you finish, note how full you feel and label this feeling in your stomach “just full”. This is +3 on the Appetite Pendulum. This will help you to start recalibrating when you feel full, from the fullness feeling which follows your old meal size to that which follows eating a quarter less.
You may want to move away from food for 20-30 minutes now in order to let the slower fullness signals register in your brain at which point you will probably feel fuller. Then just get on with your day.
There is more guidance on using the Appetite Pendulum to lose weight permanently at www.theappetitedoctor.co.uk
Change can make us anxious
You may find yourself feeling uncomfortable or anxious when you finish your meal at three quarters of its usual size. This is a normal part of change and you won’t continue to feel anxious if you make eating-three-quarters a habit. If you do feel this unease or anxiety, use one of the anxiety reduction techniques outlined in the free download “Anxiety and How to Manage It” from the Appetite Doctor website each time you feel it until the anxious feelings are no longer triggered by eating the smaller amount.
If reducing each meal by a quarter does not result in weight loss of about a pound (half a kilo) a week then you can instead reduce each meal by a third or a half. The chances are that reducing your meals by a larger amount will cause you more unease or anxiety, so it is important to gauge what you are comfortable doing. It is much better in the long run to make the changes gradually and for them to be permanent rather than to aim big and find you can’t sustain the change.
Should I reduce the size of every meal?
This is a matter for individual judgement. There is no hard and fast rule. It may help to start with the largest meal of the day and then change the next largest and so on. The amount of weight you lose will depend on how large your meals are to start with, so experiment with using the three-quarters principle so that it feels like a definite challenge but not one that is too much of a strain to achieve.
Habit change means permanent weight loss
Because the change described above is one which is something you repeat at each meal, it becomes a habit. Once the new habit is established it is easier to stick to than going back to what you did previously, especially because the new habit has the added bonus of weight loss and probably more enjoyment of food.
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