We’re getting fatter across the Middle East but diets aren’t the answer. Try these tips instead
Check out the 15 tips that will help you drop pounds without dieting…
1 Drink plenty of water: People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. So you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really what you need. And some fruit juice to it if you really can’t stand the plain stuff. But never go for fizzy drinks, even the diet ones, they wreck your body and your diet.
2 Think about what you can eat, not what you can’t: Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. You're also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. Work vegetables into meals instead of just serving them as sides on a plate.
3 Consider whether you're really hungry: Whenever you feel like eating, ask yourself whether you really are. Maybe you’re just bored or thirsty? After you have eaten, you should feel better but not full. Keeping your portions small will help you get more in touch with your feelings of hunger and fullness.
4 Be choosy about nighttime snacks: Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax. Either avoid the kitchen after a certain hour, or allow yourself a low-calorie snack, like a 100-calorie pack of biscuits or a half-cup scoop of low-fat ice cream. Better still, have a glass of water or a cup of tea instead.
5 Enjoy your favorite foods: You can eat whatever you like, just keep the portions small. Most diets fail because we tell ourselves we can’t have something. If you want a chocolate bar, have a mini one. If you want chips, have a small portion - easy.
6 Enjoy your treats away from home: We all know that if you eat more, you need to move more. So, if you want an ice cream, make sure you have a walk around the mall afterwards.
7 Eat several mini-meals during the day: If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But when you're hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be challenging. If you’re trying to stick to a lower number of calories, spread them out into small portions to make them last longer. Snacks of 100 calories are a great way to do this so check the back of packets and plan ahead. You’ll be amazed how much you can actually eat.
8 Eat protein at every meal: Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, and thus may be the new secret weapon in weight control. Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans, at meals and snacks.
9 Spice it up: Add spices or chillis to your food for a flavour boost that can help you feel satisfied. Also, new research suggests that chillis increase your metabolism helping your body burn calories faster. You can’t lose.
10 Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods: Having calorie-controlled ready-to-eat snacks and meals-in-minutes staples on hand sets you up for success. You'll be less likely to hit the drive-through or call in a pizza order if you can make a healthy meal in five or 10 minutes.
11 Order children’s portions at restaurants: When you are eating out, order a child's pizza or a small sandwich as an easy way to trim calories and get your portions under control. It means that you can still eat what you like but with way less calories. Another trick is to use smaller plates. This helps the portions look like more, and if your mind is satisfied, your stomach likely will be, too.
12 Eat foods in season: If you don't love certain fruits or vegetables, it could be because you ate them out of season when they have little taste or flavour. When you eat seasonally, fruits and vegetables are at their best. This is also a great way to introduce kids to vegetables as they’ll try them at their best.
13 Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables: Simply by eating less pasta or bread and more veggies, you could lose a dress or jeans size in a year. Try mashed carrot as a potato alternative and half the amount of past you use per portion.
14 Use non-food alternatives to cope with stress: Sooner or later, you're going to be faced with a stressful situation. Instead of turning to food for comfort, be prepared with some non-food tactics that work for you. Spend time with friends doing something active like an exercise class. The endorphins you release as you workout will make you feel better and burn calories.
15 Be physically active: Eating less and moving more is the tried and tested route to thinness, but don’t assume that just because you exercise you can eat whatever you like. Your eating habits are the key to dropping the pounds. Exercise is just the icing on the cake, so to speak. A combination of the two will help you lose weight and stay that way.