We are all made up differently, and what is the ‘most comfortable weight’ for one person will be completely different for another.
That being said, some people share ingrained habits that might aid in controlling their body weight, and with some practice, they could become second nature for you too.
Read on to find out how you can make these habits a part of your lifestyle
1. They count drinks as part of their meal. Ordering a smoothie alongside your breakfast might seem a virtuous move, but a concoction of milk, yoghurt and fruit can contain upwards of 1000kj – or put in context, similar to that in a sandwich. Of course there’s nothing wrong with downing a smoothie, but it’s important to consider them as a part of your meal, rather than an extra that doesn’t count. The same can be said for fruit juice, cordial, coffee and soft drinks, with the one exception being water!
2. They keep milky coffees to a minimum Speaking of coffee – that 3-a-day latte habit really adds up! A small full fat latte contains around 500kj; a nice amount of energy for a mid-meal snack. Spread a few throughout the day and it’s easy to see where the extra energy is sneaking in. If you can’t cut the caffeine, try switching to skim milk, which will cut the energy in half, or if you see skim milk as a sin – try a full fat piccolo latte, the same taste but in a small 100ml glass.
3. They drink responsibly Though this might sound like a sermon, alcohol is the definition of empty calories. Believe it or not, alcohol itself (even before you add high sugar mixers like juice or soft drinks) is high in energy, and when consumed in large amounts it can often displace healthier food choices. Trade in your tipple for sparkling water with a squeeze of lime juice and save on 500kj – the equivalent of the energy in 2 slices of bread!
Fat: 9 calories per gram
Alcohol: 7 calories per gram
Carbohydrate: 4 calories per gram
Protein: 4 calories per gram
4. They eat slowly and mindfully. Have you ever sat down to a meal, inhaled it, then realised you didn’t actually take notice of what you were eating? Slowing down and focusing on your food enhances the enjoyment of your meal, and gives your brain the opportunity to register when you’re full.
5. They eat when they’re hungry, and stop when they’re full. Despite what we were told growing up, there’s no need to finish everything on our plate. Though it comes naturally to some, to stop eating once your brain lets your stomach know it’s full, others struggle to overcome this ingrained habit. Employing a more mindful approach, as suggested above, can assist in becoming more in tune with your appetite. Psychologists have also shown through research that downsizing your dinner plate can curb the amount of food eaten in one sitting, by reversing the ‘optical illusion’ of a small quantity of food on a large plate. One such study found those given a large cereal bowl consumed 16% more cereal than those with small bowls, yet they estimated their consumption as much lower than the participants with the small bowls – all due to this optical illusion!
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