Mealtime mistakes to avoid
Weight loss comes easy to some. It’s almost like your best friend will decide she needs to lose a few kilos and suddenly within a week she’s achieved her goal. You on the other hand, slog away at the gym and reduce your meals to what feels like celery and air and your weight doesn’t even shift.
Well, the culprit for your weight loss woes may just be the small mistakes that you’re making at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even at snack time. Mistakes that you may not have even thought would be detrimental to your diet.
So allow us to shed a harsh, harsh light on the mealtime mistakes that are putting a hold on your weight loss plans.
#1: Not eating enough protein
Did you know that protein digests slower than carbohydrates, meaning that it’ll take longer for you to get hungry? So if your breakfast consists of some cereal and milk, chances are that you’ll be hankering for some food not long after you’ve finished. Try incorporating foods like eggs, whole-grain toast or smoked salmon to up your protein intake.
#2: Eating breakfast too late
If you think about it, you take a break from eating for about 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. That’s a really long time. So it’s important to eat your morning meal soon after you wake up. Not only to give you the energy you need for the day, but the longer you wait to eat breakfast, the harder it will be to satisfy your immense hunger once you do eat (meaning that you’ll eat wayyyy more than you need to).
#1: Eating your lunch too quickly
If you work in an office or you have a hectic schedule, it’s pretty easy to race through your lunch. Which is a massive no-no. See, when you eat quickly, you’re not giving your body the chance to recognise when it’s full, so there’s a greater chance you might overeat. Take easy and eat at a pace that’s slower – you’ll also actually get to enjoy your food this way.
#2: Ditching lunch altogether
Sometimes it can be tempting to forgo your lunchtime meal – either because you’re just too busy or you had a really late breakfast (see point above on why you need to ditch this habit). Why is this bad? Well, when you eat too little in a day, your body fights to try and conserve all the energy it has so it actually slows down your metabolism. And a slow metabolism means less chance of losing weight.
#1: Portions that are too big
You may be eating a reallllly healthy dinner, but if you’re eating too much of it (or going for seconds or thirds), you’re going to find that your good decisions aren’t going to do much in terms of weight loss. A good way to combat this is to try eat from a smaller plate or to measure out whatever you’re putting on your dish.
#2: Eating out
Again, you may be making seemingly healthy choices when meeting your buds out for a meal, but the problem is that you don’t know how your food has been prepared. Your fish may be covered in butter, or that sauce on your chicken might be full of salt and fat. You don’t have to stop eating out altogether, but it’s a good idea if you’re aware of what’s gone into making your dinner. Oh, and another pitfall of dinners out – cocktails! They’re chockfull of calories, so be wary of these too.
#1: Not snacking at all
Snacking isn’t taboo when trying to lose weight. In fact, snacking in moderation will actually help curb your cravings so that you don’t end up eating more than intended. Just make sure you’re not overdoing it. Obviously, it’s best to opt for healthy snacks, like raw nuts, veggies and hummus, or some fruit and yogurt, but sometimes you just feel like a bit of junk. When this occurs, limit yourself to only eating bite sized chocolates or a small bowl of crisps. If you feel like you’ll give in to temptation by having the treats around you, simply don’t have them in your cupboard – after all, if they’re not there, you won’t be able to eat them.
#2: Snacking on autopilot
Having a bag of chips or bowl of popcorn in front of you can lead to mindless eating – where your hand reaches for the food and takes it to your mouth without even realising what it’s doing. Which means you’re putting extra calories in your body. To fight this, try having smaller snack portions in front of you and actually being aware of what you’re eating.
Do any of these mealtime mistakes sound all too familiar? What habit hinders you from losing weight?