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One of the big problems with the way that many people diet is the fact that they will attempt to make changes that are too radical or too difficult to stick to. Counting calories is something that will take far too much time and effort for most of us, while eliminating a food group like carbs is actually very bad for you.
So instead you need to go a bit more into stealth mode to make some great positive changes to your diet and this way you can decrease the number of calories you take in and decrease the number of fats and salts without having to make any truly radical changes. These are little tweaks you can make to your diet that will create a lot less resistance than some of the changes and be highly practical, but also make quite a big difference to your overall health and body shape.
Take the Sugar Out of Your Tea
I can’t rate this one highly enough. You see taking the sugar out of your tea is good for you in a number of different ways. Firstly it means less sugar in your diet which of course means less damage to your internal organs, less damage to your teeth, and fewer calories. If you drink as much tea as I do then you’ve just cut out about 10 spoonfulls of sugar which is going to make a marked difference.
More to the point though, by taking the sugar out of your tea you train yourself to like plain tea – and once you’ve done that you’ll notice your ‘sweet tooth’ is drastically reduced and you ‘crave’ things like cake much less often. You don’t get as many sweet things, and so you don’t need them.
And then there’s the fact that taking sugar out of your tea is a bit of a challenge for those used to it which is a great way to train yourself in mental discipline. This is the same kind of discipline getting into shape takes all round, and if you can’t show the discipline necessary to stop having sugar in your tea – well then you don’t stand much chance at doing the rest of what needs to be done. Now’s the time to start being strict!
Oh, and don’t try using sweetener instead. Not only will that make the last two points obsolete but it tricks your body into thinking there’s sugar in your blood thus causing an insulin spike which uses up all the rest of your sugar and leaves you feeling low and craving more.
Always Leave Some Food
It sounds wasteful, but it’s better to waste a little food than it is to constantly stuff down food you aren’t going to enjoy. By always leaving just a little food on your plate it will add up to a lot in the long run.
Stop Having Butter on Your Toast
Butter is just a slab of fat – so stop adding that to your bread twice a day and instead have something like pate spread directly on.
Take the Oil and Salt Out of Your Cooking
Again, adding liberal doses of salt to your food only makes you crave more salt in future – if you stop adding salt then soon you get used to the more subtle flavours and of course eat a heck of a lot less salt.
Meanwhile take the salt off of your eggs and the sugar off of your cereal.
Drink Juice Instead of Sodas
Did you know that a drink of soda has more sugar in it than a Cadburys Cream Egg? Imagine each time you drank a glass of coke you were eating one of those – suddenly seems a bit more unnecessary and unhealthy doesn’t it? Replace those then with juice and lots of water.
Have a Glass of Water Every Time You Get Up to Go to the Toilet/Get Food
Apparently 75% of the American population are somewhat dehydrated. That’s a shocking statistic when you think about it, and it’s one that has a lot of negative consequences for our health – and even for our productivity. So take heed and make this effort to get more H20 in you.
Only Drink Socially
‘Nuff said on this one really – alcohol might be okay for you in small quantities (there’s some evidence to suggest it can prevent heart problems), but it also constricts blood vessels, dehydrates, damages brains cells, is tough on your liver, ruins productivity and lowers testosterone. Best to avoid getting into that habit…
Chewing more helps break the food up ready for digestion and this ensures more nutrients get absorbed into your body. Further though, it also means you take longer to eat which means your brain gets the signal that it’s full sooner.
Choose Alternative Deserts
More important than anything really is stopping eating all of those deserts. So next time you fancy chocolate what can you have instead? As you often eat chocolate as a pick-me-up for low energy and mood, consider having a banana instead which will release dopamine and also is a good source of carbs. Other alternatives are dried fruit, yogurt (and yogurt drink) or cereals. They’re just as comforting but not half as bad for you.
Daniel Harford assesses, diagnose and treat diet related problems and aim to raise awareness of the link between food and health to prevent future problems. He also suggest Skinny Dippers Diet to stay healthy.