Okay, so you’ve eaten lean protein for breakfast. Now what about the rest of the day? To lose weight and keep it off, follow this basic rule of thumb: If you’re hungry, eat. Women often make weight loss hard work—incorrectly assuming they will only lose weight if they make themselves miserable with hunger. In the long run this approach always fails.
Hunger is your body’s signal to eat, just as satiety is a signal to stop eating. If you ignore your hunger signals, you can end up overeating at your next meal—essentially knocking out the indicators that let you know when you’re full. This leads to a pattern of eating more calories than your body will burn between meals. These excess calories get stored as fat.
Reduce Calories At Meals
So how do you turn off your hunger signals? By listening to them. Start the day with a balanced breakfast that includes a source of lean protein. Then eat smaller portions than you normally would at lunch and dinner.Wait ten or twenty minutes before deciding whether you need to eat more. Tune into how you feel. You’ll probably feel satisfied (not stuffed).
If after ten or twenty minutes you’re still hungry, eat a little more. In this way you teach yourself to be responsive to both your hunger signals and your satiety signals. You will end up eating less, cutting hundreds of calories each day. Over time this leads to big weight loss.
If you’re hungry between meals, snack—on healthy foods. Snacking 2 or 3 times during the day keeps your blood sugar stable. This will reduce cravings and stop you from overeating at meal times.
Each snack should contain no more than 250 calories and include protein and some healthy fat. Peanut butter or almond butter on a couple of crackers is a good choice, or an apple and ½ cup of yogurt.
To lose weight and keep it off, eat a protein breakfast, eat smaller meals, include 2 or 3 small snacks and find time to exercise regularly. This approach makes weight loss easy and keeps you energized all day.
© 2009 Laurel-Lea Shannon