About three-quarters of American adults are overweight or obese, often because of poor eating choices and other unhealthy habits. Fortunately, bad habits can be broken, and making just a few simple changes to your behaviors could be all it takes to lose those extra pounds (and enjoy better health, too).
For patients in Woodland Hills, California, Jeffrey Sherman, DC, NP, and the team at Prime Wellness offer practical, effective solutions for weight loss focused on each person’s lifestyle, health needs, and goals. Here, learn ten tips you can use to help keep your appetite under control.
Many people confuse hunger with appetite, leading them to overeat. In a nutshell, hunger is the body’s physiological response to a need for nourishment, while appetite refers to the desire to eat out of habit. Ideally, we should eat when we’re hungry, not just because we feel like eating, we’re bored, or we crave the taste of a particular food.
Sometimes, our bodies think we’re hungry when all we need is a good drink of water. Keep a water bottle with you, and take a sip when you’re hungry. Drink water before meals, too, to feel fuller faster.
Plenty of us eat while watching TV or surfing the internet on our phones or laptops — habits that can lead to mindless eating and overconsumption. Instead, turn off all electronics, put down your reading material, and focus on what you’re eating. Paying attention to flavors and textures of food helps you recognize when you’re full and avoid overeating.
We all tend to be creatures of habit. You eat extra calories if you have unhealthy eating habits, like eating between meals or snacking before bed. Sticking to regular mealtimes helps regulate your body’s hunger signals, preventing impulse eating and curbing cravings and snacking.
The theory is simple: We tend to fill our plates at meals. Smaller plates hold less food, so even when the plate is filled, you still consume fewer calories than if you used a larger plate.
While some studies have found smaller plates help with weight loss, other researchers have had conflicting results. Invest in a couple of small plates from your local thrift store before swapping out your entire set of china.
Instead of digging into the main meal, begin with a bowl of broth, soup or salad. These options fill you up so you eat less of the main dish and sides, which tend to be higher in calories. Be sure to stick with broth or broth-based soups and avoid high-calorie (and fatty) cream soups.
Poor sleep habits affect your insulin levels and production of appetite-regulating hormones, factors that influence your appetite and weight. When you don’t get enough sleep or your sleep quality is poor, imbalances in insulin and hormones increase your appetite and lead to overeating.
We all know exercise helps us lose or manage weight, but did you know it can curb your appetite, too? That’s because physical activity helps manage hormone levels, including the hormones responsible for feeling hungry. Add a daily walk to your routine, or take up swimming, cycling, or even dancing.
Stress is a significant appetite trigger for many of us, leading to “emotional” eating and cravings for so-called comfort foods. Managing stress through deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or an immersive hobby can help blunt those cravings and improve overall wellness.
While it’s important to avoid distractions while you’re eating, you can use some distractions to your advantage when trying not to eat. Many of us eat when we’re bored. Instead of reaching for a snack, try taking a walk or engaging in a hobby to shift your focus away from food and cravings.
Losing weight isn’t easy, but having a medical professional on your side can help. To learn more about our medical weight-loss programs, call 818-824-8629 or request an appointment online with the team at Prime Wellness today.