The Anti-Diet: How Not Dieting Is the Key to Losing Weight
These four simple strategies will help you get started with the anti-diet. Sure, they seem to go against everything you've heard about weight loss, but experts say that's exactly the point.Use your senses.
Employing all five senses, not just taste, when you eat is an easy way to be more mindful. "This gives you more pleasure from your food, so you end up being more satisfied," says Lilian Cheung, a Harvard School of Public Health lecturer and a coauthor of Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. Stop eating on autopilot and relish each bite. Look at the colors on your plate and inhale the aroma. Listen to the sizzle of that stir-fry or the crunch of the carrots. Enjoy the texture of that creamy Greek yogurt.ID your hunger.
"Give yourself unconditional permission to eat when you're hungry," says Evelyn Tribole, RD, the author of Intuitive Eating. But be sure it's the stomach-rumbling, physical kind. Ask yourself, "What am I hungry for?" If you're bored, sad, or feeling celebratory, it's not food that you're craving.Table the labels.
Research in the journal Appetite revealed that one in four dieters, as opposed to one in 25 nondieters, labels foods with the words guilt or no guilt. Part of what drives you to overeat ice cream or chips is a fixation on the allure of bad foods, says psychoanalyst Carol Munter, a coauthor of Overcoming Overeating. Try to view all foods as being equal. This takes practice, Munter says, so remind yourself of your new mind-set when you catch yourself thinking Brownie equals bad, and grape equals good.Slow down.
Instead of inhaling your dinner, sit at the table while you eat and make the meal last at least 20 minutes. When you go slow, it's easier to read your body's hunger and fullness signals. Need proof? In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, women consumed less, yet reported feeling fuller, when they put down their utensils between bites and chewed each mouthful 20 to 30 times.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2013.
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