10 Effective Ways to Eat Less During Meals - Personal trainer speaks - Coach Sharm


Clients who can’t lose fat after 4 weeks of training : A personal trainer’s challenge. When it comes to dieting in order to lose weight, the most basic thing you need to remember can be summed up in two simple words: EAT LESS. But those two little words tend to bring really big problems, and they’re easier said than done. Nonetheless, if you really want to become fit, you’re going to have to start to eat less when you sit down for your meals. Personal training can help you lose fat and build muscles, but exercising won’t help you much if you can’t keep your calorie intake down to a healthy level. Go for a negative caloric intake.

Eating less can be a real problem if you’ve been used to eating a lot over the course of many years, but there are some simple tricks you can follow to help you along:

  1. Limit foods you love. Everyone has weaknesses when it comes to their favourite foods, so if you are determined to get fit you better acknowledge this fact right away. Discretion is the better part of valour, and if your pride is preventing you from retreating from the challenge of facing your favourite food, do what the Marine Corps does when it comes to retreating—call it a strategic withdrawal instead.
  2. Eat a fruit that’s low in calories and high in fibre before each meal. Apples are highly recommended, as well as berries and pears. The fibre these fruits contain keeps you from overeating, and studies show that by doing this you can reduce what you eat by as much as 15%.If these fruits are not available, you can chew gum for about 45 minutes before you sit down for a meal. The gum reduces your appetite, and makes you feel full more quickly.
  3. Cook less food. This is an obvious way to eat less during a meal. Part of the reason why so many people eat a lot is that they’ve been trained during childhood to avoid wasting food. As adults, many people also would rather finish off the food instead of taking the time and effort to put them in a container. By cooking less, you can avoid wasting food and you also don’t have to put them in the refrigerator as well.
  4. Savour every bite. Eating too quickly is one of the more common ways of eating too much during a meal. Your brain simply needs enough time to process the fact that you’re full. So close your eyes and concentrate on the taste of each bite. Take small bites one at a time, and chew it thoroughly. Don’t go for the next bite until your mouth is completely empty. You can also savour every bite more effectively if you eat at a table and away from the TV, which takes your mind away from the taste of the food.
  5. Eat with your non-favoured hand. If you’re right-handed, use your left hand to lift the food to your mouth. Sure it’s awkward and it takes too long, but that’s the point! You need to get away from mindless automatic chewing. Another way of getting out of the mindless eating is to use a utensil you’re not familiar with. For example, use a fork and knife instead of the usual chopsticks.
  6. Use smaller utensils and plates. The smaller utensils help limit the size of each bite, and you can even limit the bite size further by stabbing the food with the fork instead of scooping it up. As for the plate size, a smaller one limits your food intake during the meal, and it can even fool your subconscious into thinking you’re eating a full-size meal. You should even make it a habit of serving the food in smaller bowls and plates as well.
  7. Take a break. Pretend that a meal is a play, so there should be some break periods. You can use the time to drink a glass of water, or perhaps you can put your utensils down while you tell a story when you eat with others. This can slow down the meal, and you may feel full even after consuming less than what you normally do.
  8. Match the pace of the slowest diner at the table. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge just how fast you’re eating. The best way to do this easily is to identify the slowest person at the dining table, and then match them bite for bite. You can take a bite only after this person has taken a bite.
  9. Fill your plate first with veggies. Half of your plate should be vegetables, and the rest can be divided equally between lean protein and whole grains. This helps in controlling the number of calories you consume.
  10. Don’t skip lean protein. Protein takes a longer time to digest, so that means you feel full for a longer period of time. In addition, after your personal training or bootcamp session, protein intake is highly important – to repair the micro-tears and building of your muscles.

For the many years as a personal trainer, I’ve learnt that most of my clients see success by eating less and by substituting the food they eat. Eat healthier – choose wholemeal bread instead of white ones, brown rice over white, etc.

Remember, the point is not for you to starve. You need the right amount of calories so that you will have the energy for your personal training sessions and lose fat in the process. But the plain and simple truth is that if you’re overweight the most probable reason is, you eat too much. So eat less, and you can lose weight much more effectively.

Yours in health,

Sharm, MSc

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