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Eating well can be difficult. Finding the time, inspiration and resource to consistently eat healthily is a challenge. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t little tips to help along the way. Here are 5 of my favourite diet hacks to improve your daily food intake…
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Diet Hacks #1: A glass of water with each meal
The first item on the list of diet hacks is useful for more reasons than one. I’ve previously posted about why drinking water is important here. However, drinking water with each meal also has other benefits. Firstly, it’s your bodies natural and preferred source of hydration. This means if you drink water and not juices/soft drinks your body will instantly begin to function better. Hair, skin and digestion will all improve within days.
Secondly, having a glass of water with each meal will fill your stomach. This begins the process of telling your brain that you’re full. Therefore, it means that you are less likely to over-eat and make poor food choices. We’re often thirsty but mistake it for hunger which leads to excess consumption. Aim to drink 1 glass of water with each meal and you’ll soon see the difference.
Diet Hacks #2: Handful portions
One of the main problems we have is portion control. The second item on the list of diet hacks may help prevent that. Aim to put a handful sized portion on your plate of each item making up your meal. As a rough guide this will cover the amount of food your body needs for that meal – Obviously if on specific diets do your research on portion sizes.
If you’re looking for a general guide to portion control this can be a diet hack worth trying. It may not work for those already following certain plans. However, for busy families and individuals it can be a good one. It also covers getting the right amounts of different food groups. A handful of chicken will look a lot different to a handful of spinach on a plate. Therefore, you get more healthy veg and just enough of essential proteins and other carb sources.
Diet Hacks #3: Go bowling
Just to reiterate, we’re still talking about diet here. This diet hack is all about swapping your plates for bowls. Similar to the previous point, if there’s too much food in front of you, you’ll be over eating. Rather than using plates, try swapping your choice of serving dish to bowls.
I’m not saying throw all your plates away, by all means keep them for special occasions – Hello Christmas dinner. However, day-to-day, using bowls rather than plates will reduce the volume of food you’re eating. Logically, if there’s less room for food then you’ll consume less. Furthermore, using bowls will mean you’re more likely to feel fuller after finishing. We often have an “eat until it’s gone” mentality. So, with larger plates we may keep eating until all food is gone. Using bowls may mean we will finish sooner and therefore may not consume as much.
Diet Hacks #4: Cinnamon sweet
This diet hack is for those of you with a sweet tooth. Many of us often feel like having something sweet with our meals. This normally leads to a choice of high sugar, nutritionally lacking junk food making its way onto our plate. This causes all kinds of negative reactions and results within our bodies. However, if you have a sweet tooth, a simple yet effective way to control those cravings is using cinnamon in your cooking.
As well as having an abundance of other health benefits, cinnamon can add that sweet kick to your food that you think you need. In addition to this, don’t forget cinnamon is a spice. This means it can go in almost any dish, not just the sweet ones. Try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to your next Spaghetti Bolognese, potato wedges or porridge in the morning and see if this curbs your sweet craving.
Diet Hacks #5: Slow down
The final diet hack on the list is to chill out when it comes to your meals. Slowing down will give your brain and body more time to process what you’re eating. By slowing down our rate of eating, it may lead to us consuming less overall food. It may give us the chance to realise when we’re full before plowing through another 500 calories.
It can take up to 20 minutes to realise we are satisfied and don’t need any more food – We all know that sudden feeling of having a rock in our stomach after a meal! It’s even been found that people who eat fast are 115% more likely to be overweight than slower eaters. So, take more time between courses, and when eating the food in front of you, to know when it really is time to stop eating.
There you have it, 5 diet hacks that may help you eat healthier without thinking about it. If you think these are useful, or have diet hacks of your own, let me know in the comments at the bottom of the page…
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