If consuming less calories is on your to-do list this fall, go about it in the smartest way possible. As with the cookie jar syndrome, what we can't have we will inevitably crave and this means a greater likelihood for breaking any diet. In essence, we want to cut the calories but not the joy and satisfaction that we reap from a good meal. This is a difficult proposition: our diets are usually determined by myriad factors besides just the calories on the plate. Your mood, level of activity, and
- Eat breakfast: people who eat breakfast every day are found lower on the BMI scale and consume less calories per day than those who skip breakfast. This is because you will feel less hungry throughout the day and therefore you won't seek out extra calories later that day to compensate.
- Slow down: Mowing through food before your body even has the chance to process what is happening? This is a good way to eat more than you need to. Discipline yourself to fully chew each bite before moving on and enjoy the food. Chances are you will feel full faster and not need a second helping.
- Use soup and salad as "ruffage." These are not empty calories: the nutritional benefit that comes along with most soup and salad makes these calories valuable. The fact that they make you feel a little more full is just an added bonus.
- Drink water: working on the same principle as above, but with zero calories. Water is important for regulating many functions in the body, but it also helps us feel just slightly fuller.
- Smaller plates: I'm sure you've heard this one before, but portion control is important. Humans eat, on average, 93% of what is in front of them.
- Finally, utilize protein. And it does not need to come with the excess fat. Eating lean proteins that are derived from beans, lean meats and low-fat dairy products can be a tasty way to get the protein your muscles need without the extra fat.
Nutrition is one of the two most important elements of a successful weight plan. For people concerned with the longevity of your spine (your chiropractor included) maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.