OFTEN we curse those seemingly natural slim individuals who appear to be able to eat anything they like without ever gaining a skerrick of weight.
Appearances can be deceiving though, and when you take a closer look, there can be some marked differences in the way slim people consume their food that play a big part in their ability to maintain their trim physiques.
So what can we learn from them?
1. THEY ARE FUSSY WITH THEIR FOOD CHOICES
Each and every day we are presented with a myriad of food choices, many of which are tasty, high in calories and easy to overeat. Take a standard wrap or sandwich that you buy at lunchtime, or a stir fry mixed with rice as a quick lunch choice on the go.
In both of these examples, the foods are packed with extra rice and bread, a lot of which we eat simply because it is served to us. We consume it mindlessly, not really considering if we really want it, or even like it.
This is where our daily calories really add up. On the other hand, an observation is that those who keep control of their weight are generally quite fussy with what they will and will not eat, rarely wasting calories on extras they do not like, want or need. We do not have to eat everything that is served to us, and once we remember this we take control of our calorie intake.
2. THEY TASTE RATHER THAN EAT
If you consider that much of the pleasure associated with eating comes from the first few mouthfuls, when we are indulging in desserts that have more calories than a meal; or a jumbo sliced serve of chocolate cake, we are basically eating much of it in excess.
When you stop limiting your food choices overall, but get into the habit of tasting tempting treats rather than binge eating them, again your calorie intake will be dramatically reduced. And you’ll reduce the feelings of deprivation that are commonly experienced on a diet.
3. THEY EAT SLOWLY
Chances are you know or have a resident hoover in your household; that person who seems to literally inhale their food. Eating quickly means that we eat significantly more calories.
In fact, simply chewing your food more, and placing your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, can reduce calorie intake by as much as 20 per cent. Eating slowly gives your brain more time to register if it is full. So forget dieting, just slow things down.
4. THEY EAT ONLY WHEN THEY ARE HUNGRY
There are many reasons that humans eat, and hunger isn’t always the main one. Rather we eat because it is a mealtime, because others are eating or because there is tempting food on offer.
If you only eat food when you are genuinely hungry you will take control of your calorie intake, instead of allowing your food consumption to be influenced by what is going on around you.
5. THEY DO NOT DIET
Diets, especially strict diets generally trigger feelings of deprivation and restriction which in turn causes the brain to focus on what it is lacking, driving hunger, cravings and overeating.
Individuals who choose not to diet instead control their daily food decisions. The message here, enjoy treats in small portions when you really feel like them, and be aware of your food intake the rest of the time to support weight control.