The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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When you're trying to lose weight, there are two main factors you'll want to consider: diet and exercise. However, out of those two factors, diet is the most important one. If you're eating more than you can exercise off, then weight gain is inevitable. In order to effectively lose the weight at a consistent rate, you'll have to manage your portion sizes. This can be a major struggle, as it often means retraining your body to be hungry at different times and often to ignore familiar cues. If you are struggling to make that change, here are a few ways to make portion control easier.

Develop a plant-based diet

Some foods are more calorie dense than others. That means that you can still eat the same volume of food, making you just as full, but without overloading your metabolism. Plants are naturally low in caloric content, and the fiber they have helps keep things moving through your system. Therefore, it's an excellent idea to adopt a plant-based diet when trying to lose weight. For breakfast, you can enjoy oatmeal with nuts, seeds and berries. Your lunch might be a large salad. For dinner, you can consume steamed, grilled or sautéed vegetables and roots like sweet potatoes and more. Snacking on cucumbers and zucchini until you’re stuffed to the brim will only fill you with hydrating water, anti-inflammatory substances, and nutrients that help your body process the food you eat better. On a whole-food, plant-based diet, you don’t have to concern yourself so much with how much you eat so long as you are careful with what you eat.

Consider a high-protein diet

A high-protein diet is perfect for those who want to avoid carbs and can’t bring themselves to focus down on vegetables. However, you'll want to consume the healthiest options and cook them in the healthiest way. Focusing on lean meats will make this diet healthier for your heart, and eating lots of legumes, avocados, and other healthy sources of plant protein can ensure you get the fiber and nutritional variety you need during your diet. Keep in mind that this is a temporary solution diet that should not become your regular diet, but rather work solely for your weight loss efforts.

Try gastro-restricting devices

The lap-band surgery is an excellent option to consider when you aren’t ready to change your dietary habits on your own. While you'll have a doctor who recommends a specific diet, you won't have to choose the plant-based or high-protein diet in order to drop the weight. The lap band procedure is performed laparoscopically, putting a physical band around your stomach to restrict your appetite. This will help you lose weight simply by limiting the amount that you can comfortably eat in a single sitting. While this isn’t an option for everyone, it can be very helpful for those who need the extra physical support in their weight loss goals.

Decrease your appetite

You can manage your portion sizes by decreasing your appetite in other ways, as well. One of the best ways to decrease your appetite is through drinking more water. In general, most people need to drink more water on a daily basis. However, it's also great to enhance your meals with more seasonings and spices like ginger and chili pepper. Using seasonings on your meals can do a great deal in reducing your appetite while helping you savor your meal more. Dark chocolate is also a great appetite reducer. As you improve your culinary approach and drink lots of water throughout the day, you're less inclined to eat more food.
As you work through these options, consider which one works for you and your routine. Think about the long-term effects, how your body will adjust and more. Once you're able to make a calculated and informed decision on how to move forward, be consistent and dedicated to the process. While it is hard work, the work is well worth the ultimate reward of weight loss.

@ 10:17am ET on April 25, 2019
Thanks for a post, really useful! Managing portion sizes is very healthy, especially add to your diet more plant based food.

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