We know people who have lost huge amounts
of weight and have kept it off permanently. But we also know
many more who started diets and gave up or who started a diet,
lost weight and regained more than what they had started with.
It is estimated that 95 per cent of all those who lost weight on
a diet gained it back. This is because most diets are
deprivation diets that help lose weight but fail to keep it that
Research in psychology and marketing has
provided insights into eating behaviour. The identification of
individual behaviours, perceptions and beliefs associated with
eating is key to improving the efficacy of dietary treatment and
lifestyle modifications for obese and overweight individuals.
From these have emerged principles which can improve therapies
and outcomes in weight loss.
Before deciding to alter your lifestyle, ask yourself what
motivates you to bring a change? Body image and health are
compelling issues for most people. Plus, are you ready for what
is called ‘mindful eating’?
Awareness about your diet and knowledge
about foods along with principles of healthy eating is all it
takes to get where you want. Set realistic goals though.
Almost all of us would have indulged in mindless eating at some
point in our lives. Eating without hunger because of external or
environmental cues, simply for pleasure or for comfort is
something we all do. Most of us do not stop eating even when we
are full. Here are some tips that can keep you from doing so:
1. Stop eating when you are “no longer hungry”,
not when you are “full”. You should stop when you still have space for
one chapati or when you are just 80 per cent full.
2. ‘Pre-plate’ your food. Most people tend to eat less if they put
everything on their plate like in a traditional thali, on which they are
able to see how much they are going to eat.
3. Use smaller plates, bowls, spoons, cups and glasses. It helps to
create an illusion about the volume of food you eat.
4. Eat slowly. Make overeating difficult. Don’t keep unhealthy food in
your room or home.
5. Identify when you feel hungry or get tempted for that samosa or
muffin, such as in the evening at work or while watching television.
Carry or keep with you healthy snacks or fruits for the same.
6. Follow the half-plate rule. At least half of your plate should have
vegetables and fruits while the rest can be divided into protein and
7. Do not see food as punish-ment or reward. Eating healthy food should
be fun and a way of life. Vary, innovate and create new recipes.
8. Maintain a food diary to monitor your daily caloric intake.
9. If you can’t resist unhealthy food, restrict yourself to a smaller
portion. If you can’t do that either, balance it out i.e. go light in
the next meal.
- Indian Express