Bumping up vegetable consumption has long been recognized as a way to protect against obesity . Add veggies to an omelet to cut down on cheese, use them in baked goods, and pasta dishes (Bonus: Try zucchini ribbons, or spaghetti squash instead). Pump pureed veggies, like pumpkin, into oatmeal or casseroles. Adding a little vegetable action into a meal or snack will increase fiber levels, which helps make us fuller, faster.
12. Wait Before Grabbing Seconds
The quicker we shovel down a meal, the less time we give our bodies to register fullness . Since it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that dinner’s been served, it’s best to go for a walk or play cards before dishing up seconds or tackling the dessert table.
13. Snack Before Dining
Grabbing an apple or a small cup of yogurt before meeting friends for dinner can help ensure you’ll eat a reasonable amount of that enormous entrée (rather than overdo it). And be sure to reach for the protein—research shows that an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt can lead to reduced hunger, increased fullness, and less eating come dinner time.
14. Deep Freeze
Once meal prep is over, serve yourself a reasonable portion, then package up the rest and stash it in the fridge or freezer for a later date. When the food is out of sight, studies show you’ll be less likely to reach for a second helping.
15. Turn Off the Tube
Eating while watching television is linked to poor food choices and overeating . Getting sucked into the latest episode of Snooki and JWoww can bring on mindless eating and it can be easy to lose track of just how many chips we’ve just thrown down the hatch. It’s not just the mindlessness of watching televsion that’ll get us. Commercials for unhealthy foods and drinks may increase our desire for low-nutrient junk, fast food, and sugary beverages.
16. Turn Your Back on Temptation
The closer we’re situated to a food that’s in our line of vision, chances are the more we’ll actually eat of it . If we face away from food that might tempt us when we’re not all that hungry (like an office candy bowl), we may be more likely to listen to cues from our gut rather than our eyes.
17. Hands Off
When snack time hits, our brains can be pretty unreliable. It’s tempting to reach for a bag of chips, but instead, grab a handful (or measure out the serving size) then seal the bag up and put it away. Odds are, you’ll be more mindful of how much you’re polishing off when you see it right in front of you. And next time there’s a between-meal tummy rumble, try one of these healthy, satisfying 100-calorie snacks.
18. Pack the Protein
Protein can help promote a healthy weight because high protein diets are associated with greater satiety, plus it’s important for healthy muscle growth . Animal sources aren’t the only option—try alternatives like quinoa, tempeh, and lentils.
19. Fill Up on Fiber
Eating more vegetables and other high-fiber items like legumes can help keep us fuller, longer . Look for at least five grams or more of the stuff per serving. Snack on some of our favorite high-fiber picks like stuffed baked apples or jazzed up oats.
20. Make Room for (Healthy) Fats
Cutting butter and oil can slash calories, and it’s easy to swap in foods like applesauce, avocado, banana, or flax for baking. But, it's important to remember that we still need fat in our diets as a source of energy and to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Plus it helps us feel full. Get healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from avocadoes, olive oil, nuts, coconuts, seeds, and fish . Bonus tip: Combining fat with fiber has been shown to increase fat’s power to make us feel full.
More tips will be in Part III.
More about Chris Tina Bruce
Chris Tina Bruce is a male-to-female transgender bodybuilder, spokesperson and fitness talent.
She is the founder of Be Bold Be Proud, a grassroots non-profit transgender equality organization. She is also the founder of Hillcrest Fitness, a freelance writer and the proud parent of two amazing children. She obtained her bachelor of science degree from Georgia State University, and is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer.
Chris Tina lives by some very simple rules and affirmations: All of life is a transition; where you are does not have to define who you will be and together we can cultivate change. Be Bold, Be Proud, Be Yourself.
For more information about Chris, her Fitness Fun Camps, private sessions, nutrition programs or next bodybuilding show follow her Facebook page.