x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Practical steps to losing weight - without changing what you eat

Forget dieting - there are simple practical steps you can take right now that can help you lose weight without changing what you're eating.

The golden rule is only to eat when you are hungry, so listen to your body.
The golden rule is only to eat when you are hungry, so listen to your body.

There are very few of us who would pass up the opportunity to feel lighter right now, but often the thought of doing so is riddled with anticipated hard work, incessant hunger and so-called boring food choices that we certainly don't relish the thought of.

While I don't totally agree with those concerns, I admit that if you do embark on the usual rabbit-food diet plans then it certainly will be hard work, you will be hungry and you will get bored of eating boring food! Irritatingly, you won't feel lighter either, at least not in the long run, as countless studies show us that, despite growing numbers of diets, obesity is still on the rise as well.

Fear not, it doesn't have to be like this - there are some incredibly powerful changes you can make before you even get down to changing what you are eating and you can start doing these right now with minimal effort, avoiding the usual dieting pitfalls.

In fact, we can completely remove ourselves from that dieting mindset and begin to feed our body in a way that is intelligent, taking vital information from our body and eating according to how our body feels and what it needs. This is our key to lightness.

Its not so much what you eat but how you eat that makes the big difference. Here are three ways you can begin to feel lighter right now, without changing any of your food choices.

Only eat when you are hungry

Many people eat for the sake of eating, maybe because the clock says it's time for breakfast, lunch or dinner, paying no attention to how their body really feels. If you are not hungry then your body is not ready to digest food. If you eat when you're not hungry, food will be a burden, creating heaviness because your digestive system wasn't ready to take food in. Your hunger is your body's way of communicating to you that it needs food, but we often ignore this basic survival instinct.

The golden rule is only to eat when you are hungry, so listen to your body - this is the most important factor in creating lightness, being conscious of how your body is feeling and eating in accordance with this. The more you do this, the stronger your digestion will become and you will see your appetite gradually return to its natural rhythm.

If you lack appetite, this is a sign you need to eat lighter meals with very simple foods that are easier to digest: vegetable juices, smoothies, soups, gently cooked vegetables and whole grains, using such spices as ginger, turmeric, cayenne and cumin to help strengthen your digestion.

Portion sizes - let your body be your guide

People generally fall into two camps here, with either no attention paid to portion sizes or the total opposite, when they are followed rigidly. Neither is a good scenario because in each instance you are not listening to your body.

If you are in the first camp, you will most certainly always be eating more than your body needs, and if you are in the second camp you are open to eating too much or too little.

Neither of these scenarios works because you are not doing as your body requests. Your hunger level depends on so many factors and these will change daily, so you need to be awake to how your body is feeling and choose to eat an amount of food that satisfies your need in that moment.

Too little food is as bad as too much - both upset digestion and it's your digestion that is your key to lightness. Keep your digestion happy and efficient by eating amounts that make your body feel just right, not too much and not too little. To make this easier, eat slowly, giving your body a chance to tell you when enough is enough - and trust how you feel.

Your stomach does not have teeth - chew your food

A study done at the Viva Mayr clinic found that if a person chewed food until it was liquid before swallowing, even if nothing else changed in the diet they lost weight.

This led to the bold statement "a well chewed burger is better than a badly chewed salad for one's waistline"!

The digestive process starts in the mouth, as we break down the food with our teeth and enzymes are released to really get to work on your food.

Chewing always makes your food more alkaline, which is also very important for your overall health. If we don't take the time to chew, chunks of food get into the stomach where there is very little chance of them being broken down and digested efficiently. This will cause gas and bloating and it will make you heavier, with an ever-expanding waistline, regardless of how healthy your food is.

So many of us eat on the run, in a hurry or while occupied with other things, and this causes a significant amount of stress in the body and crucially hampers digestion.

If you don't change the food you eat but you do commit to listening to when you are hungry, eating the right amount of food and chewing it properly, your health and waistline will benefit significantly.