1. PRACTICE 2-HANDED PUSH-UPS…away from the dinner table. Stop eating when you are 80% full, rather than when you can feel food in your stomach. The stretch receptors in your gut take 20 minutes to tell your brain that food is in there. Two-handed push-ups give them time to work their magic!
2. EAT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY. When was the last time you felt true hunger? Many of us eat/graze out of habit. As a test, wait to eat lunch until your hunger is distracting enough that you can’t focus on your work.
3. SLEEP IT OFF. Researchers have established a clear link between sleep & body weight in that if you sleep more, your weight will come off more easily. How so? It comes down to 2 hormones:
Leptin: produced by our fat cells, its role is to signal to our brain when we are full
Ghrelin: produced in the gastrointestinal tract, it works to stimulate our appetite
When sleep is scarce, leptin levels drop, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin to rise, which means our appetite is stimulated, and we want more to eat. This sets us up for overeating.
If you currently get <6 hours of sleep, try logging a few more (most people need 7 hours of sleep a night; some more, some less). You may just discover that you aren’t as hungry, or that you have fewer cravings for sugary, calorie-dense foods.
4. ALLOW SOME TREAT FOODS – this is very much a part of being healthy. Don’t feel that you need to try EVERY treat food that comes your way though – if it is not a favourite, skip it. Is the caramel slice worth it when you have slogged your guts out in a training session? Just because it is there, it doesn’t mean you HAVE to chow down.
5. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MOUTH. Research by Brian Wansink (author of “Mindless Eating: Why we eat more than we think”) shows that we will eat twice as many Hershey’s kisses when they are in a clear container than when they are in an opaque container. If your office has a biscuit barrel/lolly jar – make sure it is not glass or plastic. Purchase a new ceramic version & wear the expense as your ‘nominal 6-pack tax’!