SELF HELP RESOURCE - Wellness / Lifestyle

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In an attempt to lose weight, many people tend to skip dinner. However, this is not ideal and should not be done. Instead, preparing and being organized can help you eat early and healthy! Have a look at the following tips to know how.

Organized eating: Those who do not have regular meal and snack times tend to overeat. Most overeating is because one under-eats throughout the day and does not plan meals and snacks in advance. Cooking a little extra (chapathi/ daal/ sabzis) at either dinner or in the morning can help you eat healthy. Snacks can even be planned a few days in advance. Shop healthy and cook wisely, so when you get home from work in the evenings or if you have extended work hours, you can still eat healthy.

Trigger foods: Avoid trigger foods, which are usually junk foods. These will cause you to crave and overeat foods like chips, chocolate or sweets. By avoiding trigger foods, you can reduce evening overeating. This keeps place for a nutritious and balanced dinner.

Assessing hunger: Your body is your best guide and lets you know what it needs. A golden key to lasting weight management is being in touch with your body and its signals.

Stress management: Many people overeat in the evenings after work.  This is a way to cope with the stress and exhaustion they may feel or to reward themselves at the end of a hard day. But this is a self-defeating and wrong response to stress or rewards. When you come home, have a shower to relax, take a walk or stretch. Once relaxed, then decide what you'd like for dinner.

When to eat: Try to finish your meal between 7:30 to 8:30 pm. This may vary for those on night/ rotational shifts. Also note that evening calories don't exceed lunch or breakfast calories. Eat at least two-thirds of your day's calories before dinner. It's important to go to bed feeling light, not full. This way, you awake hungry for breakfast.

Brush your teeth:  Yes, you read that right! After dinner, brush your teeth. This will prevent you from snacking on anything unhealthy after you have eaten. If you have had dinner by 8 pm and sleep between 10:30 to 11 pm, your body does not need anything between this time. If needed, you can have a small glass of milk at bedtime. At night, your body is gradually shutting down preparing to sleep. Your activity levels are also lowered and the body does not need extra energy or calories. Mindless eating (which is mostly junk foods) is bad for health. These foods will not get processed well and get stored as fat.

Other points:
•    When you are planning for dinner, keep it light and simple.
•    Eat portion controlled meals. Focus on lean protein and vegetables (both raw and cooked) Avoid starchy foods and too much carbs.
•    Have your meal 2 hours before sleeping and avoid midnight munching.
•    Also exercising is important to lose weight. By watching what you eat and exercising you could lose 1 kg a week! Try having a short walk (don’t make it brisk) after dinner.

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