Worried about your diet downfalls as unnoticed calories might be bulking you up? Expect the unexpected amount of calories in the unexpected foods and ways to outsmart these fat building calories by learning the tricks to keep your food intake intact without spoiling your diet regimen.
1. Drink water
H20 isn’t just good for your digestion; it’s also a proven appetite suppressant! Researchers estimate that people who drink water before a meal consume on average 75 calories less than those who don’t. “75 calories doesn’t sound like much until you multiply it by 365. Even if you only drink a glass of water before one meal each day, you’d consume 27,000 fewer calories in a year,” enthuses Hong Ya Chee, a chief nutritionist with Petaling Jaya-based nutrition consultancy, ILife Nutrition Centre.
2. Eat peanut butter
PB may seem like a calorific guilty indulgence, but here’s where appearances can be deceiving. Researchers from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania, have found that a diet containing foods with high levels of monounsaturated fats- peanut butter falls into this category-can help in weight loss and the prevention of heart disease.
3. To rice or not to rice
Can’t fathom trading rice or noodles for quinoa and barley? That’s okay! You don’t have to give quintessentially Malaysian meals the slip. Despite the carbs’ bad rep, “Rice or noodles aren’t unhealthy when eaten in moderation,” Hong advises. To ease your conscience, pick brown or red rice instead, which your body takes longer to break down as they’re complex carbohydrates.
4. Practice portion control
Serving sizes at eateries do not differ for male and female dinners, although women typically require 500 less calories a day than men (200 kcal compared to 2500 kcal), hence solving the mystery of why inches rapidly pile up when you eat out. The Malaysian dietary guideline recommends tailoring your diet around these daily serving sizes (one serving is generally about the size of fist).
5. Catch some sleep
A study published in the journal Sleep found that levels of an appetite-suppressing hormone, total gulacagon-like peptide 1 (GlP-1), were lower in women after short periods of slumber. Take power naps when you’re tired and roll into bed by 11pm to stop cravings from sneaking up and derailing your diet. If you still fall victim to late-night cravings, “Satisfy them with low-calorie snacks rather than a plate of mee goreng or nasi lemak,” suggests Hong.