Fibre is found in plant food such as wholegrains, cereals, fruit and vegetables.

To be able to make permanent changes in your lifestyle as well as habits to lose significant weight and keep it off, you need to be able to control your environment and your emotions or psychosocial cues to conquer overeating

#1 Have regular meals

If you're one of those people who skip meals—whether you're trying to save time or cut calories—you may want to reconsider, especially if you're trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Many diet plans suggest that you eat less to reduce your calorie intake, but that can leave you hungry and miserable, which defeats the purpose. When you do not eat for a long time, you are more likely to succumb to cravings and overeat subsequently, leading to unnecessary weight gain. Therefore, having regular meals, especially breakfast, is important when it comes to healthy eating.

#2 Fill up with fibre and chew longer

Look out for the Higher in Wholegrains Healthier Choice Symbol when grocery shopping.

Fibre is beneficial because it adds bulk. A high-fibre diet will help you feel full for longer, leading you to eat fewer calories overall. It is also good for your health. Fibre is found in plant food such as wholegrains, cereals, fruit and vegetables.

Make wise food choices. If you want a slice of bread, opt for wholemeal bread because it can make you feel fuller than white bread. You can also look out for food with the Higher in Wholegrain Healthier Choice Symbol as these food products contain higher fibre content compared to regular products in similar categories.

High-fibre food generally takes longer to chew. It helps you to feel more satisfied when you eat. This automatically slows down the speed at which you eat and may give your brain time to register the stop eating signals coming from the stomach. This may take up to 20 minutes.

Finally, fibre stays in the stomach and small intestine longer. This sends signals to the brain to indicate fullness. It pays off to eat slowly and chew longer. Make sure you have some fibre with your meals as part of a healthy diet.

#3 Watering it down

Before meals, you can try to drink one large glass of plain water to fill up the stomach slightly so that you have less room for food during meals. This may help you to reduce the amount you eat for your meals. Water has absolutely no calories, yet it adds volume in your stomach.

Drink plenty of water during your meals too! If you prefer some flavour or the occasional sweetness in your beverage, choose plain tea or reduced-sugar/sugar-free drinks (e.g. reduced sugar teas, diet soft drinks). These drinks won’t add unnecessary, extra calories to your meals.

#4 Don't keep unhealthy food lying around

When you see them, you would want to eat them. So keep your coffee table free of snacks and start removing high-calorie snack food (e.g. chips, chocolates) from the living room, away from the TV area.

Instead, keep lower calorie food—such as fruit—where you can easily see them or on your coffee table. What surrounds you shapes you, and you will realise that your environment has a big role in your diet and lifestyle. So make sure you surround yourself with all the healthier choices.

#5 Shop smart

Empty cart in a supermarket.

Try not to shop for food when you are hungry because you may tend to overbuy food on impulse and store them at home, increasing the temptation to snack at home. You can opt to carry only a limited amount of cash to buy the essential items or simply avoid the aisles that tempt you to buy something that you do not need.

It may be wise to make it a habit to purchase more fruit and vegetables, avoid high-calorie snack items and shop from a grocery list each time you visit the supermarket.

#6 Enjoy Eating

Concentrate on the act of eating and avoid other activities such as watching TV while eating, if possible. Without any distractions, you are more sensitive to the satiety (fullness) cue to stop eating. Therefore, eat slowly and savour the flavour of each bite.

Finally, brush your teeth immediately after a meal or use another cue such as a cup of tea or a piece of fruit to tell yourself that you are through with your meal. You can also leave the dining table immediately after completing your meals and keep yourself busy with other activities not related to food.

So Remember...

  • To achieve stable and sustained weight loss, have regular meals (including breakfast) to prevent overeating later in the day.
  • Eat slowly and chew longer as part of a pleasurable eating experience. Other than increasing high fibre food to increase your chewing time, also include wholegrain food such as brown rice and wholemeal bread in your diet to promote the feeling of fullness and help reduce the risk of overeating.
  • Shop smart by avoiding food shopping when you are hungry.

Dieting and exercise go hand-in-hand. To maintain your weight and prevent health problems, make sure your weekly routine includes physical activity. 150 minutes a week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity is recommended for adults. One way to achieve 150 minutes is to exercise 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week.

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