People often complain that they have tried to lose weight by skipping meals and it hasn’t helped them lose weight or they have even gained weight since reducing their number of meals.
Skipping meals can make matters worse because your body is not getting the nutrients it needs. Your brain starts craving fat and you may actually want to snack more than you did before. This is why the approach rarely works.
People who do lose weight may find they pile it back on again after they resume eating three meals a day.
So how can you lose weight without actually dieting?
1. Reduce your portion sizes, not your meals.
You can do this by putting your main meal on a side plate instead of a full-sized dinner plate.
2. Don’t help yourself from serving dishes.
Put your meal onto your side plate and eat only that. That way you know how much you are having.
3. Cook smaller quantities of food.
This will cut out the risk of being tempted to have second helpings.
4. Eat a greater amount of high protein foods.
Recent research in journals such as the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that eating more protein helps you lose weight because it fills you up for longer. Then you don’t have the urge to snack or binge on unhealthy foods.
For instance, in one study they found that increasing the total protein intake to 30 percent of the diet meant people were less hungry and lost more weight. Some sources of protein are poultry, fish, cottage cheese, eggs, tofu, beans and lentils, nuts and peanut butter and milk.
5. Have smaller, more frequent meals.
Some experts now say you should have four or five smaller meals throughout the day, with the last meal being your main one. This should control your hunger and appetite more.
6. Exercise more.
The amount of food you need is proportionate to the amount of activity you do. This doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or do vigorous workout, but you could spend less time at your computer or watching television.
Instead, go for a walk or a regular swim. If you like computer games you could try an active computer game where you have to dance or do tennis moves.