Here is the first of three hacks I use on a regular basis to make it easier (make that much easier) for myself to stick to my eating plan. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s not about having enough willpower. Rather, take a different approach and do it smartly.
Hack #1: Eat more fat
That’s right. The more fat I ate, the skinner I got. I started this one many years ago, out of necessity, before this whole keto movement started. Back then, my doctor ordered me to lose weight to heal a fatty liver. This led me to finally remove junk food from my diet, which was mostly empty carbs. On the other hand, I needed to substitute those calories with something else, or I would be hungry all the time.
But with what? I couldn’t eat more protein since I also had severe GERD, and my stomach wasn’t able to digest meat very well. I did not like the taste of plant protein such as soy or whey. Eating more vegetables was good in terms of getting more nutrients, but they were not very filling at all. There was only one choice left: fat. So I started to eat nuts or namely peanut butter. I would go through multiple jars a week. After an initial adaptation period, my body adjusted to digesting fat and I was amazed by how fast the pounds started to come off.
Eating fat to lose fat. I know it seems very counterintuitive. It goes against everything that’s been taught since we were kids. But it works! Now I eat all kinds of fat, from various nuts and seeds (including butters), to coconuts and avocados, even animal fats. The only types of fat I avoid are trans fat (clogs arteries), and deep-fried foods (too much flour, plus the high heat destroys nutrients).
I’m not the type who counts the ratio of carbohydrates vs. protein vs. fat for each meal. I prefer to keep things simple: always start a meal with a modest amount of protein (eg. meat) and a healthy portion of vegetables. When that’s finished, I start munching on various nuts, seeds, or butters, until I feel full. How full? Well, see my eating plan here.
If I’m eating in a restaurant, I order the fattiest food on the menu, be it an oily fish, or a cut of meat with lots of fat. This includes dessert as well, I choose sweets with a high amount of fat over ones that do not. Generally speaking, fats derived from plants are preferred over animal fat, but I would gladly take either one over sugary foods.
What about dairy? Well, I would love to eat that, except I’m severely lactose intolerant. So that’s out. If I wasn’t though, I would certainly include that in my diet as well.
One more point, I’m not concerned with whether or not I’m consuming enough fat to be in ketosis. Nor am I keeping track of how much carbs it takes to kick me out of it. I simply eat enough fat to feel satiated and let the weight take care of itself.
Bottom line? Fat is tasty and filling. It packs more than twice as much energy per unit of weight than either protein or carbohydrate. So you don’t need to eat nearly as much in order to feel full. Your blood sugar level remains nice and steady after eating, no crazy highs and lows.
If you are looking to lose weight, but are afraid to feel hungry all the time. Fat is your solution. Take out the empty carbs, and replace them with healthy fats (sorry, french fries & ice cream doesn’t count). You’ll quickly see and feel what you’ve been missing.
In my experience, switching to eating more fat has been the second most important factor in losing weight. The first? Having a plan of course!
Here’s a song that drives home just how I feel about fat. Enjoy!
Now that you know including healthy fats in your diet makes you feel fuller and avoid the usual post deal sugar highs and lows. Here are two more hacks I use to stay on track and avoid overeating.
Hack #2: Have soup with your small meal
With my eating plan, the biggest hurdle to overcome is the small meal of the day. It’s really just a snack since you are only eating to a 3 on the fullness scale. For some people, especially in te beginning, that might seem daunting.
However, it doesn’t need to be. Simply add a bowl of soup to the mix. My favorite is a vegetable soup, throw in your favorite (or at least tolerable if you are not into them) garden fresh variety, add lots of spices (again, your choice). If you have stomach issues, make sure to include plenty of ginger as well. Now you have a hearty dish that’s going to fill you up while being low in calories.
Our goal is to feel satisfied and stay in a caloric deficit on most days. Having a soup is a painless way to achieve this. For me, my small meal of the day is supper. I normally have a bowl of vegetable soup, with some berries topped by a spoonful of almond butter. It’s nutritious, filling, and gets the job done. Try it!
Hack #3: Weigh yourself everyday
That’s right. Everyday.
I know this goes against the standard protocol. Here are my reasons:
- Accountability. When you are trying to lose weight, or to maintain it, the only way to know for sure how you are doing, is by weighing yourself. Not judging by how you feel (that’s just guessing). Going a week or more between weigh-ins is too long of a gap.
- Information. By knowing what your daily weight is, you immediately know the effects of what you ate the day before, combined the amount of physical activity performed, have on your body. Over time, this accumulated information allows you to get to know your body intimately. Information truly is power.
- Psychology. Just knowing that you’ll weigh yourself the next day is often enough of a deterrent when temptation strikes (ie. eating a bag of chips just before bed).
- Adjustments. The point of daily weigh-in is not to freak yourself out by the the fluctuations in numbers. That’s normal. What you want to know is the overall trend. I’m never concerned by a one day increase or drop over the previous day. However, if my weight increased 3 days in a row, then it’s probably something I should look into, and find out what caused it. Conversely, if it drops 3 days in row, then whatever I’ve doing is working. Make a note of it for the future. Having a number everyday gives me the flexibility to adjust my diet accordingly.
One last tip, make sure you weigh yourself at the same time everyday to keep the data consistent.
There you have it, my three hacks to stop overeating and stay in the weight loss zone. They’ve worked wonders for myself. Feel free to apply any or all of them in your life.
Do you have any hacks of your own? I would love to hear them!