Pay attention while you eat
When you eat mindfully, you have no distractions; you focus on the food—its textures, colors, and tastes—so you’ll know when you’re full. But it’s OK to sometimes eat a meal in front of the TV, if that’s what you need to unwind and decompress. Or maybe you’re a multi-tasker, eating and answering emails at the same time. Yes, you’ll pay attention more to your body and have a better eating experience if you eat mindfully, but even the pros break that rule once in a while. “I’m running a group private practice, consulting for major corporations and a major league baseball team,” says Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN of Essence Nutrition. “Of course I’m eating in front of my laptop. But I’ve portioned out my food on a real plate.” Don’t miss the 50 things your doctor wishes you knew about weight loss.
Bread is enemy number one to many when it comes to weight gain. However, not all carbs are created equal. “I’ve found that eating enough carbs helps me with satisfaction and also with my weight,” says Isabel Smith, MS, RDN, CDN, founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. Legumes, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, brown rice, apples, and other filling complex carbs aren’t the problem. You need to watch out for refined or simple carbs. Those are the ones that digest quickly and raise blood sugar, increasing hunger. Think crackers, pastries, white bread, and rice. They don’t fill you up, so you get hungry quickly and consume more calories. Complex carbs digest slowly, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and more importantly, they decrease the reliance on insulin, which in turn may promote weight loss. Of course, you’ll gain weight if you eat too many calories—regardless of whether they’re carbs, fat, or protein. But you don’t have to ditch all carbs when you’re trying to lose weight.