The 7 food hacks slim people swear by – from dropping scales to eating more of your favorite treats – The Sun

YOU ARE in limbo – you want to order dessert, but you feel like you shouldn’t.

Your inner voice says, “Why can my slim boyfriend seemingly eat whatever he wants, while I just look at a tiramisu and explode?”


Follow our tips to help you rebuild your relationship with food

While environment and genetics influence weight, so can your mindset.

“Women come to me to lose weight, but weight is not a symptom of the problem the problem,” says Dr. Aileen Alexander, a former GP who founded Nourish to help women break fad diet cycles.

“It’s difficult for women in our culture to lose weight and keep it off,” says Dr. Alexander.

“They lose unhealthy amounts in the early days of a new diet, and if they don’t continue to lose weight, they feel like they’ve failed because they couldn’t keep up the process.”

Research shows that 80% of people who lose a significant amount of weight gain it back within 12 months.*

Why? “These all-or-nothing approaches can change women’s relationship with food. It affects food choice and affects self-esteem,” says Dr. Alexander.

Before you know it, that tiramisu not only looks delicious, but is also a source of comfort, leading to binge eating and feelings of guilt.

If you’ve been following all kinds of diets, it’s time to try something new: a change in the way you think.

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“It’s about learning how to tune into our hunger and satiety cues, being aware of when we’re comfort eating, and ultimately being kind to ourselves, both mentally and physically,” says Dr. Alexander .

Follow these tips to help you rebuild your relationship with food and reap health advantages.

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1. Eat what you want

Allow yourself to eat chocolate, cake, chips and cookies


Allow yourself to eat chocolate, cake, chips and cookiesCredit: Getty

Breaking diet culture starts with simply allowing yourself to eat chocolate, cake, chips and cookies.

“Ultimately, we tend to want those foods less if we give ourselves permission to eat them as part of a healthy, balanced diet,” says Dr. Alexander.

“Eat 80% whole foods – things that are naturally occurring and unprocessed – and 20% of whatever you want.”

It can be scary to change your mindset so you can eat what you want, and at first you may even overeat previously forbidden foods, but that’s part of the process.

“It usually takes four to eight weeks before you allow yourself to eat what you want, but it depends a lot on a person’s background,” explains Dr. Alexander, such as whether he or she has a history of a yo-yo diet or an eating disorder.

2. Stop when you’re full

Slim people stop eating when they feel full. But yo-yo dieters often lose sense of their hunger cues—natural’s way of deciding when to eat and when to stop.

For example, if your life revolves around counting calories, you may think more about numbers than your hunger levels.

“What I give my clients is a hunger-to-satiation guide that they can use for a while,” says Dr. Alexander.

Using a scale of one to ten – one means starving and 10 is uncomfortably full – you can reconnect with hunger signals.

“Once you train yourself, you know where you are because it’s programmed into your brain,” says Dr. Alexander. She warns that ultra-processed foods, such as a milk chocolate bar, disrupt these signals.

“When we eat these, they create a point of happiness – the perfect combination of sugar and fat. We don’t think about mindfulness as much when we eat them.”

As explained, there is no need to ban these foods completely, but you are now armed with the knowledge that they are designed to be tastier.

3. Don’t skip meals

Don't skip meals Remember not to overeat later in the day


Don’t skip meals Remember not to overeat later in the dayCredit: Getty

Do you think an alternative breakfast will save you calories? This is possible, if you have the willpower not to eat too much later in the day.

“When we skip meals, we get too hungry and conscious or intuitive eating becomes more difficult,” says Dr. Alexander.

“Eating regular meals helps us respond to our body’s signals and promotes balance energy levels and productivity.”

4. Understand cravings

Are you hungry or turning to food to cope with stress? Slim people don’t often use food as a way to cope with emotions.

“I’m a big fan of journaling, walking, and exercising to manage stress,” says Dr. Alexander.

“I always say the way to tell if it’s hunger or cravings is to ask, ‘Can I eat an apple?’. If you can’t do that, you know it’s a desire,” says Dr. Alexander.

‘If this is the case, try to understand what is going on. Are you tired? Fatigue and stress cause hormonal imbalances, leading to cravings. Are you sad?”

Address the real cause, instead of the desire.

5. Be careful during meals

You’ve probably heard of mindful eating, but what exactly is it?

“It’s about enjoying the taste and texture of food, creating an enjoyable eating environment and being present with that food,” Dr. Alexander explains.

Eating while distracted can cause you to overeat. Often those who are slim enjoy every bite and listen to their brain telling them they are full.

“How can you ensure that you taste and experience that food to the fullest? Sit down. Eat at the table.

“Put your phone away. Make sure eating is the only thing you do,” suggests Dr. Alexander.

6. Throw away the scale

There are other ways to track health improvement that aren't the so-called


There are other ways to track health improvement that aren’t the so-called “sad step.”Credit: Getty

Slim people may or may not use scales to monitor their weight gain after a vacation.

But if you want to lose weight, there are other ways to track health improvement that aren’t the so-called “sad step.”

“The scales don’t tell us how healthy we are – they are a measure of total body weight, which fluctuates for many reasons, such as during your period or after a high-salt meal,” says Dr. Alexander.

“Focusing on indicators of progress beyond what the scale says is integral to long-term success.”

Think about how good you feel in clothes that flatter your shape, or how much your mental health has improved now that you have the energy to go to the gym and exercise.

7. Be social

Don't miss the fun of losing or maintaining a certain weight


Don’t miss the fun of losing or maintaining a certain weightCredit: Getty

You’ll still find slim people eating out, but those who diet often label it as a “cheat meal” or avoid it completely.

“Whenever a social event happens, people panic. But you have to go,” says Dr. Alexander.

“Health consists of three components: physical, mental and social. The social aspect is so important. If you have to miss social contacts to lose or maintain a certain weight, then that is unsustainable.”

Diets in themselves are not sustainable, which is why when you fall back into old habits and feel like a failure, the weight comes back. Instead, make adjustments that work for you.

“Women want to be liked,” says Dr. Alexander. “Maybe you go out with the intention of not drinking, but then your friend orders a wine and you say, ‘Oh, go ahead.’

“But they may not understand that you are on a health journey.” Try a new activity with a friend, such as tennis lessons, instead of going out to eat.

How to lose weight safely

Losing weight should be a long-term commitment to a healthier life, not drastic measures.

The NHS tips – which can be slowly adopted – include:

  • Be active for 150 minutes a week – you can break this up into shorter sessions
  • Aim to get your 5 a day – 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit or vegetables count as 1 serving
  • Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds, or 0.5 to 1 kg, per week
  • Read food labels – products with more green color coding than amber and red are often a healthier option
  • Replace sugary drinks with water. If you don’t like the taste, you can add slices of lemon or lime for flavor
  • Cut down on foods that are high in sugar and fat – start by replacing sugary breakfast cereals with whole grain alternatives
  • Share your weight loss plan with someone you trust; they can help motivate you when you’re having a bad day

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