With both summer and Ramadan just around the corner, the temptation is rising high. All these new venues and restaurants opening up make it harder to resist delicious –and probably not very healthy- food. Identity has put together a list of techniques you could use to help you enjoy the food you like while still maintaining your body shape. Choose your meals wisely. Happy eating!

 

Visualize the body you want

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Sometimes a delicious-looking piece of cake can cloud your judgment. To overcome that, resist the temptation by visualizing how your body would look if you keep eating healthy.  Motivate yourself to eat clean by focusing on your goal and working towards the body you want. Don’t focus on the satisfaction you’ll get in the moment; think of how your body could look if you make the healthier choices.

 

Move as much as you can

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Get moving! Grab whatever opportunity you can to move your body. Take the stairs instead of the elevator; walk instead of taking the car; workout whenever you can. The more you move, the more calories you burn.

 

Eat what you want as long as you remain under your body’s required calorie count

When your self-control is on the weak side, another way to make sure you don’t gain weight is to eat things you’d like but remain under the specific calorie count your body requires. Your BMI allows you to find out the number of calories you need to maintain your weight. On the days when you’re just too weak to resist, you could indulge and eat the things you want as long as the total amount of calories you consume remain under the advised amount for you. (It usually ranges between 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day).

 

Have healthy snacks at your disposal

Hunger could make you more willing to opt for unhealthy food because you’re so hungry you could just eat anything that comes your way. Avoid that by regularly loading up on healthy snacks and having them ready when you need them. Fruits, vegetables, oats… Always make sure you have these at home or with you wherever you go to make healthy choices easier.

 

Eat what you feel like but choose the healthiest option

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If you’re out with friends or invited somewhere and healthy food isn’t readily available or you just simply don’t want to feel like you’re the only one not eating what you want, choose the healthiest option there is. If you’re out at a burger place, choose the smallest size and the burger with the least amount of greasy toppings; you could even eat it without the bread. If you’re craving chocolate, choose dark chocolate over any other kind. If you want fast food, choose a grilled chicken or salmon sandwich over other fried options. Make the healthiest choice even when you’re indulging.

 

Control portions

 Another technique is what some people call the two-bite rule. You want cake? Great. Take only two bites. You want potato chips? Fine. Take only two. And the list goes on. This allows you to satisfy your cravings and avoid feeling the pressure of deprivation without making you gain weight or lose control.

 

Compensate

 You made unhealthy choices yesterday? You’ve been eating fast food or sweets the past couple of days? It’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t stare at yourself in the mirror and complain. Get back to eating healthy again and compensate for what you’ve eaten. Be very cautious with everything you eat and restrict yourself just enough to balance out the overeating you’ve been doing. Compensating is a good way to balance things out and make sure you don’t gain weight.

 

Listen to your stomach

Sometimes we eat just out of gluttony or boredom or even when we feel like we’ve messed up our diet already so it doesn’t matter if we eat a little more. Don’t let these reasons make you eat more. Ask yourself whether or not you’re really hungry and if it’s absolutely necessary that you eat. My mother always used to tell me: “if you can skip it, skip it.”  So before you eat anything, ask, “can I skip this?” If you can, then skip it. Remember, e7na benakol 3ashan ne3ish, mesh 3ayshin 3ashan nakol.

 

Don’t think of food as your source of happiness or pleasure

Food makes us happy. We all know that. You eat when you’re sad, you eat when you’re happy, and you eat when you want to celebrate. We all know how satisfying and yummy food can be. This makes it hard to resist, but the sooner you train yourself to think of food as a source of energy for survival and not a source of pleasure, the sooner you’ll stop overeating and start making healthier choices. Find alternatives to make you happy or cheer you up.

 

Think of the effect of what you’re about to eat will have on your body

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Something I like to do before I eat is think of how what I’m about to consume is going to react inside my body. When I’m not too encouraged to eat vegetables or fruits, I think of the nutrients and vitamins they contain and the good they do to my body. It encourages me to make healthy choices. Try it with unhealthy food. Think of how it will react inside your body and the amount of fats you’d be adding to it. This usually makes you think twice before eating something greasy, fried or high on sugar and fat.