by The Non-Obsessive Way of Eating Company                                  1 February 2018

Water for fizzy

Part 1 discussed a simple trick to losing some extra poundage with the instigation of a Cut and Burn strategy (CAB) by substituting part of your meal, to allow those calories not taken in to be burnt away. Not complicated and easy to work too, with noticeable weight loss over time. Click to read Part 1.

Dumping liquid calories is another great strategy. Look at what you drink on a daily basis. Have you ever considered how many liquid calories you take in throughout the day? Maybe coffee with sugar, a beer, some juice during the day, perhaps a fizzy drink or an energy drink or two? These can all add considerably to your empty calorie intake. By cutting the number of calories you consume from liquids, you could reduce your daily calorie consumption by 10% – 15% without really feeling any hungrier.

A very straightforward strategy is to swap out one or two drinks a day for a simple glass of water. Sure it will not have the same caffeine boost or sugar sweet taste but it will cut out easily ingested calories that are a normal part of your daily intake. Hence not putting them on in the first place.

Minor fasting can be effective too. No, this is not going on a hunger strike or taking on a gimmicky diet … it is again a simple short term strategy to cut and burn. This is more in the league of mindful eating.  A fast can last any amount of time you wish, from missing a single snack to skipping a meal, to not eating all day or longer. With CAB we are talking about skipping those minor snacks that are “wants” not “needs”. For example, if you usually have an afternoon tea break each day, and, habitually always grab a coffee and cake – try every other day just having the coffee on its own. Simple and effective. Again the important thing is to plan this in advance – “Ok, this week I’m going to skip the cake on Tuesday and Thursday” – next thing you know that might become the habit!

Avoid eating like a cow. Cows graze! If you are looking to lose some calories, think about how many times of day that you like to snack. Grazing has become a normalised part of our dietary culture for many of us, with fast food places open 24 hours a day, and one on every corner. By grazing or snacking on many small meals a day, and not really appreciating how much we are actually consuming overall, it is easy to consume more than we really need. This approach merely involves thinking twice before you dive into the fridge or line up at the fast food counter – can I really not wait till my next main meal?

Make a treat a real treat. One of the easiest CAB tactics is to cut out those calorie dense foods we know we don’t really need – the sweet treats, the packet of chips and the “just one more chocolate square and that’s it” scenario. Sure we often say as part of our New Year’s resolution “No more sweets – EVER!” but how realistic is this? Sweets and chips are an enjoyable treat and of course we all deserve a treat now and then! So never say never but rather say – “I’ll make it a REAL treat TWICE a week”. However beware. Even though I said this can be one of the easiest tactics in cutting down, it can also be the hardest for some, and can leave a pretty big hole in ones day.

Just having the main item is a fine strategy to try. This final practice is all about cutting out those extras that come with the meal that you may not really need – “Will you have chips with that?” Ahhh, no thanks! Next time why not just order a burger on its own when you are at the fast food joint and skip the fries. By cutting out the extras, you can make a big difference to the overall calories consumed at any sitting, yet still feel contented both with your meal and the fact that you have been able to cut and burn.

To sum it all up, the above are a number of simple, straightforward strategies that you can try to kick off your better way of eating. All these strategies are highly elastic. You can substitute a single meal or substitute 3 meals a day. You can drink more water and less sugary drinks every Friday or only have a fizzy when you have sushi. The choice is yours. None of these strategies are set in stone but as long as you are reducing your calorie intake,  it will work. Keep in mind though that it does not mean cutting back in one or two ways to then go blitzkrieg over the following week! There may be some discomfort to begin, but remember to plan to only carry out CAB for a short period, unless it becomes a habit!

Check in at Towards A Non-Obsessive Way of Eating to view my opinion piece, This Weeks Short Piece, containing observations, tips and debate on nutrition, food and eating that will inform your health.