The diets of the moment are all about calorie restriction and rather severe calorie restriction at that, with bestselling author Dr. Michael Mosley’s latest plan suggesting followers restrict their calories to just 800 per day for the first two weeks of the rapid weight loss program.
Strict diets sound good in theory – slash your calories and drop weight a whole lot more quickly than more traditional diets that focus on a small calorie deficit, but in reality things are not so easy.
Following an 800 calorie diet is really tough, especially when you consider that you can easily eat 800 calories in a single meal. You will be hungry and probably cranky, especially for the first few days. You will also likely feel tired and lethargic and will find yourself thinking about food, a lot.
It will be extremely difficult to eat out and you will have to say no to a whole lot of food and drinks that you are offered, all the time.
Ultimately sticking to a diet that is only 800 calories requires skills, knowledge and a number of tricks to help you manage your hunger, ensure compliance and reap the results it promotes. So if you think you could benefit from a low-calorie diet to kick start your weight loss, here are some simple tips to make following one a whole lot easier.
1. Schedule your breakfast later
It may go against the grain to suggest eating breakfast later in the day when you are trying to lose weight but in the case of following a low calorie plan, eating a later breakfast will help to lessen the number of eating hours you have throughout the standard day whilst also helping to control hunger throughout the morning.
2. Focus on protein
Small protein rich meals such as a protein shake, a couple of hard boiled eggs or a tuna salad will not only help to keep your overall calorie intake low but the protein will help to slow down your digestion and regulate the hormones that control appetite throughout the day.
3. Choose soup or salad once a day
When distributing your 800 calories across three meals, the easiest way to allow plenty of bulk minus the calories is to choose soup or salad as the base to one of your meals. A rich vegetable soup, or massive leafy green salad served with cottage cheese and low calorie dressing will clock in at just 200 calories, leaving plenty of room for another two small meals to pad out your remaining 600 calories.
4. Know your low calorie foods
The good news for those keen to stick to an especially low calorie diet is that there are a number of extremely low calorie foods that can be used to increase your overall food volume. Diet jelly and ice-blocks, miso soup, cut up vegetable sticks, berries and popcorn all come in at less than 50 calories per serve which means you can supplement your three small meals with a couple of extras if you are really struggling.
5. Keep busy and away from food
The ability to follow any diet long term is dependent on creating environments around us that are conducive to eating less. This means not keeping tempting foods at home; avoiding events in which it will be difficult to keep your calorie intake controlled and keeping busy physically and mentally so you do not find yourself at home, late at night with only your hunger to think about. You will find that after a week or two you will develop your own food routine that allows you to eat just 800 calories whilst simultaneously managing your hunger. Once you reach that point, you will have successfully mastered low calorie eating and the weight loss benefits associated as a result.