Here’s a weight loss tip that you won’t believe – but it really works! Instead of telling you to eat less, this one actually has you eating more. And what’s more, it works! By adding three times the nutrients to everything that you snack on, this diet is a great way of teaching you to regulate your eating.
Here’s how it works – both in real life, and in theory. You’re trying hard to reduce your fat and calories, and to eat a healthier, more balanced diet. But it’s inevitable – sooner or later you’ll slip up, and find yourself reaching for the chips or chocolate. We’re all human, and what’s more, some low calorie diets really are restrictive and leave you craving calories. And once a craving sets in, it’s hard to get rid of it.
The ‘power of three’ diet has this advice to give: don’t resist. Give in to the craving, have the chips or chocolate or ice cream cone. And – here’s the catch – add an equivalent – sized helping of a fruit or vegetable, and an equivalent helping of protein. So, you can have an ice cream cone, for example, but then you also have to eat an apple and a small piece of cheese, tofu or chicken.
Basically, you can have your favorite snack foods – you can eat whatever you want. But whatever you eat, you can’t have it by itself – you have to make it a balanced meal. The same goes for your actual meals – make sure that they have at least three components, and that they include a fruit or vegetable and a concentrated source of protein. As long as you have those two, it doesn’t matter much what the remaining third of your meal is – it could be pasta, dairy, bread – whatever you want!
Why does this make you lose weight? It is a bit bewildering. After all, it seems like you’re eating a lot more, not less. But studies show that this plan actually does help you lose weight or maintain weight loss, for several reasons.
First, most fattening snack foods have a high glycemic index, which means that your body responds by releasing insulin. This leads to fat storage and weight gain. When you add a protein and eat it at the same time, that lowers or stabilizes your glycemic index. In a way, it neutralizes the harmful effects of the other food. This is something that even the Zone eating plan (a high protein approach) advocates. They say that, even though simple sugars are not recommended, if you must eat one now and then, add a protein. Think of it as harm reduction.
There’s another reason why adding both a fruit or vegetable and a protein is effective, though. If you eat three different types of food every time you eat, you can’t help but balance your diet. People who eat a balanced diet are seldom overweight. It’s a great way of giving your body what it needs, and that, in turn, reduces cravings and urges to snack. If your diet is balanced, you are healthier, and it’s easier to stay in control of your eating.
Finally, if you eat three types of food every time you have the urge to snack, it’s almost guaranteed that you won’t need to snack as much. In fact, you might find that a sort of transformation takes place over the span of just a few days. On the first day that you follow this plan, you may snack as much as usual, and therefore eat three times as much. Don’t worry – it won’t last. The next day, you may only feel the urge to snack half as many times, because you are already so well fed and satisfied. Soon, you will be able to stick to a healthy diet most of the time. That’s when the pounds really start to come off.
Believe it or not, the ‘power of three’ system of eating really does work. By temporarily eating more rather than trying to eat less, you can stop feeling deprived and start being really well-fed. Over time (and it doesn’t take that much time!) you will be able to establish much healthier eating patterns.
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