Dieting for weight-loss blows and you shouldn't do it. But there comes a time in all our lives where we have to tighten our calorie belts so we can, well, tighten our belts. That's the situation I'm facing now. After months of being "off-season" and indulging my husband by eating with him at all his favourite joints (usually establishments specializing in "fine" American cuisine) I have a nagging 5 pounds I'd rather see go. I'll be shooting some new workout videos for BodyRock next month and I want to feel like myself. Hell, who am I kidding?! I wanna look really good! [caption id="attachment_72951" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The last time I shot for BodyRock....[/caption] So I'm cutting my daily calories by 500. I'll be down to 1500 calories. The theory is 1 pound of fat equals 3500 calories. Cutting 500 hundred a day means a deficit of 3500 for the week, which should mean a 1 pound loss from diet alone. Coupled with exercise I should be able to lose 2 pounds a week. Of course, things don't alway work out so clear-cut for everyone. There are many reason why one might not lose as fast, or lose faster. I mean to address these issues in another post. If you are trying to lose weight, never try to lose more than 2 pounds a week and never slash your daily calories by more than 500. Starving is for suckers. There is a big difference between eating just below your daily expenditure and ruining yourself. Don't do it. Be reasonable and take your time. But even a relatively conservative 500 calorie deficit can feel like starvation, for the first few days at least. I always struggle the first 3 days on a new diet while by stomach comes to grips with that fact it won't be receiving as much food as it's been used to. The stomach physically stretches in times in plenty and shrinks when it has to. After about 3 days on a new diet the stomach should shrink and the initial hunger pangs that accompany the first days should subside somewhat. The challenge is getting there. Below are my top tips for getting past salivating when you really shouldn't be. But a word of caution: ultimately, listen to your body. You should be able to tell when your brain and tummy need discipline and when you really need to eat something more. [caption id="attachment_72952" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Just Kidding![/caption] Fill up on 0 to low-calorie fluids. You already know, water is your best friend. You already drink a lot, but in times of dieting, drink even more. I ALWAYS have a big bottle of 750 mls or more on my person. Forget little bottles -- they don't encourage you to gulp big and you might not get around to refilling it as often as you should. If you're office bound, put it on your desk in front of you. Aim for at least 3 liters day. Take a huge swig, like half a litter about 10 minute before meals or whenever you're hungry. When water bores you to death, spice it up with natural flavouring. Make your own spa water by adding lemon, lime, mint, cucumber, watermelon and things like that. You may want to consider an infuser bottle like this one. [caption id="attachment_72953" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Not necessary but handy.[/caption] Sometimes you need something hot. Enter tea. Green tea has many healthy and slimming properties. caffeine aside, there are also many fantastic herbal teas. I love spicy-sweet Chai Rooibos. But my secret weapon is Choco tea! Taste like chocolate with a dash of spice, warms the tummy and has 0 to negligible calories. [caption id="attachment_72950" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] To deprived dieters this tastes like decadent hot chocolate! To gluttons who have hot chocolate on the regular this will taste like watered-down mud. But we're not talking to you![/caption] If you're feeling catabolic or particularly peckish, drink BCAAs. They are proteins that feed your muscles directly and on their own contain 0 calories. Back in the day when I wasn't so particular about artificial sweeteners I used to swear by water flavorings like Crystal Light. But I don't do that s**t any more. Freshen up. After your meager meal you might be tempted to eat more. I find brushing your teeth helps. You'll feel less inclined to mess-up a clean and fresh mouth. Chewing gum and listerine also have similar effects but I find brushing is best. Eat slow and eat often. Take small bites, savour each one and eat slowly. It takes time for the brain and stomach to register. For years the standard advice was that eating 6 small meals a day increased the metabolism. That theory has since been debunked; it doesn't make you metabolism go into overdrive. But still I recommend eating 5 to 6 meals and snacks. You're less likely to go into starvation mode and binge at your next meal if it's constantly coming. Protein, fat and carbs -- in that order. High-protein diets have proven time and time again to be most effective for getting and staying lean. Protein should play a leading role in your diet. If you need to eat something more choose protein. Next choice should be healthy fats. Starchy carbs come last. Keeping protein up and carbs low is trickier for vegetarians and vegans but it can be done. Plant eaters often find success in eating more fats. [caption id="attachment_72954" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Like carbs, fats also provide energy but are generally more filling and don't cause insulin spikes.[/caption] Treat yourself. In most cases, you deserve a treat meal each week. There's lots of evidence that it will help you stay lean in the long-run. I also firmly believe it's good for the soul. Do it. Also, if there is something that is driving you crazy, like the thought of pizza, it sometimes helps to do it and get it out of your system once and for all. [caption id="attachment_72955" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The fine American cuisine to which I was alluding to earlier. After I inhaled this I was done being naughty for weeks.[/caption] Mind over matter. I've saved the most important tip for last. Often, your body will say "please sir, can I have some more?" but your mind knows it's just quoting cheesy movie lines. successful dieting is mental mastery. Keep your eye on the prize. Those hor d'oeuvres aren't worth it. You will taste them again at the next party, not today and that's OK. You're really not missing out on anything. [caption id="attachment_72956" align="aligncenter" width="460"] No you may not![/caption] Maybe I've got a sadomasochistic bent but I derive great mental satisfaction and accomplishment when I can obey myself. There's something about the regimen of following a diet and saying no that empowers me. You know what I'm getting at? That's it. If you have a hunger buster you'd like to share please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you. Follow me on Facebook!