It's a new year with new weight loss goals. Which is great!! However,I see so many people who don't know where to start to make healthier choices. As a result, they end up jumping on some fad diet bandwagon and giving up after a couple of weeks. Really, it's about making smart choices and with a little planning you can be sure to do that. Set yourself up for success with these tips.
1. Make your food beautiful
We eat with our eyes as much as our mouths. If you make the healthy food pretty, you're more likely to want to eat it. For example, don't cut veggies and throw them in a bowl. Try cutting them into fun shapes, arranging them on a plate with some yummy hummus.
2. Don't skip meals
Eat every 3-4 hours to avoid huge swings in your blood sugar and appetite. The hungrier we are, the more likely we are to made bad choices. Try to include high protein and fiber in your meals to keep you fuller longer.
3. Meal prep in advance
Pre-slice your veggies to make them easy to grab. Spend some time on the weekend, cooking up your meat to easily put together meals on busy weeknights. The easier it is when you're in a hurry or crunched for time, the more likely you'll be go for that healthy option.
4. Make healthy food visible
Keep in on the eye level shelf in the fridge, right in front. Keep your fruit on your kitchen counter so it's easy to grab.
5. Pack your snacks
Get the urge to munch mid afternoon, while sitting at your desk? How about when you're running kids around with nothing to eat so you run through a drive through? Pack a snack like a greek yogurt or some almonds or maybe some apples and almond butter or peppers and hummus. It'll keep you full and stop you from grabbing other, not so great for you, alternatives.
6. Do a weekly weigh in
Sure, it's tempting to weight yourself every day, even multiple times a day. But, to avoid obsessing over every half a pound, limit your weigh ins to once a week, at the same time a day for a better comparison and better sanity.
7. Add protein and fiber to your breakfast
Steer clear of carb heavy breakfasts that make you feel full at first and then leave you feeling empty a couple of hours later. Protein (like eggs or greek yogurt) and fiber help you feel fuller longer and keep your energy levels up. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day because it sets you up for success all day.
8. Eat your veggies
If you can focus on eating more plants, you'll feel fuller and have more energy.
9. Eat those veggies first
Again, veggies fill you up. If you eat them first, you may not want as much of the other stuff on your plate.
10. Drink more water
Often, we think we're hungry when we're just thirsty. So drink your water (rule of thumb is 1 oz for every pound you weigh) every day. Water also aids in helping your body function the way it's supposed to so you might find yourself with more energy, less cravings, and better digestive health.
11. Keep a food journal
How easy is it to ignore those little things we eat every day? Super easy! Until you start writing them down. Journaling prevents you from fooling yourself into thinking you've eaten great today when you popped 3 mini candy bars in your mouth.
12. Don't deprive yourself
It's all about balance and moderation. Treat yourself from time to time so you don't binge. Give yourself a set number of "treats" each week.
13. Pay attention to why
Why are you eating? Are you really hungry? Maybe you're bored, or sad or angry. Eat only when you're actually hungry and enjoy it!
14. Slow down
Eat slowly and savor the favors of your food. Often our stomach is full before our brain realizes so eat until you're almost full and give it 15 minutes.
15. Move more
Find ways to move during the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further from the door, walk to your co-workers desk to have a conversation rather than instant messaging. Try for 10 minutes at a time.
16. Get your sleep
Sleep influences the hormones that tell your body it's hungry or full. So try for those 8 hours of shut eye. Plus, when you're sleeping, you can't eat!
17. Focus on the positive
Think about what you CAN eat instead of what you can't. Make it a goal to eat 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies, along with 60 oz of water every day. If you accomplish those goals, you won't have enough room left for the other things you might eat. You won't even want them.
Most importantly, start with small changes. You don't need to overhaul your eating all in one day. One change at a time, one day at a time.