Dieting doesn’t work, making lifestyle changes does. That’s why beginning the new year with a strict diet will doom you to failure. Diets always fail because they always end. At that point, you go back to old eating habits that put on weight in the first place and that starts the yo-yo weight loss process. Instead, start now with some healthy eating habits that will help you take off weight and prevent it from returning.
Start with the simple stuff.
If you’re not ready to jump in with both feet, start by dipping your toe in the water. Make sure you have healthy snacks available for mid morning and mid afternoon. Not only will it help keep you from hitting the candy machine at the office, raiding the cupboards or grabbing every sweet treat you find at the gas station, it will help prevent overeating at the next meal, while it provides a nutritious, low calorie, filling option. A small bag of nuts, fresh fruit or even peanut butter stuffed celery are a few options.
Change how the food is prepared that you buy or make.
Switching from fried foods to baked, steamed, roasted or grilled is another easy change you can make. Eating more whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables can also fill you up without filling you out. The simplest way to do it is to eat more whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables that you don’t cook. Slow cooked meat will melt in your mouth and you control all the ingredients. There’s no worry about extra sugar or fat added. Grilled food has that smokey flavor everyone loves, and also is lower in calories than pan fried meat. Not only will changing how the food is made reduce the calories and benefit your health, it can also enhance the flavor.
Cut out added sugar.
It’s probably the hardest thing for most people to do for two reasons. Sugar tends to be in most products on the grocery shelf and it’s also addictive. Catsup has sugar in it, so do most prepared foods. That’s why making the food yourself and keeping it closest to its natural state is important. Start checking labels when you shop and look for words like glucose, fructose, sugar or maple syrup, for example. Whether it’s honey, granulated sugar, maple sugar or high fructose corn syrup, it’s all sugar and it activates the same area of the brain as cocaine does.
- What you drink makes a difference. If it’s soft drinks, it adds calories and even diet soft drinks can add inches to your waist according to recent studies. Try water. Water hydrates you and can fill you up so you eat less.
- Don’t opt for low fat dairy, such as low fat yogurt. Sugar is added to make it palatable when the fat is removed. You’re better off consuming that type of healthy fat, which fills you up and keeps you satisfied longer.
- Make sure your meals include a rainbow of color. Fruits and vegetables are a specific color because of the phytonutrients. Anthocyanins, for example, are powerful antioxidants and make the foods that contain them red, blue or purple. The more colorful your meal, the more diverse the nutrients.
- At Craig Long Fit, we can help you with a program of healthy eating that makes it easy to eat the right thing. You can start today or ask for a free consultation.