1. Eat at Home
Eating your meals at home will make a big difference in your waistline and your wallet! Eating out at fast food restaurants might seem harmless, but even one burger can set you back from your heath goals. If you absolutely must eat fast food, stick to grilled chicken or completely plain hamburgers. Improve your diet by eating at home. This way you can control all the ingredients that go into your meal. You’ll know exactly how many calories you’re downing, and it’s even cheaper than ordering off of the value menu!
2. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
A lot of people eventually end up indulging on sweets if they’ve been starving themselves on a diet. Rather than going cold-turkey on those cookies and cakes, you need to satisfy your sweet tooth regularly in healthy ways. Keep low-fat pudding or dark chocolate handy for dessert and moments of weakness. It’s even better if these sweets are pre-portioned, so that it’s harder to eat more than one serving at a time.
3. Drink More Water
Drinking water instead of pop, juice, or beer does wonders for your diet. It not only keeps you hydrated, but it also allows the body to do a number of helpful things. Drinking more water:
- Makes you feel more full;
- Improves digestion;
- Decreases the amount of water held in the body (water weight).
4. Don’t Eat in Front of the TV
The easiest way to overeat is eating in front of the television. There are a couple reasons for this:
- When you watch TV, you aren’t thinking about how much your are eating.
- Watching television delays the body’s recognition of fullness.
- Common foods eaten in front of the TV are salty, fatty and/or sugary snacks.
You will be amazed how much less you eat and how much faster you reach your goals if you commit to eating at the table.
5. Read Labels
Most people have no idea exactly what is in their food. You may not eat two of those cookies when you realize they have 400 calories apiece in them.
Some things to check for on the label:
- Saturated fat
- Hydrogentated oils
- High fructose corn syrup
Also watch out for chemical ingredients that you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce.
6. Switch to Whole Grains
Switching to whole grains is as hard as picking up a different bag of bread on your weekly grocery trip. Most people will even note that they prefer the taste of whole grain pastas and breads to refined grains. Whole grains:
- Increase a feeling of fullness;
- Cause a lower insulin response ;
- Lower cholesterol.
7. Learn Portion Sizes
Did you know that a serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards? Most other items have much smaller portion sizes than you might think. Learning these is a great way to make sure that you aren’t accidentally consuming more calories than you think.
8. Eat Beans to Improve Your Diet
Beans are lean, tasty, and musical. Replace some of your animal products with beans, such as pinto, kidney, and navy, and that will go a long way to making you healthier. Benefits of beans include:
- Increase feeling of fullness due to high fiber content;
- Regulate digestion;
- Lower cholesterol.
9. Don’t Snack Before Bed
Snacking before bed has a number of negative effects on your body:
- Reduces quality of sleep;
- Increases stored body fat;
- Reduces the release of growth hormones in the body.
When your body isn’t doing anything to burn off those calories you just ate, it will store them as fat. That’s the last thing you want!
10. Don’t Buy Junk Food
If you don’t have junk food sitting in your pantry, you aren’t going to eat junk food. It is much easier to control yourself when a fatty snack means taking a trip to some place farther than your fridge to get it. A good rule of thumb is to only buy things where you wouldn’t be ashamed to say you ate the entire package.