16 Nutrition & Diet Tips For Everyone!!
► Limit liquid calories!!
- Many people drink way too many calories and they don't even realize it, not even including alcohol. Soda, juices, sweet tea, and other sweetened drinks can ruin your weight loss if you don't limit yourself. If you want to ruin your weight loss for the day, just go buy a 44oz regular soda at the gas station. Water is the best option. If you don't want water though, choose diet drinks & other low calorie options. Milk & 100% juices can be good for you, but remember moderation. A 1/2 gallon of skim milk is 640 calories!!
► Think about what you CAN eat, & not what you can't!!
- Look at the glass half full and not half empty. There are A LOT of foods that you can eat while on a diet. There are so many vegetables that you can add to you food that taste great. There are many healthy snacks available. There are so many fruits you can have too. Stay positive on your diet and don't go around sad because you can't have this & you can't have that. You'll be more likely to stick to the diet.
► Are you actually hungry?
- Only eat when you are hungry!! Make sure that you are not eating just because you are bored. Don't eat because its something to do while watching a movie. Don't eat because you are emotionally stressed. Eat only when your body is hungry and craving fuel. When you're done eating, you should feel better. If you feel stuffed, bloated, or tired afterwards, you did not really need to eat. Remember this before making popcorn ;)
► Choose nighttime snacks wisely!!
- Before you eat a snack late at night, remember that you are going to bed soon and your body does not have time to burn the calories other than while you are sleeping. First, ask yourself if you are really hungry. If you are, choose something nutritious like fruit or dip a few vegetables in some healthy hummus. If you have a sweet tooth, have a 100-calorie pack of cookies or a half-cup scoop of low-fat ice cream. Sometimes late at night, I have some fat-free cottage cheese. If you are hungry late at night, you may want to try having just a little more at dinner.
► Enjoy your treats away from home!!
- If you are really craving a little ice cream, it's better to just go to an ice cream place rather than buying a 1/2 gallon bucket at the grocery store. Keep that out of your house, because you will end up eating more than you had planned. Go for a walk up to the ice cream stand or take your family for a drive. If you want a cookie or donut, go get one. Don't buy a dozen at the store. By making yourself have to actually leave your house to go get it, you have to ask yourself if it's worth all the trouble. More times that not, that craving is not worth the trouble.
► Don't buy unhealthy foods at the store!!
- This is common sense. If you buy it and bring it home, you have to either eat it or throw it out when it goes bad. Have you ever thrown away a box of Twinkies or Nutty Bars? Have you thrown away a $3 frozen pizza? What about that box of mozzarella sticks? Nope, they always get eaten!! Don't buy it & you won't be tempted to eat it. If you have a roommate that eats like crap, that is a tough situation. Have him or her put all the crappy food into a particular drawer or shelf. Stay out of it!! If you have a family, your kids probably don't need to be eating it if you can't. Keep all the unhealthy food out, & don't set yourself up to fail.
► Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods!!
- Many people eat fast food because its fast and convenient. They don't have to make or prepare anything at all, and they just have to eat it. Stock your pantry & refrigerator with healthy foods that are convenient to make. Then you can find these foods when you need a snack or quick meal. Get some foods that you can take with you on your trip. It's better to eat a bag of snap peas while driving than to stop at the gas station to buy a bag of chips. Get a few packs of frozen mixed vegetables that you just have to microwave. Get a box of really healthy popcorn without all the butter. Make that before watching your movie if you need to. There are many healhy options that are easy to make. Pick the ones that you like. Please note that some foods like pre-cooked chicken breasts may be more expensive.
► If you are starting your diet, clear out the pantry!!
- Like I said above, keep unhealthy foods out of your kitchen by not buying them. If you have decided to go on a diet, first get all the unhealthy food that you had... OUT!! Don't throw everything away though. Hopefully you are not getting rid of most of the food you had!! Donate what you can to the closest charity if you can. Also, see if your neighbors or friends want anything. Then stock your kitchen with healthy stuff.
► Eat protein at every meal!!
- Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, and thus may be the secret weapon in weight control. Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. Be sure to include healthy protein sources in your diet such as lean meats, fat-free yogurt, reduced-fat cheese, almonds, and eggs. Try to avoid the protein sources full of unhealthy fats. There are better options.
► Add some spice to your meal!!
- Add spices or chiles to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied. Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying so you won't eat as much. Spicy food also helps to stimulate your metabolism. Try adding jalapenos or spicy salsa to your next salad. If you need something sweet, suck on a red-hot fireball for a long-lasting burst of sweetness with just a few calories.
► Control your portions!!
- This is common sense too. If you have a lot of food in front of you, you are probably going to eat more than you should. When you are eating out, try ordering smaller portions. It takes a lot of willpower to bring home leftovers, and you can still overeat AND bring home leftovers. I can honestly say I can't remember the last time I brought food home!! Plus, if you are using that as a "cheat meal"
then you don't need leftovers anyway. If you are cooking at home, only cook what is going to be eaten, especially if it goes bad quickly. Try using smaller plates. This helps your portions look like more food, and if your mind is satisfied, your stomach will be too. Why do you think restaurants use BIG plates??
► Make your meals the main event!!
- You are way more likely to overeat if your mind is focused on other things and not on your food. That is why I listen to music during my food challenges, so that I can eat more. Turn the TV off while you are eating. You don't need to have a television in your kitchen. Focus on the delicious food and the friends & family that you are eating with. If you are eating by yourself like I usually do, just enjoy the nice silence. Eating dinner together is a very positive thing for families to do together. See how everybody is doing & how their day went. Also, sit down while you eat. You are more likely to overeat if you are standing up and moving around not thinking about what you are consuming. Eat slow & enjoy the meal. Nobody will steal it!! You'll be satisfied easier too.
► Choose sauces, dips, toppings, & salad dressings wisely!!
- If you are eating a healthy salad with a lot of vegetables, but you smother it all in ranch, please don't fool yourself into thinking that you are being healthy. You might as well just eat a burger!! Most salad dressings are not that good for you at all. Check the nutrition facts. Even fat-free dressings just add more sugar & salt to replace the fat for flavoring. Barbecue sauces contain a ton of sugar, and ketchup even has some too!! How many calories are in that veggie-dip that you are sticking your carrots in? How much fat is in that butter & cheese covering your asparagus? If you need a sauce or topping, try a healthy salsa, mustard, hot sauce, or low-fat sour cream. It's also okay to use healthy dressings with extra-virgin olive oil. Balsamic vinaigrettes are okay too. Have you tried dipping your broccoli in a low-calorie hummus? All of your favorite sauces, dips, & dressings have a healthier, low-calorie alternative. If you really want ranch, settle for low-calorie ranch!! Ranch and butter will ALWAYS be available, but you will not always be on a strict low-calorie diet ;)
► Have a light snack before your actual meal!!
- Try drinking a full glass of water and eating a handful of almonds 15-20 minutes before you actually eat. The mass of the water & the dense calories from the almonds will start sending signals to the brain that you have started eating. Therefore, you will get full & satisfied faster while eating your meal. Generally, you will consume less calories. I keep a bag of raw, unsalted almonds at my house to snack on if I need to.
► Chew sugarless gum!!
- After finishing your next meal, try eating a piece of your favorite sugarless gum. Not only can it freshen your breath & help your teath, it can also help you lose weight by eating less!! Chewing gum helps control food cravings, manage hunger, and promote weight loss. There are so many flavors of sugarless gum now!! Do you like mint chocolate chip ice cream? What about apple pie, strawberry shortcake, or key lime pie? Well EXTRA
makes those flavors of gum!! They are part of the newer Dessert Delights line of gum flavors. Instead of having a big piece of key lime pie, eat a stick of gum!! If you are not in the mood for dessert, especially during other parts of the day, chew on a piece of regular gum. It will help you resist the urge to snack on high-calorie temptations. For an article relating chewing sugarless gum & losing weight, click here
► Conquer the grocery store!!
- Most of the money you pay for food products at the grocery store goes towards the marketing, packaging, and everything else other than the actual food product. This applies to liquids & drinks too!! Companies are doing everything they can to make their products seem healthy to ignorant consumers. Many of their attempts work on many unknowing people. Some products are advertised with 0 trans fats!! Other products are fat-free or made with 100% whole grains. Then there are some products advertised as organic and other products that are natural. You have to be careful in every isle you go down, especially if you bring your children with you. Many marketing ploys are directed towards kids!! Some companies even mislead you through the nutrition facts. For a great list of the top 10 ways that food labels try to fool you, click here
. For an even better article about the top 9 most misleading food labels, click here
!! For another short article about 10 misleading food labels, click here
. Finally, for tips to conquer the grocery store so that you save money, eat well, & eat healthy foods, click here