Starting a weight loss routine doesn’t require a complete upheaval of your normal routine. There are many small habits that you can begin to integrate into your diet in order to help cut down on the pounds and stay healthy without sacrificing too much time, energy, or taste.
Prep Your Meals
Cooking all of your food in advance is one of the best ways to stay on track with a diet. By planning out all of your meals, you can easily monitor the calories, carbs, sugar, and fat that you consume with each meal.
If you’re having some trouble deciding on an entire week of food, try to look for “freezer-bag Crockpot recipes.” These recipes are as simple as cutting up some meat and vegetables, putting them in a bag, and then freezing them. A few hours before dinner, or even before you go to work, you throw your food into a crockpot to come home to a delicious meal!
Cut Down Carbs
Try lightening the load of carbs you eat every day. When you find yourself at the grocery store, you should look for low-carb alternatives to the high-carb meals you eat daily. If you checked your cupboard right now, you’re guaranteed to find a few carbohydrate-dense foods. Sugary cereal, white pasta, white bread, white rice, cookies, and potato chips are ruining your diet.
If you can’t go without pasta in your diet, you can effortlessly try one made from veggies. Cutting out carbs might take a little bit of creativity, and cooking newer, healthier meals can be incredibly rewarding.
Drink More Water
Drinking water increases the amount of energy your body uses by up to 100 calories per day. Consuming a steady flow of water throughout your day might add to your body’s time spent during its metabolic process.
Drinking water helps you decrease your portion size. When you drink water before a meal, it will help you feel fuller, making water the best hunger suppressant out there. In the long run, you’ll end up consuming fewer calories.
You are alleviating bloating and constipation by drinking a bit of water before each meal. A stomach ache from something like constipation can seriously throw you off of sticking with your diet. Staying hydrated might be the critical factor missing from you meeting your goals.
Eat More Protein
Protein can help you shed pounds and helps your body in several different ways. It keeps you feeling full by helping your body produce hormones that prevent you from feeling hungry later on in the day. Feeling full is a great way to help you eat fewer calories. Protein also helps your body maintain its muscle and bones. It’s critical to have enough protein in any diet as an essential nutrient.
Keep a Food Journal
Journaling your diet journey helps you track what you eat and is an easy way to hold yourself accountable for your weight loss. If you’re going through the process of a low-calorie diet, a journal could be an effective way to know every calorie in your meals. Being able to take a close look at what you’ve been eating can affirm your positivity and help you maintain your long-term weight-loss goals.
Fill Up on Fiber
Fiber helps you feel full and aids in health and digestion. When it hits your stomach and expands, this is what causes your stomach to feel fuller. The best sources of fiber are whole grains, veggies, and fruits.
Incorporating more fiber into your diet is easy and helps you cut out carbs. Just try to eat more whole grains, including brown rice, wild rice, barley, and the whole wheat varieties of your favorite carb-dense foods.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a technique that allows you to gain full control over your eating habits. It’s become one of the most common methods to control your diet and help you lose the weight that you need to.
In short, mindful eating is a process of removing all of the distractions around you while you eat. You can achieve a better eating experience by moving your attention to your senses while you eat. Think about how your food smells, looks, tastes, and feels.
By shifting your focus to your food, you’ll enjoy it more, and it gives your body time to realize when it’s full.
When we think of snacks, we usually think of the salty and sugary treats we keep in our cupboards. Instead of sabotaging your diet, you can try to eat small meals rich in protein and fiber to keep yourself feeling full throughout the day.
Any easy snack to prepare rich in protein diet low in carbs can be something like a turkey roll-up. Roll up your favorite cheese and veggies in a slice of cold cooked turkey. This is a great snack to take with you on the go and only takes a few minutes to prepare.
Smaller Plates and Bowls
Although it’s quite fun to have large, restaurant-sized dinner plates, it’s easier to eat more modest and more balanced portions in a smaller holder. Portion control is a technique worked into most diets, and it can save you from over-eating while you try to cut calories.
Take a Probiotic
Probiotics are the tiny bacteria that aid in the overall health of our guts. Evidence has proven over the years that probiotics help remote weight loss by eliminating fats and hormones that prevent us from getting hungry. You likely get some probiotics from a few common foods already. Look around, and maybe you’ll find yogurt, kimchi, pickles, or Kombucha!
Skip Artificial Sweeteners and Added Sugars
The word “diet” in the word diet soda might sound attractive, but a recent study has shown that it can actually cause you to gain weight. Aspartame is the artificial sweetener found in the famous Diet Coke or Crystal Light.
Too much of this sweet substance has proven to interfere with an important enzyme called IAP, which helps prevent obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. A healthy diet might mean entirely giving up all added sugars or sweeteners.
Use Social Media
When you need a boost in morale or if you aren’t sure of how well you’re doing with your diet, you can try using social media to affirm how well your diet is working. Sharing photos of your progress can be a fun way to spread positivity and help influence others who are also working towards their weight loss goals. If you’re already working on being an inspiration to others, you might want to try sharing the food that you make during your diet adventure.
Social media can be an incredibly uplifting experience, especially when you’re able to get yourself pumped up over other people’s progress pictures. Maybe you’ll even find new recipes and new products that work for other people.
Find a Healthy Meal You Like
If you can find one healthy food-item that’s easy to prepare that you could eat every single day, you’re likely to have massive success in your diet.
Sometimes your goals can get in the way, and you’ll end up forcing yourself to eat foods that you don’t enjoy. So spare yourself from the demotivation, and enjoy what you eat.
Turn Your Favorites into Health Foods
Diet doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing everything you liked about food. Sometimes there’s a healthier alternative recipe that’ll deliver a close taste and texture to their original counterparts. For example, if you want potato chips, you can eat dried or baked root vegetables. Instead of a regular burger, why not try a chicken, turkey, or tofu burger?
No Free Refills
Maintaining your diet when you go to restaurants can be a challenge. When you’ve finished your meal, you might be offered a free refill either on your drink or your bottomless basket of fries. Its incredibly easy to self-sabotage and forget exactly how much you ate and drank when you’re calorie counting at restaurants. So when the waiter asks if you’d like a free refill, say no.
Cleanse Your Refrigerator and Cupboards
You can easily make your diet a million times more comfortable just by making your refrigerator and cupboards a “healthy snacks only” zone. Small containers of carrots and low-fat dips or chickpea and lentil spread in your fridge can easily add a layer of safety to your diet. If you see something healthy in front of you instead of the same old junk food you would’ve had before, you no longer have the option to cheat on your diet.
Diet with Your Partner
Dieting with a partner or significant other can be incredibly motivating. Instead of dieting alone, you can have a layer of support or even some healthy competition between you and your significant other. On those off days, when you feel like you can’t do it, check in with your partner for some support.
Treat Yourself Without Eating Food
We often eat sugary snacks to treat ourselves on the rough and tough days we go through. Sinking into a chocolate binge is incredibly easy but ill-advised. Instead, try doing something else that’s enjoyable by taking a bath or doing a craft. Being relaxed during your diet is incredibly important and so is breaking the chain of bad eating habits.
More than Weight-Loss
During a diet, we often stay incredibly focused on the single benefit – weight loss. Broadening your goals by recognizing the other benefits of your weight loss journey can be very useful for long-term results.
As part of your weight-loss journey, you might be seeking additional benefits. Maybe you’re getting headaches all the time, or your stomach is constantly upset by your old eating habits. Hold on to the positive feelings and improvements that you gain over time while you lose the weight. You’ll feel much better knowing that you don’t have to deal with the same old problems that you used to deal with.
Have a Positive Mindset
Having a positive mindset will help you battle for every struggle and obstacle that you face along the way. When we start dieting, we usually give up a lot of the foods that we’ve grown to cherish. Instead of thinking of what you’ve given up, turn that thought around and think of what you can gain.
Maybe you lost your favorite dessert; Instead of being blue, perhaps you’ll equally enjoy a healthy bowl of blueberries and Greek yogurt. The sky is the limit when it comes to turning around your negative thinking with your newer, healthier lifestyle.
If you try to eat something different every single day, you probably run into bolts of financial challenges and some difficulty sticking with healthier foods. Keep things simple and try eating the same thing every single day. When you wake up in the morning and eat the same breakfast and the same lunch, then maybe a new meal for dinner can add some variety a few times a week. If you don’t have to keep coming up with recipes, your diet won’t feel like a fulltime job.
Eat That Ice Cream
Although it might seem like sabotage, you might only get away with eating a diet version of your favorite ice cream bar once in a while. You don’t necessarily have to swear off every single treat. In a low-calorie diet, something like a candy bar or ice cream bar might only be 150 calories. If there’s still some leftover calories to fill into your daily budget, feel free to give it a go. It might seem like an impossibility at first, but you might find some recipes for healthy versions of your favorite desserts online!
Research Your Favorite Restaurants
Restaurants are notorious for hiding the nutritional value of their food items. Before going out and indulging in your favorite foods, you should carefully research a restaurant’s menu to incorporate their food into your diet. Otherwise, you could ruin your diet with unhealthy foods that could set you back, especially if you are a beginner to dieting.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is packed with health benefits but is mainly used to help you lose weight. It contains a magical ingredient called acetic acid, which helps reduce the accumulation of body fat. The average time frame that goes along with the results of adding apple cider vinegar to your diet is within 12 weeks, so you can see up to half an inch of a reduction around your waistline.