While dieting is a very rewarding process, it can be a difficult one. Many individuals struggle with staying on track, weight loss plateaus, and resisting temptation. Sometimes it may seem as if you need to make a major dietary change, but in many cases small changes over time almost always lead to healthier and longer lasting results. Overcoming these obstacles and knowing what to change is difficult on your own; therefore, we have come up with some tips to keep your diet simple and easy.
5-6 Small Meals a Day
This is a very common dietary change that has time and time again proven to be effective for weight loss and an increase in energy levels. Individuals who eat 5-6 smaller meals a day will maintain more consistent metabolic rates throughout the day. People who eat 2-3 meals a day will have spikes of high and low metabolic rates which will impair weight loss and reduce energy levels. When adjusting to 5-6 smaller meals a day it is important to avoid snacking, eating well balanced nutritional foods is just as important as ever.
Artificial sweeteners can be very detrimental in a number of ways. Your body will have an easier time breaking down natural sugars. Additionally, when it comes to drinking fruit juice, be sure to have a glass of real fruit juice, not a “fruit drink” that only contains minor amounts of natural fruit juice. Better yet would be to eat the actual fruit itself.
Make a List
It is important to plan ahead before buying groceries. Making a list will help you avoid the extras that will tempt you later. Sticking to a list will also help you make better decisions with respect to nutrition and dietary balance. Also, consider going shopping after a meal. Nothing is worse than trying to resist the bad foods in a grocery store on an empty stomach, give yourself a fighting chance and have meal before you head to the market.
Eating items made with whole grains instead of instead of white flour can be hugely beneficial for your diet and is an easy change to make. Whole grains contain all the natural components of the wheat berry which are the most nutritious part. White flour is produced by removing these parts, leaving only starch behind. Whole wheat is almost always a healthier choice over white as it contains more protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and is less heavily processed.
Say Goodbye to Fried
For many the most appealing fried food product is fried chicken. Saying goodbye to fried chicken is a great start. A healthier alternative would be grilled chicken. The fried coating on deep fried foods contains a dense concentration of fats that your body will struggle to break down. Additionally, most fried food is battered with white flour, which is a layer of starch your body will have to work through. Other than a satisfying crunch, fried foods have little to offer in the way of nutritional value, best to avoid them when you can.
When making adjustments to your diet don’t try and make all the changes happen at once. Set one manageable goal at a time and slowly develop your ability to accomplish them on a daily basis. Trying to do too much at once will be frustrating and you will have a higher chance of reverting to your old habits. Also, give yourself a break if you mess up. It is ok to indulge once in a while, in fact it is good. If you mess up, just address where your mistake was and try to manage it better the next time around.
Diet = Lifestyle / Lifestyle = Diet
Diet and lifestyle go hand in hand. Approaching a “diet” as an adjustment of your lifestyle is often times more sound mentally and physically. Short term weight loss plans/diets can be ineffective and unhealthy. Seeing dietary changes as adjustments to your lifestyle will aid in transforming the small changes you make into daily habits instead of short term dietary band-aid’s.