Everyone wants to eat healthier, but where do you start?? With all of the nutrition books, fitness magazines, and weight loss tv shows out there it can all seem a bit overwhelming. With a little planning, you can make small changes today that equal big rewards tomorrow. Below, are six easy changes you can make today, that will start you down the road of creating healthy eating habits for life!!
1) Drink water throughout the day. I know, you're thinking duh Lauren... but hold on. Water is great for your skin, your digestive system, helps prevent cellulite and aids in weight loss. Many times we mistake dehydration for hunger. If you feel hungry at atime you probably shouldn’t be (like when you ate lunch less than an hour ago) you are probably just dehydrated.
2) Start each day with protein! Lean protein keeps you satisfied for longer than other nutrients because it takes your body longer to digest them. According to a Purdue University study, eating lean protein (such as egg whites or low-fat yogurt) at breakfast keeps you more satisfied than if you ate it later in the day. Aim for around 30 grams of protein at breakfast each day.
3) Don’t drink your calories. Start to cut out sugary sodas and calorie packed alcoholic beverages (unfortunately the frozen ones are the worse). Some margarits have over 1,000 calories!! Yikes! Also, whenever possible choose whole foods over liquid alternatives. For example, eat a whole orange instead of drinking orange juice. Real food is usually more filling and chewing always makes us feel more satisfied. Why do you think Oprah loses her mind every time she goes on one of those liquid only diets?
4) Serve/order ALL dressings and sauces on the side. There is no reason to ruin a perfectly delicious salad or grilled chicken breast with fat laden dressings and sauces. Use the fork trick: dip your fork in the dressing and then pick up your food. I promise you won’t even miss the hundreds of calories you just saved yourself!
5) Snack smarter. How many times have you been so “good” at breakfast and lunch only to succumb to the callings of the dreaded vending machine come 3 o’clock?? I know I’m guilty! A big part of eating healthy, is being prepared. Make sure you keep healthy snacks on hand, so when hunger rears its ugly head you are prepared. Great options include: portable fruit (such as apples and bananas), almonds (they make amazing 100 calorie packs now), cheese sticks, low fat yogurt, and whole grain crackers. Remember to stay away from sugary snacks that cause your insulin to spike, and will just cause you to be hungry again in 30 minutes.
6) Shrink your plate and your waist! You know the old saying our eyes are bigger than our stomach?? Sometimes I think our eyes are bigger than our stomach, but we are so out of tune with what full feels like we just keep eating anyways. Try switching out your dinner plate for a salad plate. You can fill your plate up without having to lay on the coach bloated for an hour after dinner! I know this might sound cheesy, but I promise you would be shocked how much less you eat without even noticing.
See those weren’t too bad!
Coming tomorrow: Lauren's Eat This Not That Tables! Easy swaps that save mega calories!