Nutritional Advice Made Easier
How to Make These 5 Diet Tips Work
Consistently eating healthy isn't exactly easy. We're confronted by junk food at every cash register. Television commercials promote chips, pizza and candy. Meanwhile, fast-food chains are everywhere, offering mega-calorie meals at ridiculously low prices. It seems eating healthy is becoming more difficult every day.
Difficult, but not impossible. You don't have to give up or give in. Here are five pieces of nutritional advice that people have a hard time following, and what you can do to make them work for you.
Choose healthy snacks instead of junk food.
I do it by keeping healthy snacks close at hand. When I'm rushing around trying to get a dozen things done, it's tempting to grab something quick. Instead, I put healthy options on every shopping list. Things like whole fruit, unsalted nuts and vegetables. Then I keep them nearby, even when going out on errands. When I feel pangs of hunger, an orange or a handful of nuts satisfies me without sabotaging my diet.
Practice mindful eating.
I'm guilty of grabbing a bite in front of my computer, while binge-watching a TV show or in the car. But eating while doing something else makes it easy to overeat. Try setting a timer, say 10 minutes for a snack or 20 minutes for a light meal. Then while the timer is going, focus on your food. Make note of how things smell, taste and make you feel.
As long as that timer is going, don't allow outside distractions. Try to slow everything down. Being present while you eat gets you fuller quicker, and helps you feel more satisfied with the food you eat.
Don't rely on willpower.
Every week starts with a plan. I make a list of what would be convenient, tasty and healthy for my meals. That means oatmeal with fresh fruit or eggs and vegetables for breakfast. Bread for a sandwich with soup. Dinners made in advance and frozen for easy reheating. Then I pick a couple of recipes from WeEatFit.com and cook a couple in bulk, so they're ready when I'm hungry.
I use a free food tracking program called MyFitnessPal, but I don't log things AFTER I've eaten them. Instead, I enter what I PLAN on eating for the week. That way it acts as a menu, simply telling me what I had already planned. Instead of relying on willpower to eat healthy, I just eat one of the healthy meals I've already prepared. They taste amazing and I don't have a food hangover or suffer regret when I'm done.
Cut restaurant meals in half.
Going out to eat used to be a treat. But over the last 30 years, it's become far more commonplace. The problem is that the average restaurant meal has over half the calories you're supposed to eat for the entire day. Something I've suggested is to only eat half and take the remainder home for another meal. But once that food is put down in front of you, temptation kicks in and it's tough to not eat everything on your plate.
Avoid temptation. When you order your meal, ask the server to put half in a to-go container and only bring the remaining half to your table. You've just cut your calories by 50% while still enjoying a meal out. As a bonus, you've got another meal for later.
Quit eating after dinner.
When I'm done with dinner, I put a bowl of fruit front and center in the kitchen. Then I turn off the kitchen lights. It's now off-limits. But if I do go back in, the first thing I'll see is the healthier fruit option.
Then I ask myself why am I staying up? If it's just to binge-watch a TV series, I allow myself to go through the options and pick just one. The longer I stay up, the more likely it is that I'll be tempted to snack. So my final trick is to have my phone send me reminders when it's time for bed.
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