1. Limit sugar, salt and saturated fats (the kind that’s solid at room temperature).
Reduce those three “S’s,” Diets high in these foods lead to obesity, fatigue and poor health.
2. Watch out for “portion distortion.”
Try to keep servings at a sensible size.
The ideal meal plate has one-half of the plate devoted to vegetables and fruit; one-fourth of the plate to proteins (ideally the protein is baked, broiled or grilled) and one-fourth of the plate to starches, either whole-grain starches or such starchy vegetables as peas, potatoes and corn.
3. No more “happy plates.”
Stop telling yourself you have to clean your plate.
Be aware, too, that stress and negative emotions can trigger “emotional eating.” Is your stomach really growling? Is there an empty feeling there? If not, take a walk, call a friend, clean a closet, write a letter or pick up a book. And try to keep comfort foods out of your house!
4. Don’t forget the veggies.
Try to incorporate vegetables at lunch and at dinner and in one snack every day. Vegetables are very high in vitamins and minerals, and low in carbohydrates, contain fiber, a small amount of protein and no fat. Adding more non-starchy vegetables to meals and at snacks can help you feel full with little calories, no sodium, and no fat if not added.
5. Always add protein.
Protein provides valuable iron and has the advantage of helping diners feel full. Try to get 4 ounces (for women) to 6 ounces (for men) of protein at every meal (with 1 ounce being about the size of a golf ball).
Sources include beef, pork, chicken, seafood, eggs, beans, peanut butter and dairy products (low-fat versions are best); Fat-free Greek yogurt is a good high-protein choice for meals or snacks.
6. Make an exercise plan.
Try to fit more activity into the day, aiming for at least 30 minutes (the time can be broken up into intervals of at least 10 minutes) of moderate to vigorous exercise each day. Start slowly if not currently exercising, and work up to the goal of 30 minutes/day.
Alternating days of cardio and resistance training helps to make sure all your muscle groups are being worked, and gives others time to rest.
7. Stay hydrated.
It’s recommended that people drink 64 ounces, eight cups, of water a day. However, most people only get 16 to 32 ounces daily. A nice side-effect of being adequately hydrated: a feeling of fullness.
In a recent study, people who drank a large glass of water before their meal ate 75 calories less and lost about 14 pounds a year, from that alone.
8. Live it. Don’t diet.
Don’t consider healthy lifestyle changes to be temporary or just for the moment. Create healthy patterns for life!!