There was a time when food was simple. People used to eat what grew in their own or nearby farms. Processed food meant cured, frozen or canned. In today’s world, our food has become complicated. On one hand, we enjoy fresh and natural food; while on the other hand, we also consume chemically processed food. The latter seem to be more popular if we look at the high rate of diabetes and obesity cases around the world.
The good news is that many people are becoming aware about healthy eating. The trend of diet which includes traditional, fresh and whole items can become the turning point of our society’s dysfunctional food relation and encourage us to achieve optimal fitness, culinary satisfaction and good health. Here are a few strategies and tips to adjust your diet and move towards a healthier lifestyle:
Some Basic Tips to Get You Started
- Steer clear of short term diets. If you want to achieve permanent weight loss, you must understand that there are no short cuts. A diet of 2-3 months will not help you lose weight permanently. All the weight you lose with such diets will eventually return.
- Seek support from your friends and family. A cheering squad will keep you motivated and encouraged to continue with your healthy eating.
- Don’t set your aim too high. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Set smaller achievable goals like losing 2 pounds per week. Losing a lot of weight within a short span of time will result in making your body and mind drained, sluggish and sick.
- Set realistic goals. Design short term and long term goals. Losing a certain amount of weight in 6 months time and maintaining a healthy diet throughout the year can be your long term goal. Getting toned arms for the summer by doing arm exercising five times a week can be short term goal. Once you keep on reaching your short goals, it will keep you motivated to reach your long term goal.
- Start a food journal or weight loss dairy. This will help you keep track of the food you consume and your exercise routine. You will also be able to assess how much weight you lost in a week or a month. When you keep track on your achievements, you will stay motivated.
Improve Your Food Environment
- Food environment plays a vital part in the success and failure of your weight loss efforts. You must take responsibility of what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat.
- It is advised by experts that you have a hearty breakfast. Consuming most of your calories in breakfast and lowest of calories during dinner time will assist you in losing more pounds. Eating a healthy breakfast helps in jump starting your metabolism and decreases the chances of you feeling hungry the rest of the day.
- Opt for small portions. Controlling the size of your portion through utilizing smaller cups, bowls and plates will help you to eat less. Using small cutlery makes your portion larger and tricks your brain in believing you are full. Never eat anything directly from a container. You couldn’t know how much you have consumed.
- Start planning your meals. If you have all your meals planned it is highly unlikely that you will eat anything unhealthy. Plan a healthy meal beforehand; place them in a small plastic containers or bags. This will help you to eat in moderation and eat them as per your schedule. When you have a regular meal time, it helps you to avoid eating extra throughout the day.
- Start cooking you meals. When you cook your food yourself, you can decide which ingredients to use and you can also control your potion size. When you eat out, you have no idea about all the ingredients used in the meal and the portion sizes are usually large.
- Go grocery shopping when you are full. This way, you will be least tempted to buy those calorie filled food items you crave for.
- Don’t keep tempting food in your house. When you don’t have those high calorie snack food items around your house, you will be less likely to give in to temptation.
Include Healthy Food in Your Diet
- Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat very little, it means you have to consume low calories. You just have to eat smartly. High fiber food is the best way to stay full while losing weight.
- Eat the food items that are low on calories but are full with nutrients. This will help you to stay fit and lose weight in a proper way.
- Include vegetables and fruits in your diet. Adding green veggies in your food, salads and colorful variety of fruits will not only help you lose weight but will keep you feeling full.
- Add beans in your diet. Chickpeas, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black beans and more can be utilized in your diet to make it rich with fiber.
- Whole grains are also very essential to include in a diet. Go for high fiber cereals; air popped popcorn, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal etc.
Make Healthy Changes in Your Lifestyle
- A healthy diet must be supported by a healthy lifestyle to make your weight lose efforts more successful.
- Start exercising. Do yoga, aerobics or cardio exercises. You can even make a combo of the three. Keep your workouts interesting and fun. Keep changing the exercises after every three months because our body keeps gets used to same exercises.
- If you have a busy schedule and don’t have time to exercise, go for a 15 minute walk daily, use the stairs, do a few leg exercises while sitting at your desk, walk around when you are talking on phone. Make these few changes to move your body between your working hours.
- Don’t be a couch potato. Switch off your TV and move around. If you don’t want to miss our favorite show, then do some exercises while watching. For example do hand exercises, sit ups, squats, spot jogging or during commercials, go take a quick jog inside the house, jogging from one room to the next and coming back to your starting place.
- Drink plenty of water. Replace alcoholic drinks, soda, coffee or energy drinks with water. It is not only good for losing weight but will also make your skin glow.