It seems that everyone is on the go these days. Eating on the run, work lunches and meals out with friends, can all make dieting a real challenge.
One of the main problems with “dieting” is the word itself! The word “diet” brings up connotations of deprivation and denial. Who wants to be deprived?! Tell yourself you are not “on a diet”. You are simply making more healthy choices.
A big challenge in gaining a new healthier eating plan is setting unrealistic expectations – in other words, trying to change everything about your diet at once. The best way to begin is to make just a few changes at a time – for example, if you feel as if you much eat chocolate every day, try eating chocolate every other day. This method will improve your self-esteem in the long run, as you are more likely to keep to manageable goals and won’t give up so easily. Other easy habits that will help to kick-start your healthy eating habits include:
Setting Realistic Goals
Decide how much weight you need to lose and work towards that goal realistically. Ideally, you should aim to lose no more that 1-2 pounds per week. Although this may not sound like a lot, you’re more likely to achieve permanent weight loss if you do it slowly. People who lose weight quickly on a crash diet tend to put it straight back on when they return to their normal eating habits. Changing your habits slowly is more likely to keep the weight off long-term.
Be Easy On Yourself
If you eat too many chocolate chip cookies one day, or don’t reach your goal each week, don’t beat yourself up! Everyone has days when they eat too many unhealthy foods. Instead, just decide to focus on healthy eating the following day. And if you aren’t losing weight, persevere! You will get there in the end!
Always Eat Breakfast
A lot of people think skipping breakfast will help to reach their weight loss goal. Just the opposite is true! Eating a healthy breakfast helps to jump start your metabolism for the day and keeps you from making poor choices later on in the day.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
You would be surprised how many calories you drink during the day! The latté in the morning, a can of pop in the afternoon, the cocktails during dinner. Just cutting those beverages out during the day could bring you much closer to your goal weight. Especially avoid carbonated drinks – most are packed with hidden calories and additives. Replace these beverages with cold, refreshing water! Water contains no calories, serves as an appetite suppressant, and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Drinking more water helps to reduce water retention by stimulating your kidneys. Experts relate a clear complexion to the adequate intake of water that flushes toxins from our bodies.
Keep a Food Diary
Writing down everything you eat is a great way to become more familiar with your eating habits. Studies show that most people vastly underestimate how much they eat, so seeing it written down in black and white can be a real eye-opener. Measuring your food enables you to become an expert at assessing accurate portions, and keeping your portions under control. Keep a note of your feelings in the diary, too, as this can help to identify food triggers; for example, you might always crave chocolate when you’ve had a stressful day. If you’re aware of this, you can then plan ahead and have some healthy snacks ready for times when you know you’ll be under pressure.
Any eating plan can run into trouble if you wait until you’re starving before you eat. A little planning goes a long way. When you’re cooking dinner, make double batches of everything that you can wrap up and store in the refrigerator for nights you don’t have the time or the desire to cook. Also, if you know you are going to be away from home for awhile, pack some healthy snacks in your car. This will stop you from making unhealthy food choices (such as stopping at a fast food drive-thru) when you are starving. Some snacks may include fresh fruit, whole wheat crackers, raisins, nuts, whole wheat cereal, or some plain air-popped popcorn.
Remember, as soon as you start to eat more healthily, you will find that you look better, feel better and have lots more energy. Keep reminding yourself that this new journey towards a healthy lifestyle is a gift to yourself and your amazing body. You are worth it!
Angie is a personal trainer and health coach who is passionate about helping professional business women find a long-term healthy and balanced lifestyle through nutrition, fitness, and general health and wellness. She has produced a 4-minute online movie that outlines the struggles that women have in balancing work and family obligations and still make time for themselves. She also created a community website that supports hectic women in business find solutions to finding that one extra hour in the day just for them. Sign up for her complimentary weekly Work Hard Play Hard eZine at http://www.fitbusinesswoman.com and then visit http://www.youronlinetrainer.com for a free fitness analysis.
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