As everyone seems to know, or later finds out through trial and error, most diets don't hold up to all their hype. Rather than relying on some too good to be true quick fix weight loss cure promoted on an infomercial (see our article A Review of Kevin Trudeau's The Weight Loss Cure - Miracle Cure or Scam?), the true key to losing weight and keeping it off is adopting a sound, sustainable eating plan and then sticking with it. The 15 simple dieting tips given in this article will help you change your bad eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss safely.
The reason most diets don't work or last is that they feed into a short-term mindset. Most diets are approached as an all or nothing proposition. The majority of diets encourage people to drastically change their habits for a few weeks or so, rather than having a person make small changes in their lifestyle that can last a lifetime. Once those few weeks of "dieting" are over, your old habits return and so does the former state of your body. What you need to remember is that small changes last, while big ones usually don't. If you just decide to change everything you are doing wrong starting next Monday and then straight-line it from there, your decision may sound impressive and might even get you a little praise, but it likely won't change your underlying behavior patterns. Ultimate success is achieved by taking the slow, steady route, not by taking extreme actions. The 15 simple dieting tips discussed below are all small lifestyle changes that will quickly become healthy habits resulting in big impacts if you give them a try.
15 Simple Dieting Tips That Work
- Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages: Don't confuse thirst with hunger.
You'll be surprised how quickly a glass of water will calm your feelings/thoughts of hunger. If plain water is not for you, try adding lemon, lime, or a splash of juice, or brew a calorie-free tea. Also, hydrating your body is great for your skin.
- Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away: Work vegies and fruits into meals to fill you up. Take seasonal vegetables and make stir-fries, frittatas, risotto, pilafs, soups, or layer on sandwiches. Not only will you feel more satisfied from the volume of food, you will also get all the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.
- Consider whether you are really hungry: Are you eating out of boredom? You should feel better after eating, not stuffed, bloated, or tired. When a craving doesn’t come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it.
- Be choosy about nighttime snacks: Don't eat mindlessly.
When you're sitting at the computer or in front of the television munching on chips or cookies without being hungry, you're eating mindlessly. For some, food keeps them company and lessens their sense of being alone. Is this you? To curb nighttime eating only allow yourself one low-calorie snack at night, such as a half-cup scoop of low-fat ice cream or a 100-calorie pack of cookies. After you've become satisfied with the low-cal snack, try substituting it with a cup of zero-calorie tea or other calorie-free beverage. You can also try closing down the kitchen after a certain hour.
- Enjoy your favorite foods: Do not cut your favorite treats out completely, instead, limit them. Moderation is key.
- Enjoy your treats away from home: By doing this you don’t have to worry about the temptation of having treats in the house. You will also begin to associate eating unhealthy with eating away from home. This will also help you eat at home more often than eating out. Reducing the amount of fast food you eat will not only help your waistline, but your pocketbook as well.
- Eat several mini-meals during the day: Divide your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoy as many of them as you can early in the day. Ideally, dinner should be the last time you eat.
- Eat protein at every meal: Protein encourages fat burning and helps preserve muscle mass while keeping you feeling full. It will also give you energy for a longer period of time. So try to spread your protein consumption throughout the day. Be sure to include healthy protein sources, such as yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans, at meals and snacks.
- Spice it up: Add flavor to your healthy foods (see our article How To Add Flavor To Your Food Without Adding Calories). The flavor boost can help you feel more satisfied.
- Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods: If you can make a healthy meal in 5 or 10 minutes you'll be less likely to hit the drive-through or order a pizza. Having ready-to-eat snacks and meals-in-minutes staples on hand will set you up for success. Try stocking your kitchen with items such as 94% fat-free microwave popcorn, frozen vegetables, fresh fruits, canned diced tomatoes, pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts, whole-grain wraps or pitas, canned beans, and bags of pre-washed greens.
- Order children's portions at restaurants: This is an easy way to cut calories and get your portions under control. Another trick is to use smaller plates at home. This will help the portions look more substantial. Satisfying your mind has a big affect on satisfying your stomach. If your mind is satisfied, your stomach likely will be too.
- Eat foods in season. In season fruits and vegetables are much more flavorful than when out of season. Try simple fruit desserts, like low-fat yogurt topped with fresh berries or mix fruits together into a fruit cocktail.
- Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables. Did you know that by simply eating less bread or pasta and more veggies, you could lose a dress or pants size in a year.
- Use non-food alternatives to cope with stress. If you're stressed don't reach for food for relief. Instead, try practicing meditative deep breathing, listening to music, reading a few chapters in a novel, writing in a journal, or looking at a photo album of loved ones.
- Be physically active. You'll be surprised at how great you feel, how much better you sleep, and how much more energy you have when you exercise. Do not use exercise as a punishment for eating or as a reward to "earn" the right to eat more. Keep physical activity positive and build a lifelong habit, it is good for you whether you are trying to lose weight or not.
Follow these 15 simple dieting tips that work and you will see results. Making small changes in your lifestyle that can last a lifetime will help you lose weight and keep it off. Remember, slow and steady wins the race so don't get discouraged if you don't see dramatic results in the beginning. The key to losing weight and keeping it off is adopting sound, sustainable eating habits and then sticking with them; not by taking extreme, unproven, and often unhealthy weight loss measures.
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