Diets can be difficult, and one of the reasons for this is the struggle of changing from an unhealthy eating pattern to consuming a healthier range of food. The change may also shock the body, which can result in unanticipated weight gain and other undesired results. Mary Christ Anderson, Fitness Magazine Fitness Director, claims that it is possible to start developing habits that can aide a diet in just two short days. Check out these 21 routines recommended by dietitians that will kick-start any healthy eating program and will also set anyone up for success in their weight loss journey.
Do Not Skip Meals
Skipping meals seems like the ideal way to kick-start a diet, but this practice is highly inefficient and not recommended by any health professionals. Getting hunger cravings and habits in check will help to control the regularity and consistency of eating. Eating regular meals and accompanying these meals with fibre and protein-rich snack food is essential in creating a stepping stone for dieting success.
Prepare Food In Advance
Not having any food made and ready is one reason why people will opt for takeout over eating at home. A practice such as pre-slicing vegetables may not seem overly complicated, but many people find it is an effective way of deterring them from unhealthy food knowing they have already prepared a part of their meal. Slow-cookers, or crock-pots, are another effective way to prepare food while out of the house, not to mention the added benefit of coming home to a house that smells amazing.
Beautify Your Food
Taking extra care to create a meal that looks good on a plate can make food look more appealing to the consumer. According to many health professionals, the brighter a vegetable appears, the healthier it may be. Adding as many natural colours (such as orange carrots, red peppers, green spinach) to meals is an easy way to consume a variety of foods that are considered healthy.
Healthy Food Should Be Visible
Fruit bowls or a cake stand are an ideal way to display healthy and fresh food, and this will also have the individual on a diet reaching for this type of food rather than unhealthy snacks. Keeping food visible also prevents having an unopened bag of produce go bad because it is simply out of sight.
Protein With Breakfast
A protein-rich breakfast is essential is regulating protein consumption because most people consume their protein during dinner time. A breakfast packed with protein will leave a person feeling fuller than usual throughout the day, cutting out the need for unhealthy snacks. Try eggs, milk, cheese, or spinach in the morning to add that extra bit of protein needed to power through the day.
Snacks such as almonds, dried fruit (without added sugar), Greek yogurt, or a piece of fruit may save a trip to the nearest drive-thru on the way home from work. These types of snacks are best consumed during the afternoon to ensure those pre-dinner cravings do not get the best of the person on a diet.
Eating More Produce
Eating fresh fruit and vegetables regularly can have amazing effects on the body and can even reduce the risks of heart disease, cancers, and high blood pressure. This type of food will also leave a person feeling energized and ready for action. Knowing when to eat produce is essential, and the next slide provides some answers to this question.
Eating Vegetables First
Eating vegetables before carbohydrates will leave an individual feeler fuller for longer after a meal. According to various dietitians, eating salad, or vegetables before any main course can reduce calorie intake during the day which is great news for those on a diet.
Eat A Fibre-Rich Breakfast
Fibre is great for the regulation of the digestive system within the body, and it will play a crucial role in how the body feels, hunger-wise, for the rest of the day. Fibre-rich foods such as oatmeal, bran-muffins, or raspberries and blackberries are a great way to start the day for anyone, not just those on a diet.
Water gives the body energy as well as helping the brain and digestive system to function properly throughout the day. Adequate water can also have a positive effect on a diet. Drinking enough water can help the body stay satisfied after meals because the body will no longer crave hydration from food.
Anyone who has been on a diet has regretted taking a peek at the scales at one point or another, and this can be due to not seeing the progress intended or even seeing a dreaded gain in weight. Smaller, incremental weight goals, ensuring the same set of scales is used each week for consistency, and weighing in during the morning are some of the easiest routines to implement for a diet.
A Food Journal or Planner
A food journal or planner is a great organizational tool for those on a diet. It can help to create an awareness of eating patterns as well as identifying potentially unhealthy habits. Keeping track of portion size, type of food, and hunger level before eating is a great insight into bad eating habits that may be affecting a diet.
Do Not Starve Or Deprive Yourself Of Treats
Many who follow a strict diet plan with no allowance for treats will often fall off the wagon and turn to binge-eating to satisfy cravings. Treats should be incorporated into any diet two or three times per week as a way to reward the individual on a diet and this will not deprive them entirely of their favourite chocolate bar or candy. A regular psychological reward such as this may also have a positive influence on the diet's effectiveness.
Eat At Home
Convenience foods and takeout options are never considered the healthiest choice, and home cooked meals will usually have smaller portions, less fat, and less salt than the same meal from a restaurant or take-out joint. Ideally, a person should eat 90% of meals at home which allows three meals out during the week.
Eating slower will help the body digest food easier which may mean less acid-re-flux or indigestion. Also, due to the fact, the body does not realize it is full right away, eating slower may help someone who is prone to over-eating. This practice is also known as “mindful eating,” in which all of the senses are used to enjoy every aspect of the food.
Eating With Intention
Many people will eat food simply because it is dinner or lunch time and not because they are hungry. Skipping meals is not advised and smaller portions, or only eating what is needed, should be consumed rather than a full meal if the person is not as hungry as usual.
Making Small Changes
Small lifestyle changes can produce tremendous results over time. Simple practices such as swapping a morning energy drink for a bottle of water, using the stairs instead of an elevator at the office, or walking for 20 minutes around the block every night are some of the easiest practices to implement into a daily routine.
Find More Ways To Exercise Daily
Exercise does not have to take place in a sweaty, smelly gym or at a cold, rainy park. There is a tonne of at-home exercise programs that require no equipment or special skills. Body weight exercises such as squats, push-ups, and even mundane tasks such as taking the stairs rather than an elevator or walking to work will all help to contribute to a successful diet.
The Value Of A Good Night's Sleep
A bad night's sleep may have an individual reaching for sugar-laden energy drinks or foods, and this can be significantly damaging to any diet. A good night's sleep will ensure the brain is functioning properly and control the hormones in the body that cause a person to overeat or to crave unhealthy foods.
Set Small And Reasonable Goals
When starting a diet, many will set unrealistic goals such as losing 20 pounds before beach season. It is better for the human psyche to set smaller, manageable goals and to achieve these will leave an individual with a sense of pride and accomplishment. The old tale of the tortoise and the hare demonstrates that slow and steady will eventually win the race.
Instead of creating unrealistic goals concerning weight loss or fitness many will use smaller goals to feel a sense of achievement in the long process of weight loss. Keeping a positive and happy state of mind is crucial to any form of success and dieting is no different. Focus on what can be eaten rather than what is not.