Losing weight can be frustrating with all of the misinformation out there. Here are some sensible tips to start eating healthier and lose weight.
Obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. Today, more than 75 percent of adult men and 60 percent of adult women are overweight.
While unhealthy food options like fast food are certainly at least partially to blame, the bad reputation that diets have isn’t helping either. In reality, eating healthier is far from impossible. With the right advice, anyone can make healthy changes to their diet to lose weight.
If you’re ready to start eating healthier, keep reading. We’re bringing you 7 tips to make healthy eating and weight loss easier.
1. Drink, Drink, Drink
If you’re still on the fence about starting a diet to lose weight, you need to start small. Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to eat healthier and make smart choices that will make the transition to a diet easier.
One simple, but very important tip, is to increase your fluid intake.
While you’ll want to start cutting out sugary drinks, when you’re first starting out, low-sugar or sugar-free sports drinks, coffee, lemonade, and fruit juices are all fine in moderate amounts.
2. Start Small
When you first decide that you want to begin eating healthy, you might be tempted to go all in right from the start.
But cutting out every unhealthy thing you normally eat and replacing those items with healthy alternatives can leave you with intense cravings. Those cravings can leave you feeling cranky and sluggish even though you’re fueling up on healthy foods.
Instead of diving in head-first, try starting small. For the first few weeks, focus on cutting one food or drink at a time and replacing them with healthy alternatives.
You might cut soda one week, junk food the next, and fried foods after that. As you do, start drinking more water and add more fruits, veggies, and grilled meats to your meals.
3. Choose Fresh, Whole Foods Whenever Possible
As you’re making small, gradual changes to your diet, one easy way to begin replacing unhealthy choices with healthy ones is to choose fresh, whole foods whenever possible.
Even if you’re preparing foods that aren’t necessarily diet foods, like pasta or pizza, swapping out fresh ingredients for processed ones is a great choice.
You’ll not only begin training your brain to recognize how much better fresh foods taste, but you’ll also get a boost of healthy benefits, like important vitamins and fiber, that are less present in processed foods.
As you begin losing weight and eating healthier, you can even start swapping all processed foods with fresh ones.
For example, you can make a healthy alternative to frozen pizza using cauliflower for your crust, fresh, homemade tomato sauce or olive oil for a base, and low-fat mozzarella and fresh veggies as toppings. There are plenty of skinny alternatives to unhealthy dishes that taste great and are good for you!
4. Keep Snacks With You
Whether you’re headed to work or to the mall, you’ll likely run into plenty of temptations to stray from your diet.
From vending machines and breakroom donuts to fast food restaurants, if you get hungry while you’re out, these can be easy places to turn to for a snack.
To help you stay on the track to a healthy diet, always keep a few small snacks with you.
Toss a couple of granola bars or a baggie of nuts in your purse or backpack. Chop up veggies or pack whole fruit to have at your desk at work.
Having some snacks on hand will help you make a healthy choice when hunger strikes between meals.
Another simple way to keep up your motivation? Follow a health blog that will help you learn other smart diet and healthy eating tips!
5. Never Skip a Meal
When you’re trying to lose weight, it can be tempting to skip a few meals. Maybe you think that by skipping breakfast you can indulge in a larger dinner. Or you figure that eating just two meals a day will help you take in fewer calories.
Whatever the case, skipping a meal is never a good idea.
To start, not eating will leave you feeling sluggish and weak, which won’t allow you to get the exercise you need to lose weight and get healthy. Skipping a meal can also cause you to indulge in too many snacks, or to overeat during your next meal.
Instead, perhaps the most important tip for eating healthy for beginners is to eat at least 3 balanced meals per day. If you find that you’re ravished when your next mealtime comes around, you might even consider switching to 4 or 5 smaller meals each day instead.
6. Make Sure You’re Getting Protein
One mistake many new dieters make is not getting enough protein each day.
While fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are important for a balanced diet, protein is as well. It gives you energy. It helps support healthy bones. It is an important building block for your muscles, skin, and blood.
If you’re looking to eat less meat, you can also get protein from other sources. Seafood, dairy products, nuts, and beans are all great choices.
7. Get a Good Night’s Rest
Nothing will kill your motivation to eat healthy faster than exhaustion.
Maybe you’re waking up after getting just a few hours of sleep. Stopping for donuts and an iced mocha on your way to work sounds easier than whipping up fresh eggs or chopping fruit.
Or you’re stuck in the office after a long day of work and your veggies or granola bar are the last thing you’re craving. You might find yourself reaching for those takeout menus instead.
That’s why if you’re trying to make changes to start eating healthy, it’s important to get a good night’s rest, every night. That, along with meal prep and having healthy snacks on hand, will help prepare you to stay strong when those cravings hit.
Start Eating Healthier Today
These tips make it easy for anyone to start eating healthier, no matter their current diet or fitness level.
Sticking to these tips can sometimes be tough. But learning smart ways to fight back against temptations and cravings is essential if you want to reach your fitness and weight goals.
Check out these tips for fighting temptation and eating healthy when you don’t feel like cooking.