1. MAKE BREAKFAST THE BIGGEST MEAL OF THE DAY.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to skip breakfast, you should get rid of that habit as soon as possible. By skipping breakfast, you are neglecting to give yourself the energy that you need for the rest of the day. If you’re often leaving the house in a hurry, prepare a meal the night before. Sometimes I make overnight oats when I know I will be busy the next morning.
Make sure your breakfast includes filling whole grains, like oatmeal, quinoa or whole wheat bread. Try making one of my delicious breakfast bowls!
2. GO CRAZY WITH FRUIT!
Fruit is nature’s candy. The only thing that kept me from eating tons of sugar when I first started losing weight was fruit. Bananas, apples, pineapple and mangoes are packed with natural sugar. Filling up on these makes not eating real sugar so much easier.
3. EAT LOTS OF HEALTHY FATS.
Eating healthy is a lot easier when you limit unhealthy fats, like butter and cheese, from your diet. Healthy fats, like avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds, are great for hair, skin and nails.
4. GET CREATIVE WITH VEGGIES.
There’s nothing worse than trying to scarf down raw broccoli and kale. Eating healthy won’t be easy if you only eat foods you don’t like. If you like eating raw broccoli, then good for you! But, if you’re like me, you need recipes that make vegetables taste better. To add flavor to a bland veggie dish, I like to add garlic, avocados or hummus. It works like a charm!
5. CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR AND PANTRY.
The only way to not be tempted is to get rid of the foods that tempt you. When I first cleaned out my pantry, I had to get rid of a huge tub of Nutella, sugary cereals, ice cream, Ritz crackers, chocolate brownie cliff bars, potato chips, bagels, white pasta, blueberry muffins and many other fatty, sugary and salty foods. At first it felt like I was at a funeral when I threw it all away, saying goodbye to all of the foods I grew to love. It sure wasn’t easy, but it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders once all of my temptations were out of the house. It’s important to find healthy alternatives to the foods you get rid of so you don’t miss your favorite foods too much.
6. PUT YOUR FORK DOWN SEVERAL TIMES THROUGHOUT YOUR MEALS.
Studies have shown that putting your fork down when eating your meal prevents over-eating and helps you know when you’re really full.
7. FILL UP ON NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS.
It can be hard to eat a low-calorie diet and also eat in moderation when you’re eating high-calorie foods. My favorite nutrient dense foods to eat are sweet potatoes, broccoli, strawberries and cantaloupe.
8. SLOWLY START SWEETENING YOUR FOOD LESS AND LESS.
Once you’ve spent enough time without sugar, you won’t have any trouble resisting sugary temptations. It took me several weeks, but it was probably the best decision I ever made. I started by switching to natural sweeteners, like maple syrup and honey. Then, I sweetened my coffee and oatmeal less and less until I decided to give it up all together. Since then, I’ve decided to eat sweeteners, but in moderation.
9. CHANGE YOUR COFFEE ORDER.
Before I lost weight, my coffee order was a vanilla white chocolate mocha with whipped cream. Now, my coffee order is a soy latte. My recommendation is to make minor changes to your current order each time you order. I never would have been able to go right from a sugar-packed drink to a drink with only soy milk in it. I had to first take out the white chocolate, then take out the vanilla, then replace 2% milk with skim milk, then replace skim milk with soy milk.
If you usually order a pastry with your coffee, it’s time to give up that habit. Sugar is just about the worst thing to eat in the morning. If you want enough energy for the day, it’s best to eat whole grains and natural sweeteners, like honey, maple syrup and agave nectar.
10. MAKE YOUR OWN MEALS.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re constantly eating out and ordering in. When you can’t see what went into your food, you can’t know if it’s healthy or not. Restaurants are only interested in making the food taste good. The only way to solve this problem, is to prepare your own food. So, take a few minutes out of your day to try one of my healthy recipes!
Sometimes your schedule might not allow you to spend half an hour cooking a meal for yourself. Sometimes making a meal the night before is the way to go. Some people even make a few different meals and save them in containers for the following week.
11. DON’T PUT TOO MANY LIMITATIONS ON YOURSELF.
If you’re like me, you can’t go too long without a muffin or a brownie. There’s certainly nothing healthy about eating foods that you dislike. If you hate raw veggies, make a healthy vegetable stir fry. If you’re addicted to ice cream, invest in an ice cream maker and make some healthy ice cream from scratch. Of course it’s good to eat healthier alternatives to the foods you love, but remember that it’s okay to make exceptions every once and a while.
You may not believe me, but I lost more weight when I started letting myself eat more of the treats that I had previously eliminated from my diet. At first, I was hit with immediate guilt after indulging in a brownie or piece of apple pie, but I realized that it didn’t effect my weight loss one bit. There is a lot of truth that anything can be healthy in moderation.
12. DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES.
Avoiding refined sugar, especially in sugary coffee drinks, soda and energy drinks is important when trying to lose weight. These things give you energy for about a minute and then make you crash. Giving up soda is a must when it comes to weight loss. Switching to diet soda is not better. You need to not only limit the sugar in your diet, but also the chemicals that soda has. If this sounds difficult for you to do, try replacing soda with tea, naturally flavored sparkling water or kombucha.
13. DRINK LOTS OF WATER WITH EVERY MEAL.
Drinking water is the best way to prevent bloating, keep your body feeling full and make your skin clear and soft. I have found that drinking a glass after every meal and snack keeps me full a lot longer than when I don’t. Dehydration can become a huge problem after increasing physically active. It is very important to stay hydrated.
14. DRINK COFFEE OR TEA WITH BREAKFAST.
It has been proven that drinking hot water can boost the metabolism. The best detox or cleanse is not starving yourself and only drinking tea and lettuce. Simply drinking hot water does wonders for releasing toxins from the body. Hot water is also great for digestion, preventing acne and keeping skin and hair soft and shiny.
15. EAT MORE FIBER.
I know you’ve been told to eat more fiber by pretty much everybody. The people at Fiber One think you should get your daily fiber by eating a sugar-packed granola bar, but that’s definitely not the best way to do it. Try eating more fortified whole grains, beans and avocados. Fiber can lower your blood sugar and cut cholesterol, so stock up.
See! It’s not so hard to eat healthy. If you need some inspiration for healthy meals and snacks, check out these helpful pages: