DRINK 8-10 GLASSES OF WATER EACH DAY
Okay, for many people this is a big problem. Water doesn’t taste all that great generally because water doesn’t really taste like anything. Drinking water 8 to 10 times each day gets easier the more you actually do it. It is simply a matter of conditioning your taste buds, and yourself so that it becomes easier to do. Once you get started, you will begin to crave water.
To begin with, you should drink a glass of water in the morning first thing, before you eat. This is probably the easiest glass you will drink all day and it will help you remember to drink water all day long. Better yet, why not drink two glasses?
If you really cannot bear the taste of water, try using a water purifying pitcher or filter. You can also add a few drops of lemon or lime to your water but no sugar or sweetener! Ice also helps.
Check out flavored waters on the market, too. Just keep an eye out for additives.
Do not skip breakfast. If you need to go to bed a little earlier so that you can get up 20 minutes earlier each morning do it! Breakfast is so important to your good health and to weight control.
According to Dr. Barbara Rolls a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, “Your metabolism slows while you sleep, and it doesn’t rev back up until you eat again.”
Eating breakfast is not only good for overall weight loss, it will help you stay on track with your diet the rest of the day. You are more likely to binge on something sweet and in the bread group if you skip breakfast.
You can always keep a couple of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge or some high-fiber, low starch fruit around. If you plan to eat fruit at all during the day, breakfast is the perfect time to do it.
SUCCESS TIP NO. 3: EAT AT LEAST 3 MEALS AND 2 SNACKS EACH DAY
This can be one of the hardest adjustments to make. After all, you are busy! You already have a full-plate. When do you have time to worry about filling your plate with more frequent meals?
Just like eating breakfast will increase your metabolism, so will eating more often. This will also help you curb your bad-carb intake by making sure that your snacks are planned and occur regularly throughout the day.
Really, it will just take a minimal investment of planning time at the grocery store and at home each morning before you head out for the day to make some healthy food choices and prepare a few healthy snacks and meals. For suggestions, just see the handy list of snacks and appetizers listed later.
AVOID WHITE FOODS
This is one easy way to remember what not to eat. If it is made from sugar, flour, potatoes, rice or corn – just say no. Remembering this rule of thumb will make it easier to recognize those rice cakes as an unhealthy high-carb snack.
Always look for colorful fruits and veggies to substitute for the white ones. Buy broccoli, lettuce, bell peppers, green beans and peas, brown rice in moderation, leafy greens like kale and spinach, apples, melons, oranges and grapes.
These foods are not only colorful they are also high in fiber, nutrients and important antioxidants. Eating colorful fruits and vegetables will give your diet variety as well as give you added health benefits.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES
It is so easy to use a low-carb diet as an excuse for poor nutrition. Resist this temptation.
If the only vegetable you have eaten in the last 5 years has been the potato, now is a good time to begin experimenting with other vegetables.
This is important for your overall health and to avoid some nasty side effects of not getting enough fiber in your diet.
If you try hard enough, you will find vegetables that you enjoy eating. Experiment with grilling veggies and cooking with real butter to add flavor. You can also search for new recipes on the Internet or in cookbooks.
Remember, if you are only eating 40 grams of carb a day or less, two cups of plain salad greens contain only about 5 grams of carbohydrate. You have no excuse not to eat your veggies.
PREPARE YOUR OWN FOOD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
While more and more restaurants are offering low-carb friendly menu items, many of them are still not ideal low-carb fare. There are many recipes for quick and easy meals that you can prepare yourself at home. Try to do this as often as possible.
If you cook your own foods, you know exactly what the contents are and you will be able to better control for hidden sugar and otherwise processed foods.
Another benefit is the cost savings over the long run. Even if you must go to the grocery store more often, you will save a significant amount per meal as opposed to eating at restaurants and fast food establishments.
It will also be easier to maintain your diet with your own favorite fresh food selections on hand.
INVEST IN A GOOD SET OF FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS
Having food storage containers of various sizes on hand will make it so much easier for you to plan your meals and snacks.
When you buy nuts, fruits and vegetables in bulk you can simply prepare, separate and store them for easy use later.
For instance, you can pre-slice your apples and snack on them over several days. Simply cut them, rinse them in pineapple or lemon juice and store. This will make a quick and easy snack for later.
Fix your lunch and take it with you to work. Better yet, fix your lunch and 2 snacks for work.
EAT SOME PROTEIN AT EACH MEAL & AS A SNACK
In addition to everything that’s been discussed before, eating protein helps you burn more calories. Jeff Hample, Ph.D., R.D., a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association says that “Protein is made up mainly of amino acids, which are harder for your body to breakdown, so you burn more calories getting rid of them.
Just think eating a protein-rich snack can help you lose weight. How about a few slices of turkey or ham or some string cheese?
Eating protein will also help you feel full so that you are less likely to crave unhealthy snacks.
DRINK A GLASS OF WATER AFTER EACH SNACK
This will help you get in your 8 to 10 glasses of water each day but it can also have other benefits.
Ever feel hungry after eating a handful or standard serving of nuts? Try drinking water afterward. The water will help you feel full and prevent overindulgence.
Drinking water after a snack will also help remove the aftertaste from your mouth and can help curb your desire for more.
EAT SLOWLY & ENJOY YOUR FOOD
You will feel full and more satisfied if you take the time to savor your food and chew it slower. Don’t get in the habit of eating while standing or eating quickly. Sit down and chew.
Eating slower will help you enjoy your food more, pay attention to what it is you are actually eating and get a better sense of when you are actually full.
Super Foods for Super Weight Loss
Experts say there are two basic categories of foods that can be considered “keeping it off superfoods” because they fill your tummy without piling on the calories: fruits and vegetables. And the nutrient that gives fruits and vegetables that ‘staying power?’ Fiber.
So, if fruits and vegetables are the “keeping-it-off superfood groups,” fiber may well be the “keeping-it-off super-nutrient.” Protein is another super-nutrient. It’s becoming more scientifically accepted that protein may help to curb appetite.
Protein also offers staying power, and can slightly boost your metabolism in the process. But it’s imperative that you choose your proteins wisely, because like all other foods, if you’re eating more than your body needs, it’ll show up on the scale as a gain, instead of a loss.
The following superfoods are smart, low-calorie choices that will benefit your weight loss efforts:
Green Tea – Researchers suspect that the catechins (helpful phytochemicals) in green tea may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and mildly decrease body fat. So indulge in either a hot cup or a nice tall iced glass of green tea.
Broth- or tomato-based soup – Soups can help reduce hunger before meals and increase your feeling of fullness.
Low-calorie green salads – Having a low-calorie salad – which is not defined as one that’s loaded with croutons, high fat dressings, and cheese – as a first course can help you feel full, thereby reducing how much you eat with your main course.
Wisely choose your ingredients, and its high fiber content can be the key to helping you fight cravings later in the day.
Yogurt – Including dairy products as part of your healthy diet may promote your weight loss efforts.
Choosing a light yogurt may help you fight off hunger pangs due to its combination of protein and carbohydrate.
Beans – A great combination of fiber and protein, beans help you feel full longer, which means they may work to curb your between-meal appetite.
Water- Water is your body’s lifeblood, and you should be drinking it through your day.
It’s a great no-calorie beverage, and you can get it by drinking unsweetened tea, flavored unsweetened mineral water, regular water with lime or lemon, or even in your cucumber.
In addition to helping flush toxins from the body, it can also help you feel full. So when those hunger pangs strike, try drinking a glass of water before grabbing that snack.
High-Fiber, Whole-Grain Cereal – Whole grains in general help boost fiber and the nutritional value of your meal. One of the easiest ways to give your daily diet a whole-grain boost is to have a bowl of higher-fiber whole-grain cereal as breakfast or a snack.
Camille McClellan, MD, DNM, MBS
McClellan Natural Health, Wellness & Nutrition
Free Naturopathic/Homeopathic Consults Available