Are you tired of diet tips handed out by someone with apparently unlimited income and time?
For some of us, it may just not be practical to spend half of our Sunday preparing carefully portioned meals for the rest of the week, or financially feasible to buy all our meals prepackaged in just the right portions.
And there are those of us who cringe at the thought of weighing food to achieve ‘optimal portion sizes.’
If this sounds all to familiar, well….
Here are ten real life Fit tips for the rest of us.
1. Eating out? Restaurant portions tend to be enormous and if it’s on the plate, we tend to eat it. If it’s possible, order from the kid’s menu, where portions are more reasonably sized. Sounds silly but it works.
2. Keep healthy snacks around and easily accessible. A bowl of fruit on the kitchen table, a container of celery or carrot sticks in the refrigerator, or a couple of pop-open cans of fruit salad in your desk at work will help you grab for something healthy when those first hunger pains begin. In other words, you’ll be more likely to grab something nutritious and good for you if it’s easy to eat.
3. Substitute frozen vegetables for canned. Canned veggies tend to be high in sodium, which you don’t need, and low in real nutrition, which you do. Buy economy size bags with zip closures to make it easy to pour out a single serving for a meal.
4. Buy a vegetable steamer. Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook vegetables other than eating them raw (which is preferred). The food retains nearly all of its natural nutrients instead of leaching it out into the cooking water. Even better, it makes your veggies taste great – which means you’ll be more likely to eat them instead of filling up on fatty foods that pack on weight.
5. Never eat standing up. One of the easiest ways to sabotage your diet is to ‘eat without thinking’. Treat eating with the respect that it deserves. Fix yourself a plate. Sit down and eat properly. You’ll be less likely to just pop food into your mouth without paying attention.
6. Spread your meals out. When you eat three meals a day, your body tends to store whatever it doesn’t need right that moment. By adopting a ‘grazing’ habit, you’ll keep your metabolism working throughout the day. Have a small protein packed breakfast with a piece of fruit, a light balanced lunch complete with protein, fats and carbs, and a mid-afternoon snack. Followed by a balanced dinner. If needed a healthy snack before bedtime might just do your metabolism some good. Just remember that you’re breaking up the same amount of food into smaller meals, not ADDING more food into your daily diet.
7. Grab a green tea or flavored water instead of soda. Soda is nothing but empty calories. No nutrients, lots of sugar.
8. Drink water. Even the FDA recommends at least 8 full 8 ounce glasses of water a day to keep your body working right. When you’re dieting, you should drink even more – water helps your body digest foods properly and cleans out your system. DRINK WATER.
9. Can’t afford a gym membership? Maybe it’s time to look and see if $10 – $20.00 is being spent weekly or daily that could be put aside so you could. Spending $5.00 on high calorie Latte’s, eating out EVERYDAY at work.. even spontaneous buys could easily be saved up for something worth spending your hard earned money on. You can even find extra $$ by re-evaluating your weekly grocery list. Boxed cereals, 2 cases of pop, etc. all add up to poor spending if your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle. Let’s not forget about our weekend trips to the club, followed by the infamous late night Taco Bell drive by 🙂
Exercising and training in general is best when you have friends joining you. It brings accountability and other forms of motivation as well. If all else fails and you’re completely strapped, exercising solo is always an option.
10. Skip the potato chips and pretzels . Fatty snacks fried in hydrogenated oil like potato chips contribute fat, sugar and calories and not much else. Instead, grab a handful of dried fruit, nuts, seeds or even a cup of greek yogurt for the same amount of calories and a lot more nutritional benefit.
At the end of the day, your DIET should not have a ending nor should it be difficult.
You may have a tough day from time to time, but it’s all about creating habits. Buying meats and vegetables, EATING fresh lean meat and vegetables, ALL THE TIME. Sure you can enjoy a combo meal every now and then, even ice cream, but the majority of the food choices you make should be lean meat, veges, a little fruit, mixing in nuts, seeds, butters and oils. Once you’re on the right track and habits are created, there is literally no end in sight for what you’ll be able to accomplish.
Whatever happens, DON’T QUIT.