I check labels and make informed choices about what and when I eat. But nobody's perfect, and sometimes I slip up ... a lot. See my Saturday log and how bad it got? I used to log my diet daily, even hourly to see what my hunger triggers and relievers are. Now I think a little longer term and have come up with 5 tips for better nutrition.
Here are my top 5 tips to drop 5 pounds with fewer calories and minimal hunger:
- Drink water. 2 liters daily, at a minimum. Start with a tall glass 12oz before every meal and another glass with snacks. Add more water by drinking every 5-10 minutes while working out whether with cardio or with strength. Yes, you'll pee more but you'll also feel full more quickly and feel hunger less often.
- Get green. Rethink snacks and look for veggie options like cucumbers with s&p or mustard, leafy green salads, steamed broccoli with a sprtiz of lemon. These are not on the shelves at CVS or Shaw's so you'll need to use pre-pack your snacks. Invest in ziploc baggies which microwave easily and small plastic boxes that won't leak.
- Grains keep giving. Complex carbohydrates are slow burners that are perfect workout fuel. Whole grain bread and barley or whole grain couscous salads will leave you full for hours, especially if eaten with a tall glass of water. The darker, chewier, and less processed grains are best. Try cooking a new/old grain like quinoa today!
- Nix sugary snacks. Fruity yogurt, begone! Unless you add the blueberries yourself, you're getting more corn syrup and sugar than goodness from fruit-included yogurts. And check the labels on so-called diet or nutritional bars also. Rice and cane syurp are common additives that only add quick-burn sugar to your diet. Use sparingly if at all.
- Keep one treat. In all things, balance -- if you too strict, you'll likely really fall off the wagon quickly. Follow the above guidelines 90% of the time and indulge a little, daily with your free 10% of the time. If you allow for a little 100-200 calories "fudge" factor you can more easily keep the rest of your diet squeaky clean.
That's the recipe for contentment and success! I use this to drop 5 pounds almost every summer and usually within just a few weeks. It takes cooking and packing meals, plus snacks, and several large water bottles, but it's very doable. You don't need to write it all down, but it helps -- just keep it real and honest. It's that hard look in the mirror that makes us able to see what's real, and grow from it.
Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more about a nutritional lifestyle for weight loss or healthy weight maintenance. I look forward to hearing from you!