It always starts out the same, we realize the New Year is upon us and we make a vow to ourselves that we will lose weight. We do a great job and start a diet for the first week and those who are stronger may even last a month but usually no more. The problem is that we are trying to line up our life with the diet program we have chosen, when in reality the diet should fit our needs and our lifestyle. Here is a list of 10 tips taken from different diet plans to help you create the plan that best suits you and your lifestyle.
Honestly it’s quite sad that average Americans eat double the amount of grains they should be eating on a daily basis. Those of us living the great American dream constantly chow down on foods such as bread and pasta. Not to mention the fact that we have about 20 teaspoons of sugar a day without even realizing it, mostly from sweetened drinks. The solution to our carb problem is pretty simple, try skipping one sweetened drink and one form of bread or pasta a day and it can have a large impact on your weight throughout the year.
Eating High Volume Foods Can Be Very Helpful
When you get hungry you usually want to eat right away and you want it to be something good. The best thing to do is pick something that is high in water and fiber but has very little calories. One example would be soup or salad. This way you can eat a lot, get full, and still lose weight. Some more examples of high volume foods are popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, fresh fruit, like strawberries or grapes, and ¼ cup of nuts. Low volume foods include cheese and crackers, dried fruit, nut mix, and rice. These simple swaps will make you feel full and help you lose weight simultaneously.
Boost Your Protein Intake
The slower you digest your food the longer you will stay full. Proteins take four hours to digest but carbohydrates only take two. The more protein you eat the longer you will stay full. That way you will snack less and start losing weight. Eating foods like salmon, soy, and lean meats that are high in protein can help you lose a lot of weight.
Replace Your Meals with Bars and Shakes
A study at Colombia University proved that women who replaced one or two meals of the day with liquids lost up to two extra pounds per month. Whereas women who ate the same amount of calories but in solid foods lost weight a lot slower. If you plan to replace a meal with a shake you have to make sure it has 220 calories and you should pair it with a salad that has low-fat dressing or a fruit to ensure satisfaction. If you are replacing a snack with a bar then 220 calories is too much so make sure you eat a little less at dinner.
Keep a Food Diary
Writing down everything you eat helps catch mistakes you make in your eating habits that you would not have noticed before. “When you write down what you eat, you eat less,” says Anne Fletcher, RD, author of Thin for Life. A study from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research showed that keeping a food diary was a better predictor of weight loss than even exercise! The best way to succeed in journaling your food is to plan ahead of time what you want to eat for the day and try your best to stick to it. If you are able to stick to it, reward yourself with a gold star sticker for that day to help motivate you further.