- Stop trying to eat less, just eat more. Not quantity wise, but quality wise. Diversify your eating habits. Try a different fruit or vegetable every day, for example. Don't limit your food options!
- Know what you are eating. It is best to cook for yourself, but if you don't have time, just make sure you are reading ingredients very carefully. The fewer ingredients, the better. And if you cant pronounce half the ingredients, chances are, you don't want to be eating them.
- Know how to read Nutrition Facts.
- ALWAYS look at the serving size first. If products have a small enough serving size they can round all the amounts to zero. But many of the serving sizes are unrealistic. For example, PAM claims their product has zero fat, zero calories, zero everything. Because the serving size is .266 grams, which is a "1/3 second spray. First of all, can you even spray for 1/3 of a second? I cant even count a third of a second! Secondly, who is going to use that little? This is a trick that can be used by any company. Don't be fooled by what is on the front of the box or can, check the back!
- Look at the daily value for each amount. 100 carbohydrates may not seem like very many, but that is already one third of your daily recommended amount! Check out what you need daily here: http://www.netrition.com/rdi_page.html
- Don't eat late at night, or at least try to avoid it. If you come home late one night and need to eat, don't stay hungry all night, but don't make it a habit. If you get hungry for a little late night snack, stick to things with fewer carbohydrates.
- Eat bigger meals, fewer times a day. If you don't eat enough at one meal and you are still hungry, you may end up snacking the rest of the day, usually on more unhealthy foods. Try to eat three balanced meals each day (thats right, no more skipping breakfast!) with maybe one or two small snacks in between.
- Don't leave snacks lying around! If you know you will be tempted by a bag of chips lying on the counter, try to put them high up in the cabinet, so you have to do and think more about it instead of just reaching instinctively into the bag. Instead, leave healthy snacks lying around. Don't rely on packaged things, next time you are at the store, try getting something fresh like bananas or carrots instead of something packaged like chips.
- Most diet plans DON'T work. Many companies that claim their foods have "low fat", "fewer calories", etc. make up for all the bad stuff they don't have, for even more bad stuff they do have. For example, Lean Cuisine's Glazed Chicken nutrition facts state that it has only 2 grams of fat, 210 calories, and 17 grams of protein. Plus, the serving size is the entire box. So far, so good. Then you take a look at the ingredients. First thing, cooked chicken tenderloins, the first ingredient of which is chicken tenderloins. That all sounds good. But the second ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. Not so great. Think about how much high fructose corn syrup that is. There is more high fructose corn syrup in that dish than any other seasoning. It's like eating candy! Did I mention Lean Cuisine is owned by Nestle, that's right, the same company that makes Butterfingers, Kit Kat, and Dreyer's. Also, note that at the bottom, in very small print, it states that "Nutritional information is subject to change."image from leancuisine.com
- Eat REAL food. Some over processed food can hardly be called food. Try to eat things that don't have ingredients starting with "modified" "partially hydrogenated" "concentrate", etc. It is better to eat real sugar than high fructose corn syrup. A good way to know how fresh the ingredients are is to check the expiration date. The fresher (and better) the food is, the shorter the time will be before the expiration date. For example, Twinkies, well known for their long shelf life, you will find do not have many real ingredients. Real food goes bad, so to keep Twinkies good for a longer period of time, the real ingredients are replaced with artificial alternatives.
- Next time you get hungry for a snack, try drinking water instead. You may mistake being thirsty for being hungry.
- Exercise! This may be the easiest of all. It doesn't need to take up hours of your day to get in shape. If you are short on time, make the workout more intense.For example, if you walk your dog every day, try running instead. You may find that running fifteen minutes a day instead of walking can make a big difference. You don't need to buy a bunch of equipment or join a gym, although, if you can it may be a good invest ment. All you need is motivation. Just make it a habit to exercise a certain amount of time each day, and when you have extra time, do something else physical like going hiking or doing laps in the pool for a longer period of time.
At the end of the day, after all is said, done, and eaten, the most important thing is to feel good about YOU! These tips can help you look and feel your best!