How often have you turned on the TV or radio only to be bombarded by ads that offer a quick fix for weight loss? Pills, powders, new diet plans, and exercise machines that cost thousands of dollars all promise results, and any of them can be a tempting route for quick weight loss. However, most studies reveal that slow and steady weight loss is a more effective course of action when it comes to seeing long-term results. Here are five ways to safely change your eating habits and avoid fads that may eventually have a negative impact on your health.
Do Not Cut Out All Fats and Sugar Instantly
While a diet rich in fats and processed white sugar can cause you to pack on the pounds, going on a crash diet and eliminating them from your diet instantly is not a solution. This may not only cause a shock to your body and cause digestive upset that might last for days, it may also set you up for failure before you even begin. If you eat a diet high in sugar and fat, wean yourself off foods that contain them one at a time until you get in the habit of allowing yourself one or two treats per week.
Balance Your Meals
If you put yourself on a diet that restricts starches and meats, then eating out for special occasions can present a challenge. However, you do not have to deny yourself meals out completely if you plan accordingly. For example, if you know you will be eating out for supper and would like to have a petite sirloin or some potatoes, keep your breakfast and lunch light, include several servings of fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water during the day to help you feel full. This will allow you to enjoy a savory dinner out later.
Consider Packaging, Not Calories
Counting calories has always been a popular component of weight loss, but many nutrition experts now assert that packaging and processing are more important points. Many convenience foods, such as chips, instant noodles, and frozen meals do contain empty calories; however, because they are pre-packaged, they often contain high levels of sodium and preservatives that can cause water retention and contribute to additional weight gain. Instead of counting calories, focus on where your food is coming from and how much processing it went through in order to get to you.
Look to Healthy Ingredient Alternatives for Homemade Dishes
While making a turkey sandwich with lettuce on low-calorie bread is a healthy choice, it becomes less so when you slather the bread with rich mayonnaise. This is also true when it comes to making chicken or tuna fish, and adding dressing to your salads can raise their fat and sodium level significantly. Instead of cutting these foods from your diet altogether, however, consider using alternative ingredients that may be a better fit for your new eating habits, such as Hamptoncreek foods mayonnaise and dressings. These spreads are made from pea protein instead of dairy products and may help you to make your favorite spreads without the added fat.
Add Colorful Foods to Your Plate
One way to improve your eating habits is by filling your plate with colorful foods each time you have a meal. Leafy greens, red cherries, strawberries, and tomatoes, and bright yellow and orange veggies like pumpkin and zucchini are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and many are naturally low in sugar and sodium. You can change up the way you eat these foods by making smoothies, adding them to salads, and using them as a garnish at dinner.
Because it is generally recommended that you eat at least five servings of combined fruits and vegetables a day, it is important that you have a variety of selections available to you. Otherwise, you may grow bored eating the same foods every day and stop adding fruits and veggies to your meals altogether. Check out your local farmer’s market or organic food store to discover new and unique selections that will get you excited about getting your five to eight servings per day.
While losing weight in a way that is healthy and good for your body can be challenging, following these five tips may keep you on the right path and allow you to lose weight gradually. Be sure to practice patience, as physical changes may take time when you alter your diet. Before you start any weight loss program, however, it is wise to visit your physician to have your overall health assessed first to ensure a change in diet is safe and necessary.