We all have to start somewhere on each of our individual health journeys. Many decide to take the plunge of cut out certain foods entirely and exercise everyday. This may work for some, but the reality that they are most likely to fail. To reach the goal of an amazingly healthy lifestyle, you have to build healthy habits. One by one, you have to adjust your current lifestyle just a tad. Once that one habit sticks and becomes part of your daily routine, you add another. As you add more and more healthy habits, the end result will look like the lifestyle you have been wanting.
Drink Water Half an Hour Before Meals
Drinking water helps in more ways than one. If your stomach is gurgling, it might just mean that you are dehydrated. So if you drink a glass of water, the hunger pangs will be subdued (at least for a while). On another front, it helps take up some space in your stomach, so that it takes less volume for you to feel full. You can take this concept a step further if you eat foods that are high in water content; such as cucumbers or apples.
Start Thinking In Terms of Satiety
A new concept you will have to adopt is the ability to think in terms of satiety. Before you consume anything, think of how full it will make you. In the example of a can of coke, 110 calories will not do anything to help you feel full. A bowl of muesli, however, will make you a lot fuller for the same amount of calories. So make sure to always opt for the option that will make you fuller.
Stay Away from Junk Food
I believe this is a no brainer for most people. Cut out the junk food. Most people, however, struggle without their favourite meals. So my advice is a little different. Cut out junk food except for 1 meal a week. Have one cheat meal a week in which you can consume whatever you want. This will help motivate you to do reach that goal every week.
More Frequent Meals
Instead of the standard 3 meals a day that we are used to. Having more meals in a day can be beneficial. While there is still some discussion over whether there are measurable benefits to your metabolism or not. The sure thing is that it helps stave off hunger. If you have 5 small meals of around 300 Calories each, you’ll still lose weight and you won’t be hungry as you will have to eat every couple of hours.
Lower Your intake of Simple White Carbohydrates
One of the easiest and the toughest things to do is to cut simple carbs out of your diet. It is the easiest because in theory removing this one type of food from our diets should be fairly straightforward. The reality proves to us that it is the hardest. You will have to undergo a great change in how your body has been consuming these carbs for years. These types of carbs are usually have a very high caloric density, roughly speaking one tablespoon of plain white rice has 30 calories, while an entire cup of broccoli has 55 calories. So you will end up losing weight just by volume of what you eat. Another Added benefit is that you will feel more full when you remove it from your diet. A bowl of pasta is very lacking in nutrients. These are the nutrients your body is looking for when it tells you that you are hungry.
Lower Your intake of Sugar
The internet is full of stories of people who had given up sugar in one way or another. While the correct method might be debatable, the results have been resoundingly positive. The first is that you will lose weight and fast. This is because sugar is high in calories and low in satiety. All those sugary treats add up over time. After a while it will add a sense of clarity to your senses. Many report that the usual sluggishness that seems to be ever present is removed and replaced with an increased sense of clarity in the brain. This caused an abnormal increase in energy levels in many. This was after the initial slump of energy level that happens in the first week. Some women in particular noticed an improvement in skin tone and clearer skin.
Start Prepping Your Meals
One of the most useful habits you can pick up is the habit or pre-preparing your meals. For many, myself amongst them, this is the one thing that made a huge difference. This is because planning a meal takes out all the variables that might make you choose the less healthy option. That is the biggest positive about meal planning. It leaves no room for making the wrong choice. It also saves your wallet from having to eat out everyday. This makes shopping so much easier for you and your family. Although the added complexity and effort spent on planning make add some difficulty in the beginning. It is perfect for those days where you haven’t the time or the energy to make a full meal. You will glow with glee when you find that your lovely dinner is already made, all it needs is a quick heat up in the microwave and you’re golden.
Make Vegetables a Bigger Part of Your Meals
You need to start thinking more about the structure or your meal. Think about your current meal, and what the ratio breakdown between meats/Vegetables/Carbs is. I suspect most people’s ratio of those are 2/8/0 respectively. Try playing around with that ratio to make vegetables and the meat collectively 75% of your plate. That way, you minimize the amount of calories you eat by making the majority of what you eat of low caloric value. It also has the added benefit of supplying with much needed vitamins and nutrients. In particular the fiber that everyone’s bowels would benefit from.
Caffeine to The Rescue
While there exists a lot conflicting information out there about the health benefits of coffee. What cannot be disputed is it’s innate ability as an appetite suppressant. A cup of coffee whenever you are feeling ravishingly hungry will help you control your inner monster and eat responsibly. I resort to this type of approach when I am unable to have lunch due a meeting or a pressing issue. Although this one does come with a warning. Remember that while coffee is good for you, milk, cream, and sugar are high in calorie low in satiety. So hold back on the additives when you do go for your favorite brew.
Ultimately, In order to reach the lifestyle that you aim for. You have to break it down to little habits and goal. Making small progress whenever you can and sticking to it to make it last. Once that small change becomes a routine, move on to the next one and master that one. This ladder of progression will eventually lead you to where you want to go. Just ensure you are consistent in your efforts and if you fail, just jump back and keep going. You will be all the better for it.