When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, weight loss is at the top of the list. In fact, nearly one in five Americans say they want to drop a few pounds this year. So does that mean we have to practically starve ourselves with the latest crazy diet fad? Of course not. By developing healthy eating habits, you may find ditching those unwanted pounds is not as hard as it seems–no diet required! Take a look at these suggestions and make some small eating changes this year:
1. Always shop with a full belly. We’ve all been there. Hit the grocery store when you’re hungry and it’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, be prepared when shopping. Plan your meals ahead of time, make a list and be sure to at least have a snack before entering the store–otherwise, the aroma of freshly baked bread and fried chicken will lure you right over.
2. Eat breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast each morning with a good mix of carbs and protein can stave off hunger and prevent bingeing later in the morning.
3. Only eat when you’re sitting down. Make it a rule that you won’t eat while standing. And while you’re at it, only eat from a plate at the table. This will cut down on mindless and emotional eating.
4. Serve food onto individual plates. Don’t put large bowls of food on the table. It’s too tempting to reach in for seconds or continue to graze when your plate is empty. Instead, leave any extra food back at the stove.
5. Eat slowly. This sounds so simple, but how often do we hurry our eating and never really take the time to savor–or completely chew–each bit? Slowing down your eating results in taking in less food over the course of a meal because it allows your body time to catch up and signal your brain that you’re full. Remember, it takes about 20 minutes for your mind to get the signal from your belly that you are full.
6. Drink plenty of water with your meals. This will also help you feel fuller quicker, so you’ll take in less food.
7. Don’t eat after dinner. Or, if you eat dinner early, don’t eat after say, 8pm. This is the time when a lot of mindless eating can happen in front of the TV.
8. Make your snacks work for you. If you snack during the day, treat it like a mini-meal. The most nutritious snacks contain complex carbohydrates and a small amount of protein and fat. These will stave off hunger and make you feel more satisfied–unlike chips or cookies, which will only leave you wanting more.
What are your tips for healthy eating?