Summer is officially over; with the holidays creeping up faster than we ever expect them to, it can be easy to lose track of your weight loss goals without even realizing it. Before getting frustrated and giving up (again), keep these ten tips in mind. They’ll help you stay on track – even if you slip up and eat a few too many appetizers or desserts at your next family together, you won’t need to feel guilty or lose all hope.
10. Amp Up Your Water
Want to kick up your weight loss without having to change your diet at all? Simply take your water to the next level by adding lemon – the citrus will help metabolize fat, detoxify your liver, and speed up your metabolism a third; you’ll burn an extra 100 or so calories a day.
If you’re someone who doesn’t really enjoy the taste of water (I don’t understand it personally, but I’ve heard more than one person complain about how they have trouble getting enough water intake because they don’t like how it “tastes like nothing”), adding lemon could be exactly the trick to helping you up your intake.
If you’re wondering how much water you should drink, find out there’s no ideal quantity that works for everyone. While it varies by weight it also depends on how much water you’re getting from the foods you eat – something we often choose to ignore. Nevertheless, eating water-rich foods and a daily bowl of soup or broth is an excellent way to increase your water intake so you won’t have to down too many glasses of water daily.
Try to remember: staying hydrated is important but it’s not a magic solution for all health problems. Drinking too much water can have adverse effects, like too much of anything else. Learn to listen to your thirst and avoid sugary drinks and sodas – that’s no way to properly hydrate.
9. Take Your Time
We all know this one, but it’s still so easy to forget sometimes: When you’re eating a meal, take the time to enjoy each end every bite you take. Savor the taste and texture, and try to pick out exactly what herbs and spices are in there. Pay attention to your stomach filling up with each bite; you’re far more likely to notice that you’re full if you’re not stuffing your face.
If you’re someone who tends to pick at your plate just because the food is there (I’m definitely guilty of this one), here’s a trick that will help you avoid that – Sprinkle salt on the rest of your food. I’m talking enough salt to turn you off. It might seem like a waste at first, but it won’t be long before you know how much food your body requires, and you won’t be overfilling your plate.
8. Eat a Salad Every Day
There are hundreds of different varieties—certainly enough that even if you’re not a fan of salad, you can find a version that works for you. Eating a salad every day (for lunch, for instance) is a super easy way to get a ton of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients at one time without even really trying. You’d also be surprised at how filling a salad can be, especially when you pack it full of all the right things.
Make sure that the vegetables you use are organic and that you wash them thoroughly. If you’re a meat eater, use grass-fed, organic, pasteurized meats that have been farm-raised – Get to know the farmers and/or butchers in your area, they’ll know how to hook you up with exactly what you need.
7. Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry
Do you know why we end up binging on junk foods we know we shouldn’t most of the time? Because we let ourselves get so hungry that we can’t be bothered to prepare anything healthy. By ensuring that you never let yourself get so hungry that you don’t care what you eat so long as you do, you’ll be less likely to slip up and eat an entire bag of chips or a value meal from McDonalds.
For some people, eating only the main meals works best. If this is not working for you plan to snack one or two times a day (more if you’re super active) – Grapes, cut up fruits and/or veggies, cheese and crackers, nuts, and homemade trail mix are all great to have on hand for when you start to feel peckish.
6. Go Nuts
Speaking of nuts, if you’re not already using these great gifts of nature to your benefit, you’re going to want to start now – Eating a small portion of any raw nut can help keep your blood sugar stable. The more stable your blood sugar, the less likely you are to overeat when it’s meal time.
In fact, keeping your glycemic index in check is a great way to watch the pounds peel off. Here’s a handy list of 30 foods you can eat without worry.
5. Boost Your Smoothies
Or if you go to the gym, your protein shakes by simply adding psyllium seed husks and flax seeds to them. Purchase the two items at your local health food store and mix them up in a Ziploc bag. Add a tablespoon to each shake you drink daily to get some extra essential nutrients, stay regular, and maintain a healthy weight.
This amazing little concoction works because psyllium seed husks are full of fiber, which helps you feel full longer, and flaxseeds are rich in omega-3s and antioxidants, which will help you look younger from the inside out.
4. Eat Those Proteins
Regardless of what kind of diet you choose to follow, getting protein with every meal you eat is an easy way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Protein helps fend off those hunger pangs by helping you feel fuller longer and can even help curve random mid-morning or afternoon cravings.
If you’re a meat eater, get a serving of whole, organic meat with each meal. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, opt for tofu, beans, seeds, nuts, and/or lentils.
3. Eat Greek
When it comes to yogurt, at least. Most of the yogurts that you see lining the dairy aisle in the grocery store are actually loaded with sugar and other preservatives that you don’t necessarily want to be putting into your body. Greek yogurts, on the other hand, have very little sugar and are loaded with protein which will help you feel full until your next meal. If you want to sweeten it up a bit, add some fresh cut-up fruit.
Additionally, if you’re looking for a heart-healthy diet, going Greek isn’t a bad idea. Here’s a rundown on the Mediterranean diet and all its benefits.
2. Switch Out Your Condiments
The next time you’re making mashed potatoes or crafting the perfect sandwich, bypass the mayo and reach for mustard instead. Better yet, switch to spicy mustard – It’ll create a heat effect in your body and slightly raise your metabolism.
If you’re feeling really brave, drink a glass of water mixed with a tablespoon of spicy hot mustard just before dinner. Not only will it help you eat less, but it’s also a great way to get some extra antioxidants and omega-3s.
1. Challenge and Conquer
The reason that healthy eating plans fail a lot of the time is because they get boring., but eating healthy certainly doesn’t have to be boring! There are a ton of cookbooks available (some for free online even) that can help you stick to a healthy plan without having to eat the same three or four things constantly.
Getting your family involved is a great way to make everyone a part of the process. If they’re a part of the process, they might just enjoy eating it more. At the very least you’ll get a chance to spend some quality time together, and you might even learn a few new kitchen tricks.
One of the most important things to remember when deciding to adapt to a healthy eating plan to acquire and maintain a healthy lifestyle is not to get discouraged when you eat something you don’t plan to (this is especially important to keep in mind with the holiday season coming) – It happens. What’s important is that you ensure that, most of the time, you’re aiming at a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes you deserve a treat – Enjoy it without guilt.