Since I started studying nutrition, the main questions I have received have been in regards to weight loss. How do I lose weight? What is the healthiest way to do it? What do I do to change my eating habits? Today I am going to give you 30 tips for improving your weight loss! They are all tips found in Elson M. Haas' book - "Staying Healthy with Nutrition." The biggest thing I have learned regarding weight loss is that there are SO many different ways to do it. Every year, it seems, a new weight loss program comes out, becomes popular, and then thousands of people do it and see great results. There are also a lot of people (myself included) who participate in these weight loss programs for a period of time, lose the desired 10-30 lbs in weight, and then stop, just to return to old habits of unhealthy eating and reduced exercise. Eventually, part (or all) of the weight, that we just worked so hard to remove, comes back.
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to have a healthy, balanced life style. BALANCE is the KEY.
Over and over again I have heard that weight loss is a "life-style change" and not just a diet you stick to for a few months before returning to your normal eating habits. It is something that you need to change within yourself about the way you personally view food. Since starting to study nutrition, I have made 3 simple changes in my diet: 1. Drinking more water. 2. Not eating refined sugars. 3. Exercising 3 days a week. And THATS IT!
Just by doing those 3 things alone, without changing any of my other bad eating habits, I have lost weight, have noticed an increase in energy, have higher self-esteem, and have felt happier and more optimistic about life.
Sometimes to start and entirely new weight loss program is hard, expensive, and challenging, especially if you don’t have the proper support from your family and friends.
Just pick 1-3 items on this list to implement in your life every week. Starting small, with one or two changes a week, will help you to become more aware of your eating habits and, over time, will create a lasting change. You will be healthier, have more energy, and weight loss will be a positive change that will naturally follow.
- Focus on decreasing caloric intake and increasing calories out (exercise).
- Eat most foods early in the day for best use of calories.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily. Drink 2 glasses of water 30 minutes prior to meals to reduce appetite, but avoid during meals (for best digestion).
- Eat slowly and chew food well.
- Limit treats and refined foods; avoid sodas and chemical foods.
- Lessen, or avoid, alcohol and caffeine; minimize salt.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables - as snacks, too.
- Learn about food, fats, calories, and so on, so you know what you are doing.
- Avoid fats in the diet - they are more caloric.
- Use only low-fat or non-fat milk products.
- Minimize salad dressings, cream soups, and fatty meats.
- Rotate foods - eat a variety (practice food combining).
- Use smaller plates and have smaller portions.
- Fill up first on lower calorie foods such as soups or vegetable salads.
- Avoid high calorie snacks and desserts.
- Wait 10-15 minutes before taking seconds - your hunger will decrease.
- Take at least 20-30 minutes to eat each meal, even snacks.
- Sit and relax before eating. Avoid eating while watching TV, driving, or doing other activities (stress can lead to bad digestion and absorption).
- Shop for food only after eating, not when hungry.
- Focus on eating only when you are hungry.
- Create a schedule for eating.
- Plan meals and food choices ahead, snacks included.
- Stay out of the kitchen, cupboards, and refrigerator unless preparing food.
- Tell family and friends to support you and not push food.
- If you blow it, go right back to your plan, and do not make it an excuse to indulge.
- Weigh yourself only once every 1-2 weeks.
- Keep a good self-image and positive attitude towards life.
- Allow yourself to indulge (within reason) once weekly without guilt or self-judgement.
- See a nutritionist to help with an eating plan or for food-habit counseling :)
- Realize this is ultimately up to you.
So...What about sugar cravings?
Start by learning how to make things in your own home that are healthy treats. Last week I posted on my blog how to make fruit leather, and today I will teach you how to make homemade “Nice Cream,” with no sugar added!
Nice Cream Recipe:
½ cup blueberries (or whatever fruit you prefer)
2 tbsp vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
*you can also get creative and use coconut, peanut butter, or cocoa to add variety and flavor.
- Take your bananas, cut them into bite size pieces, and freeze them overnight. This will make removing the banana peel 100 times easier. (TRUST ME!)
2. Add to a food processor. (You can either blend the banana completely before adding your other ingredients, or wait until after they have been blended, it's up to you. For this recipe I added my blueberries at the same time).
3. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add your vanilla and almond milk.
5. Blend for another 2-3 minutes until the consistency is thick and creamy!
6. Serve immediately with fresh fruit and nuts for a creamy texture, or put in the freezer for 1-2 hours for a consistency more like ice cream.
See you next week :)