If you’re like most adults, you are a creature of habit, shopping at the same stores, following the same basic group of recipes, and repeating your daily routines. But when you’re ready to change your lifestyle and lose some weight, that same old routine could be your downfall. If you’ve become stuck in a rut, switching up the basics is a good way to kick start your weight loss plan. Here’s a look at some simple ways to improve your diet and eating habits.
Acknowledge Your Bad Habits
Admitting you have a problem really is the first step. Before you can begin making changes, it’s important to recognize what you’re doing wrong. Take careful inventory of your bad eating habits, and try and pinpoint the causes. For example, your midnight fridge raids may be caused by insomnia, stress, or not eating a filling dinner.
One Step at a Time
If you have many years of irresponsible eating habits under your belt, you will increase your likelihood of success by tackling them one at a time. Cutting out soda, juice, fried foods, carbs, sugar and a sedentary lifestyle all at once sounds great–in theory. But it will be harder to stick to that plan than if you start with one thing and move on from there. Make a detailed plan, and stick to it.
Get Your Zzzs
Fatigue can lead to both overeating and indulging in sugary, sweet and caffeine-laden foods. Make sure you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and see your doctor about any persistent insomnia issues.
Start the Day with Breakfast
If you’re used to skipping breakfast, learn to start your day with the most important meal. Not only have people who eat breakfast every day been shown to lose more weight–and keep it off–than breakfast skippers, but your morning meal is a great place to sneak in filling, fiber-rich foods like Chia seeds, flax, oats, and fruit.
Drink More Water
It may seem basic, but increasing your water intake is one of the most important steps you can take towards developing healthier habits. If you find the flavor of H2o to be a little bland for your tastes, try adding slices of lemons, limes, oranges or cucumbers to freshen it up.
More Lean Proteins
One simple way to kick-start your new eating plan is to make sure you’re including a lean protein with every meal and snack. Chicken breast, turkey, nuts, and eggs are all excellent sources of the kinds of protein that will keep you feeling full and satisfied longer.
Create Small Goals… And Reward Yourself for Meeting Them!
Keep yourself motivated and moving forward by creating mini goals as you change your diet. It’s important to reward yourself–just make sure you’re not using food as a reward system. For example, you can buy yourself a new dress once you’ve lost your first 5 pounds, treat yourself to a spa day after going an entire month without soda, or give yourself a pedicure after your first full week of exercising.