Eating healthy is often challenging because you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to measure your food and count carbs. Instead, here are three easy ways to eat healthily and lose weight.
Listen to Your Hunger
Sometimes, when you’re on a diet, you spend so much time concentrating on carbs, fat, fiber, and calories that you forget about your level of hunger. Hunger is nature’s universal signal that you need to eat, but sometimes you can become oblivious to its demands.
The problem is that many overweight people have ignored their hunger cues for so long that they can no longer hear them. Instead, they’re used to eating until they’re stuffed and then stopping. But if you reach that point, it’s too late, and you’ve eaten too much.
You need to reset your hunger cues so you can hear them again. A good way to do this is to spend a whole day or two just listening to your body and re-learning its hunger signals. Some signs to look for include:
• Your stomach feels empty
• Fatigue or weakness
You’re probably not hungry if you just want to taste something or if you’re eating because you’re upset, want to experience a new flavor or at a social event.
But if you eat when your body needs fuel, you will probably be making healthy choices. When you first feel hungry, try eating a small amount of food. Then eat more until the hungry feeling in your stomach goes away.
If you eat until you’re “full,” you’re more likely having one of more of these uncomfortable symptoms:
• Feeling the need to unbutton your pants
• Feeling sick
• Feeling bloated
• Gaining weight
• Feeling like a failure, which leads to even more emotional eating
On the other hand, if you stop eating when you feel satisfied, your weight will naturally stabilize at a number that is healthy and right for you.
The problem is that eating like that is very hard and easier said than done! Below are some tips to help you as you learn to change your habits.
Eat Lots of Veggies and Fruits
Filling up on fruits and veggies is the best way to reset your natural body warning process. They are great because they are natural products that are packed with minerals and vitamins that help your body function the way it should. And luckily, they are very tasty.
Nutritionists recommend that you eat at least five servings or veggies and fruits (combined) every day. Some people find this requirement easy, but others find it almost impossible to meet.
For dieters, fruits and vegetables are especially helpful because they are low calorie and very filling. You can eat large amounts and still stay under your calorie goals.
Of course, you probably already know that you need to eat vegetables and fruits, but you might be uncertain about how to work them into your diet every day. Here are some tips to help you:
• Eat a salad with every meal. Just make a large bowl of salad on Sunday and then eat the entire week.
• Give new foods a try. There are so many available vegetables and fruits at the supermarket that you can spend weeks trying a different one every week without repeating.
• Roast your vegetables. Just put some olive oil on a cookie sheet with some salt and pepper, add any kind of vegetable and roast in the oven until it’s golden brown.
• Have spaghetti squash instead of regular spaghetti. It’s delicious and low calorie. Kids love to see how the squash turns into “noodles” as it cooks.
• Always have raw vegetables on hand. Raw broccoli, snap peas, cauliflower, and carrots are great with a dip or in a bowl in the fridge for a quick snack.
• Look for grocery bargains. Check which produce is the best deal and buy those if you’re watching your family budget.
• Make a weekly fresh fruit bowl. Keeping it already cut makes it much easier to add some to your meals or snacks.
Learn How to Prepare Your Plate
Before you sit down to eat, make sure you use some easy visual cues to make sure you’re not overeating. These cues are a great way to eat without measuring your food and still stay healthy.
First, at every meal, fill half your plate with vegetables; an overflowing half if you like. Just be sure to get at least that many vegetables. Some veggies to choose from include:
• Green beans
Once you’ve filled half your plate with vegetables, you can fill one-quarter of the remaining space with protein and the other quarter with a carbohydrate. Or you can make a casserole with a protein and a carb and fill that second half of your plate.
For example, you can have a turkey sandwich with whole wheat bread, turkey and cheese to fulfill this requirement. By following this system, you will be sure to eat lots of low-calorie, high-nutrient foods.
Why not give the plate method a try? It’s easy and eliminates a lot of the guessing from your diet. If you begin to eat this way, you will be able to lose and keep off that weight that you’ve been fighting for so long.