I know a few amazingly dedicated individuals who never consume a calorie that doesn’t help them achieve their goals. While I fully recognize this to be the fastest way to achieve maximum results, I know that most people would find extreme shifts to their daily food intake to be very disruptive to their daily life. Just the thought of these sorts of extreme changes can make people give up on trying to eat better.
Don’t let the idea of perfection stand in the way of improvement! Consider trying one of these strategies to eat a little better this week. If it sticks, add another one next week.
Meatless Mondays: Pick a day of the week to challenge yourself to a vegetarian dinner. Alternative protein sources include beans, lentils, or fish.
Veggies on the Side...of Everything: Add veggies to every meal of the day. Toss a slice of tomato on that bagel, have a side-salad with your sandwich and fill half your plate with veggies at dinner. Doing this will add nutrients to your diet and might help you avoid that second serving of the main dish.
Right Size Your Plate: This one is ridiculously simple. Eat from smaller plates. Reducing your dinner plate size from 10” to 7” will likely push you to be mindful of portion size without going too scientific on the approach.
Cleaner Eating: Clean eating is all the buzz these days. It refers to the concept of eating food, whole food and nothing but whole food. Think the perimeter of the grocery store and all that stuff that doesn’t even have a label. Some take it a step further and go totally organic, avoid GMO and combine the clean eating concept with metabolism boosting principles like eating 5-6 small meals per day (more on that next). To eat “cleaner”, challenge yourself to prepare dinner, maybe three nights per week, using nothing that bears a food label. You are likely to get more nutrients, fewer chemicals and fewer calories than boxed, frozen or take-out alternatives.
Add a Snack: Something as simple as leaning on a few tried-and-true healthy snacks can help you eat a little better. Try having some yogurt, veggies or a homemade veggie salsa to nosh on every afternoon – build it in as a second lunch. This can help you avoid the vending machine and maybe even trim a few calories from your dinner plate.
Drink Water: There is a lot of chatter about drinking certain amounts of water every day. Instead of worrying about a specific amount to consume, start consuming some water. Try drinking a few big sips before you allow yourself that morning coffee, commit to a 12oz bottle with lunch or replace the soda or sweet tea at dinner with a glass of iced water. Try a fancy glass and add a lemon, lime, or even a strawberry wedge. You are thirsty already, right?
*These are just basic eating tips. I am not a dietitian. If you have (or suspect you have) any medical conditions, you should consult your doctor or registered dietitian for nutrition advice. If you have any questions about these tips or want help starting an exercise program, please contact me at BobSavin@FitnessTogether.com.