We’ve all been told that losing weight and eating healthy requires a change in habit. And habits definitely don’t form overnight. In fact, they can take months to solidify, and they require a lot of effort, time, and patience. Completely changing what you’re eating can be an intimidating process, and it might discourage you from eating healthy and losing weight. Sometimes, starting small is the way to go.
With that said, try making one of the following seven little diet tweaks that will help set you on the path to a skinnier and healthier lifestyle.
1. Buy Only 1-Ingredient Foods
Clean out your fridge, pantry, freezer, and house of highly processed refined foods, especially junk foods. Next, go shopping and make a point of buying only one-ingredient foods as much as possible.
Buying whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs, and meat and poultry is a quick way to rid your diet of unnecessary chemicals and additives, and it can even lower your risk of disease. You’d be surprised how much weight you can lose by just cutting out processed foods from your diet.
2. Include Smoothies in Your Diet
Making smoothies is a great option for increasing your intake of essential plant nutrients and fiber—it is so much easier to get more fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds is with a smoothie that contains a bit of each. If you’re worried about consuming too much sugar from fruit, stick to a ratio of 70 percent vegetables to 30 percent fruit — you’ll be surprised at how much those few strawberries can really balance out the taste of spinach.
3. Cut Down Your Portion Sizes
Most people are shocked when they learn the portion sizes for cheese, pasta, and cereal. Many women are typically eating way more than they think!”
Being mindful of how much you’re eating can prevent you from overloading on too much of one food group. If you find that you’re still hungry, then substitute vegetables for the remainder of your meal. The fiber content will leave you satiated and provide you with a more balanced meal.
4. Start Each Meal With A Glass of Water
Beginning every meal with a glass of water will not only keep you hydrated, but help fill you up before you even begin eating. Sometimes we can confuse thirst as hunger and staying hydrated can prevent you from eating when you’re not hungry, boost your energy levels, and aid in digestion.
5. Get More Sleep
Sleep plays a role in the types of foods you crave, and how much you eat. The hormone ghrelin stimulates hunger, while leptin signals satiety. Less sleep is associated with elevations in ghrelin and decreases in leptin. The result: more hunger. Many studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to junk food cravings. So make it a priority to get some quality shut-eye.
6. Cut Out The Soda
Though you may love your glass of cola, drinking soda daily can age you as much as smoking cigarettes. Because the drink is so high in sugar, it can increase your chances of suffering from diabetes, heart problems, and other diseases. If you’re not quite ready to ditch the fizz, then try drinking plain soda water, sweetening it with a squeeze of lemon wedge or other fruits.
7. Drink Your Coffee Black
If you enjoy a daily cup of Joe, know that the added milk, sugar, and artificial flavorings can easily add up. Drinking plain black coffee is actually good for you. It lowers your risk of major diseases and aging. But mindlessly adding cream and sugar can turn the drink into a dessert — something that should be enjoyed just once in awhile.