8 Little diet changes you can make every day that help you to lose weight
You know this by now: if you're serious about dieting and weight loss, you're going to need to implement some difficult adjustments to your lifestyle. This usually falls somewhere between watching calories to feeling as if you have to cut out everything good that you've ever eaten. You'll be forgiven for thinking losing weight is more trouble than it's worth.
According to Chauniqua Major, founder of Major Snacks and wellness expert, losing weight shouldn't feel like a chore and through time, you'll see get the results you're looking for. "Making small changes to the way you consume food is similar to planting a seed," she says. "It may not have immediate output, but with consistency and time, you will become healthier, stronger, and see results."
1. Start meal prepping
Though many people may feel as if meal prepping takes up too much time, Major says that it can be one of the most beneficial parts to your weight loss journey. "Order bento boxes - compartmentalized meal carriers - to prep your meals for the week," Major said. "This will manage your portions and help you not get carried away with eating things other than what you prepared."
2. Don't forget to snack
As much as we put emphasis on eating three meals a day, snacks are just as important. Major says: "there's so much room for snacking throughout the day. Eat smaller meals throughout the day to help avoid eating so much. Smart snacking with items like popcorn, carrots, etc., help maintain your metabolism and keep you from bingeing on unhealthy foods."
3. Cut down on high sugar fruit and drinks
Consuming fruits and certain "healthy" juices may feel like a good option to help you along your weight loss journey, but Colette Heimowitz - Atkins VP of Nutrition Communication & Education - says that these aren't always as healthy as you think. "We call this concept 'the hidden sugar effect,' meaning these are sugars your body sees, but you don't," she said. "For example, 8 ounces of orange juice is equivalent to 4 teaspoons of sugar and medium bananas are equivalent to 5.3 teaspoons of sugar. Try an 8-ounce glass of whole milk and antioxidant, high-fiber low glycemic fruits (i.e. berries) instead."
4. Swap out cooking oils
Every cooking oil isn't made to help you cut down on the fat. Dr. Lori Shemek, dieting & weight loss expert, nutritionist and psychologist says. The ones you use the most can also be harmful to your weight loss goals. "Swap out inflammatory cooking oils high in omega 6 such as canola oil, vegetable oil or corn oil," she said. "Excess omega 6 in the diet leads to cellular inflammation which includes the fat cell. Fat cell inflammation generates a metabolic effect that slows down the metabolism causing weight gain."
5. Eat regularly
Dr Luiza Petre, a weight loss expert, says that having a regular eating schedule is a small change that you can implement daily to help you lose weight. "Experts are pretty unambiguous about eating regularly, because of the effects skipping meals can have on your body and mind. "When you don't eat often enough, the feeling that you need to have something to eat takes over. Skipping meals - especially breakfast - can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating."
6. Make nutritious foods more visible
According to Dr Neal Malik, Department of Nutrition & Exercise Science at Bastyr University, making the healthy food easy to spot in your pantry can help you avoid bingeing on the unhealthy ones. "For the foods that you want to consume more often (think fruits and veggies), place those in plain sight," he said. "Always have easy-to-grab fruits available in a high traffic area in the house. This will serve as a nice visual reminder to consume those before they spoil. Similarly, keep washed, chopped, and portioned veggies in plain sight in the refrigerator. Don't hide them in the crisper drawer."
7. Choose herbal tea
Nutritionist, health coach, and personal trainer Tara Allen said that even though you may be tempted to slurp down some super sweet powdered iced tea, a healthier option would be brewing your own herbal tea. "Brew some herbal tea to keep in the fridge this summer. Add other flavors like lemon or mint last-minute and you have yourself a refreshing drink to replace your sweet tea when hitting the beach or backyard barbecues."
8. Ditch some of the bread
Another small, yet difficult, change that Allen suggests would be to get rid of some of your bread when you eat out. "When eating out, do away with one piece of the bread on your sandwich or bun on your burger," she said. "This will not only save you calories, but it will lower your blood sugar spike from the carbs. A steadier blood sugar helps you to be a more efficient fat-burning machine."
Although the ambition to lose weight can sometimes make you feel defeated, you can rest assured knowing that there are small food changes you can make each day to help you get there.