When most people think of the word dieting, the DIE part looms large in their mind! But there are many small steps you can take that will help your weight loss program without resorting to calorie counting or starvation diets. Here are a few tips to keep your weight loss program on track.
1. Do not skip breakfast! Going a long time without eating (like the 12 hours from 6pm to 6am) can make your body think it's starving, so to conserve energy, it slows down your metabolism. Eating something in the morning, even if it's just a piece of toast, gets your metabolism up and running! In addition, skipping breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day or snacking on calorie-laden sweets.
2. Watch what you drink! Coke may be the real thing, but soft drinks are the largest source of wasted calories in the American diet. A 12 ounce can of soda contains around 150 calories, with 10-12 teaspoons of sugar! Add to that the free refills or Big Gulp sizes, and you have a recipe for diet disaster. Try herbal tea, water with lemon, or at least a diet soda. Alcohol is another big calorie culprit with a can of beer containing over 180!
Stay hydrated! Besides the calorie reduction by simply substituting water for soda or alcohol, those other drinks contain chemicals that actually dehydrate you. And thirst is often mistaken for hunger, meaning you may reach for food when you really only need some water. Those six to eight 8-ounces glasses of water you've heard about all your life really can help reduce your appetite as well as helping the digestive process.
4. Eat slower! It takes some time for your belly to tell your brain that it's full. When you're in the middle of feeding frenzy, you can easily down far more food than you actually need. Try chewing each bite 30 times. And do not distract yourself while you eat. Keep the TV off and pay attention to your meal. This one simple step can really help end overeating.
5. Start with a salad! Adding a healthy salad loaded with veggies before your meal will help reduce your appetite and put the brakes on binging. Watch out for the high fat dressings and shredded cheese toppings though. Stick with olive oil and vinegar, or a low fat variant of your favorite dressing. And use a spoon to ladle it on, not a bucket!
6. Take a nap! Not getting enough sleep can really sabotage your weight loss diet. When you're tired, you tend to grab high-calorie, quick energy foods that often cause a spike in blood sugar that leaves us feeling even more tired a couple hours later. Also, you need your rest so you have the energy for your weight loss exercise program!
Incorporating these easy tips daily can really help keep your weight loss diet successful!