Whether you are looking for ways to kick start your weight loss campaign or whether you are focused on finding a more balanced and nutritious way to eat, these adjustments will help. Improvements will come in stages. Once you see the difference these changes make, you’ll be motivated to charge ahead. These few basic first steps are what you need to start on the path to changing your life.
Small Step 1: Cut Back the Alcoholic Drinks
Looking for empty calories can lead you straight to your wine cellar. Alcohol is loaded with empty calories. Your general health and your diet can use the boost that comes from cutting back on alcoholic drinks. We all love hearing that moderate drinking has certain health benefits, but don’t forget that going over the limit can really hurt.
Women should have no more than one drink each day and men should imbibe no more than two. Remember that even one drink can set you up for more snacking than you planned. Those snacks probably will be wonderfully salty and greasy and cheesy. And then you’ll need another drink. Before you know it, your diet is out the window.
Consciously substitute water for your alcoholic drink and you won’t unwittingly sabotage your diet.
Small Step No. 2: Switch to More Vegetarian Meals
Try each week to get in at least a couple of vegetarian meals. Vegetables are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals. Vegetables can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. They are a potent weapon against certain types of cancer. Vegetarian meals offer more than disease-fighting benefits; the ones that aren’t loaded with cheese are lower in calories than your steak and hamburger favorite meals.
Beans, split peas, soybeans, and lentils provide low-glycemic carbohydrates with fiber and quality protein. That means they improve energy while stabilizing blood sugar. A vegetarian meal can be delicious and filling for both you and your wallet. Meatless meals are less expensive.
Small Step No. 3: Favor Healthy Snacks
Plan regular snacks and carry your own healthy snacks with you. Eating every three to four hours helps you not only to maintain your energy and focus but also to lose or maintain weight.
Never leave yourself open to a snack attack that can drive you to a vending machine where the unhealthy choices are loaded with too much sugar, salt and preservatives. Making deliberate choices you’re seized with that starving feeling is just a smart thing to do.
Here are a few healthy snack ideas that are easy to pack for work or when you’re on the road:
- Popcorn with no salt
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh vegetables with hummus dip
- Seeds and nuts such as sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, and almonds
- Low-fat cheese
- Whole-grain crackers
- A hard-boiled egg
- Vegetable juice
- A packet of instant oatmeal
- Homemade granola with whole-grain cereal and dried fruit
Adopt these three little changes, and making the right healthy food choices will soon become a habit. Many thanks to Everyday Health for Diet Changes for Better Health.