Jump Start Your Weight Loss Part One – Fairly Easy Tips to Help Transform Your Diet
Who doesn’t want to get healthy and lose weight? I honestly can say that most people will tell you that their current body is not their ideal body. I know that I am one of those people! After research done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a statistic was posted that about 26% of Americans are obese. This is up almost 15% in just 10 years. I don’t know about you guys but this was incredibly sad to me! There are so many diseases (Diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Cardiovascular Disease, and Gallstones) that could be mostly avoided if we made our health a priority. I am on a mission to help people have their best body, best health and best life. This is the first of a three part series about how to jumpstart your weight loss and make way for a healthy life. This article is compiled with helpful information to get you thinking on simple ways you can change your family’s eating habits to live a long healthy life. The next will be simple tips about working out and weight loss, and last will be some healthy snack and meal ideas. Also remember that this is not a temporary diet, but a change in a way of life. Healthy foods don’t have to be boring and flavorless.
Drink tons of water. The more you drink the more you will flush out the toxins in your body. If you have a choice on something to drink, always pick water! If you don’t like water all the time switch it up a little bit with different Crystal Light flavors, but do not drink sugar soda or juices. Water is my personal drink of choice, but I had a problem drinking enough of it. Two things that have helped me are going to Target and buying either a large water bottle and taking it with me everywhere and trying to finish 3-5 liters a day or recently I bought a camelback water bottle and I try to make sure I fill it up 5 times a day. It’s super convenient and I find myself drinking way more water. Also, drink 2 glasses (16) ounces of water first thing in the morning. I fill up my camelback before I go to bed and first thing I do before I leave the upstairs is drink 16 ounces. This is a really good thing for kick starting your metabolism for the day. If drinking water is hard for you than try to drink 16 ounces before and after each meal. It’s a good way to get all your water in.
Eat 5 times a day, something for breakfast, healthy snack mid-morning, lunch, healthy snack mid-afternoon, and dinner. Do not starve yourself; just do portion control and healthy options! It’s better to eat lots of little meals to keep your metabolism going then to wait until you’re starving then over feed yourself. Have you noticed after a big meal you feel sick and bloated? Don’t do that to yourself!
Try to limit yourself to 3 starches/grains a week. If you are going to eat grains always use whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, couscous, whole grain pasta (Ronzoni is a great brand if you are looking), and whole grain breads. If you are eating potatoes make sure you taking it easy on the toppings. If you can ever opt for no grains then go without. This was a hard one for me because I have always been a big grain eater. I now opted for lettuce wraps instead of sandwiches and a bed of sautéed or steamed veggies instead of rice or pasta.
There is a difference between whole wheat and whole grain – whole wheat is usually added to white flour to make it sound healthy which is really just empty carbs. Even still however, whole wheat is better than anything plain white.
No fried foods! Only Sautéed, baked, steamed, roasted, and grilled!
No chips. No cookies. No ice cream. At least regularly! If you absolutely cannot say no have one cookie, 3 chips, or a bite of ice cream.
Despite what you have been told, low fat/reduced fat/fat free Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Cheez-its, etc. are not your friend and are not healthy! Instead of crackers opt for nuts – pecans, walnuts, almonds are the best.
Cheese is only okay in moderation! Stay away from processed cheeses like American Kraft singles and try reduced fat or fat free if you can. I like feta and blue cheese crumbles because even though they aren’t necessarily low in fat they pack a lot of flavor so you only need a tiny bit to give some taste to your salad, burrito, or entrée.
It’s okay to have cheat meals, in fact you need to have a cheat meals every once and while, that way your body knows it’s going to get that fat every once in a while and wont store it. If you are eating healthy all three meals and healthy snacks then don’t feel bad if you want to indulge once or twice a week.
While Salads are great for you, you need to watch out for the dressing. They can be super fattening! I try to use only low fat or light dressing when I can, but even I will put only one of two tablespoons of dressing and then a whole bunch of lemon juice and pepper. If you aren’t a lemon juice fan try some oil and vinegar. If you like the creamy dressings like I do (but try to limit!), then use the same plan just put a tiny bit and then use other stuff so you get the flavor without all the fats.
Seasonings are your friends, I get creative with my seasonings – I love to change it up. So I will buy random seasonings I find that I think sound good! With that being said, be careful with your salt intake. I LOVE me some salt, but salt can cause you to retain water and just overall isn’t super healthy for you. I will put just a little sprinkle of salt and then mix it up with other seasonings. Mrs. Dash is great because it packs a lot of flavor in just a little bit and it’s salt free! Others I love are garlic salt, lemon pepper, chili powder, cheyenne pepper, plain pepper is one of my favorites, Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, Mrs. Dash Chipotle Southwest, and dried chopped onion. Shallots, fresh garlic, and fresh onion sautéed in a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil are great for throwing in some flavor too!
Try to avoid canola and vegetable oil, they really aren’t good for you. Always go with the extra virgin olive oil. If you want to change it up there are tons of other great options like avocado oil, sunflower oil and peanut oil. Also, Coconut oil is great on fish!
Pile on the veggies no matter what it is you are eating; sauté it, roast it, grill it, steam it, or eat it raw. Put it on your salads, put it in a stir fry, and eat at least one large helping of veggies with any entrée. Veggies are a great place to try out different seasonings and spray butter. I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter makes a great spray butter that is 0 cal/carb/fats. A few sprits and some seasoning and they will be delicious!
Try out different meats, just make sure you always opted for the lowest fat/lean meats you can find. Lean meats are a little more expensive, but your waist line will thank you! I always opt for turkey or chicken over beef when I can. Most times you (and your family) can hardly tell the difference.
Avoid any prepackaged meals – even the Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, or Smart Ones – prepackages meals pack in lots of unnecessary sodium. In fact any one meal can have more sodium than you should have in one meal!
Try to avoid processed sugar and sweetener. If you need them, try trivia or agave nectar.
Lastly, if you drink try not to do it too often and stay away from beer. If you must have beer drink MGD 55. If you drink liquor, stick to clear liquors mixed with soda water and lemon or lime for flavor. You want your work outs to count so if you drink mixed drinks you can drink all of the calories you already burnt off.
Stick to a 6 section plate plan. Cut your plate into sixths. Grains should only occupy one section, your meat/protein should occupy two sections of your plate, and veggies should occupy the last half (3 sections) of the plate.
I hope that this got you thinking and you’ll come back for part 2 and part 3! If you have any ideas I could add, comments, or questions please leave comments here on the Homefront United Network, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.