Fact: Lower caloric intake correlates with a lower body weight. And since you can only burn so many calories in a week with exercise, it is time to look at your eating habits. When you love food as much as I do, you aren't ready for any drastic changes.
Start slow. Try to only make changes you can live with forever. You are changing your life; not starting a short term diet, so gradually make small changes. Begin to find areas of your daily meals where you can cut back.
Eat Smart, Not Less! Finding lower calorie foods and healthier swaps for some of your favorite fattening foods makes eating healthy a lot easier. Start reading food labels on your next shopping trip. Set standards for the food you eat. A lot of low-calorie options cost the same as the current foods you are purchasing. Plus they generally will make you feel full on a smaller portion (i.e. higher fiber foods). Try it!
I encourage you to read the entire label before eating anything. Do this at both grocery stores and restaurants. Remember, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Visit websites beforehand. Most menus provide information and most restaurants are required to provide info upon request. Below are the top areas of the food label to focus on.
Calories: Look at calories per serving size, if the serving size looks too small for you. Be honest with yourself and figure out the calories in a "real" portion.
Fiber: Pay close attention to the amount of fiber in 1 serving as well as how high on the ingredient list wheat or whole grain shows up. Higher fiber content will directly increase how quickly you feel full.
Protein: Find food high in protein. Higher protein content will directly increase how quickly you feel full.
Sodium & Sugar: Comparatively select products with the lowest amounts of these ingredients. Foods rich in sugar and salt have been linked with poor health and have been shown to increase appetite.
Find something you can cut out of your daily meal plan. I began cutting out liquid calories. I switched to water. When I missed flavor, I incorporated unsweetened flavored tea. Raspberry green tea blended with peach tea tastes amazing without any sugar, and served cold it reminds me of juice. I experimented with lots flavors to broaden my choices and green tea has added many health benefits to my life. Remember that what you choose to cut out of your meal plan is not off limits forever, it’s just no longer a daily practice. I drink calories occasionally.
Over time, results made it easier to focus on cutting calories. I created new healthier recipe swaps. I began to remember the calories in the foods I regularly eat, and became better at portion control. Now I eat all of my favorite foods in moderation.
Remember, it is not about making the perfect choice every second of your life. But when I make the healthier choice 80% of the time, I am guaranteed success.
It Works for Me! And It Can Work for YOU!