Nutrition is key on your weight loss journey. Your body won’t function well without the right fuel
Here’s some tasty and nutritional information for you.
For those looking to lose weight, nutrition is usually the hardest part. It’s also the most vitally important part.
If you want to lose weight, you simply can’t ignore your nutrition.
As the saying goes, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” No matter how hard or how much you work out, if you don’t work on improving your nutrition you won’t lose weight or it won’t be sustainable.
Nutrition can be just as overwhelming, if not more so, than working out. There’s so many different diets. How do you know which is the right one?
What if you feel like your nutrition is really bad? Where do you start?
Now, most people in your situation would try and change everything at once. But you’re smarter than that. You’re not going to get bogged down and distracted by all the various fads.
You’re going to make small, consistent changes over time. Changes that stick so you don’t do what most people do:
Go health crazy for 2 weeks, burn out, and quit, going right back to square one. I’ve been there!
Below are 4 easy and simple tips you can use to build some solid momentum on your health journey.
1 – Don’t buy it and keep it in the house
If something isn’t in the house, you won’t eat it. You won’t be as tempted to eat it at least. You may want some ice cream. But is it really worth getting dressed and going to the store to go get some? Most of the time, probably not. It gives you that extra edge so you can put in some control.
A good long term nutrition strategy is to make things easier and save willpower whenever possible. The more convenient you can make healthy nutrition, the easier it will be to eat well. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5303533/)
That and making unhealthy behaviors inconvenient.
This is a big reason why eating better can be difficult. Cooking and eating at home is certainly less convenient than the drive-thru. So do what you can to make your life easier.
Stop buying foods that go against your health and nutrition goals. You’ll find you eat so much better without having to constantly have internal battles whether it’s ok to have a cookie or not.
2 – Set a timer and learn to eat more slowly
When you eat fast it’s easier to eat too much. It takes time for your body to register it’s had enough to eat. So when you slow down you make it easier to listen to your body’s hunger cues.
If you try this you’ll be surprised at how difficult it is. The first time I did this I set the timer for 10 minutes. When I only had 1 bite left I was shocked by how much time I still had left on the clock. Whoops.
Simply put, this will help you eat more mindfully and exercise better portion control.
3 – Only eat half and take the rest home
Most restaurant portions in the U.S. and other western countries are HUGE. So turning one meal into two meals means you don’t leave lunch with your friends feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
You simplify portion control. It’s clear cut how much you plan on eating. Plus, you save money by turning a single meal into two. It’s a win-win.
4 – Drink a glass of water before every meal
Much of the time when you think you’re hungry, you may actually just be thirsty. By drinking a glass of water before you eat, you prevent yourself from mistaking hunger for thirst. Then you’re less likely to overeat.
Feeling a bit full before you start your meal will also help you become hyper aware of your hunger cues. And as we already said, listening to hunger cues is a super-important skill for eating healthy. Being in tune with your hunger cues is a big component to preventing overeating.
So to summarize…
I’d pick just one of these tactics at a time to try out. Commit to doing it every day for a week or two.
When it starts to feel easy, add in one of the other strategies. After you’ve gone through all of them, you’ll have really solid portion control and mindfulness around food.
You’ll have the confidence to tackle more advanced skills like eating more protein and veggies.