1. PORTION CONTROL!
To help get portion under control in our house, we did away with all of our large (standard) size dishes and much smaller dishes instead. We eat dinner off of what most people would consider a salad plate.
We use these small plates from Ikea. At only 8 inches in diameter, they look much fuller with a small amount of food than a larger plate would. With larger plates you will likely put on much more food, and if it’s all on your plate, you’ll probably over eat.
2. Weigh and Measure Food
This goes along with portion control, but it is a recent realization we have had in our house. My husband was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and is insulin dependent. Because of his diagnoses, we are forced to count carbs and that means weighing and measuring EVERYTHING that goes into his body so he can take the correct amount of insulin. This experience has been eye-opening for me! I have never been a carb counter myself because, as I’ve said before, I don’t believe in “diets” or eating in a way that is not realistic to live every single day for the rest of my life. BUT, counting carbs for my husband has made me realize how much I am consuming and made my cut it back to a more moderate amount. So I am not saying go count your carbs or calories, but I am recommending reading labels and weighing or measuring your food to make sure you are eating the recommended serving size, not guessing. Food scales are cheap to buy, and SO nice to have around.
3. Don’t Buy Pre-Packaged Food
You guys. This is something I am pretty passionate about so let me get it off my chest real quick… Pre-packaged food is almost ALWAYS PACKED WITH SUGAR AND SALT! Read your labels. Cereal that claims to be “healthy” likely has sugar in the first 5 ingredients. Skip the cereal and go for some oatmeal instead. When you start looking at the labels of so many so-called health foods, you might realize what you are actually eating is glorified chemicals that was derived from something that was once food. This leads me to my next point…
4. Eat LOTS more fruits and vegetables
I mean it. Like A LOT More fruits and vegetables! Fresh produce is so good for you for so many reasons! My favorite being that you can eat WAY more for way fewer calories than a junkie snack. I know, I know. Junkie snacks do taste pretty good, but as I tell me kids, they are “sometimes” foods. SOMETIMES you can have french fries! No one will ever entirely remove french fries from my life BUT, I have to limit myself. if I eat 21 meals in 1 week and 20 of those meals are good, healthy meals, I am totally okay with 1 of those meals being a burger. Don’t eat crackers or a granola bar for a snack, grab and apple or an orange. Make yourself a BIG salad full of veggies for dinner and treat what would have been your entree as a side. So if dinner is spaghetti, go for a small portion of spaghetti, and a large salad as the bulk of the meal. Food is FUEL! Make good, whole, healthy choices.
5. Stop making excuses
I get SO sick of people saying they can’t eat healthy because it’s expensive. Yes, it often does cost more money to eat healthier foods, but IT’S YOUR HEALTH! You know what’s really expensive?! Obesity, heart attacks, medical bills, medications. I know, I’m a huge downer. But seriously, quit with the excuses. Make some time to exercise. I have recently been a huge fan of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. It’s a quick workout (20 minutes!) that anyone at any fitness level can do, and I promise, you will be sore when you’re done. Pass on all the pre-packaged health foods being advertised, because those are expensive, and go for good old-fashioned produce. Make your health a priority and make time!
Don’t let yourself get burnt out on the same things. This summer I ate all the berries a human could possibly want to eat and now I am completely uninterested in berries. Thank goodness fall and winter produces is here because I was super ready for a change! Don’t always reach for the same things, because you will get bored and fall of the wagon. Try a variety of produce and experiment with new recipes to keep things interesting. Eating healthy does not mean a life of salads and bananas. There is a world of amazing fruit and vegetables out there. Mix it up!
7. Don’t Diet
Don’t bother with trendy or extreme diets to lose some weight. Because you know what will happen? It will all come back. You can’t live the rest of your life on a “diet”, it’s just not realistic. But you can learn to make healthy life-style changes that will change your life and your health for the better.
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