The 10 Best Diet Tips Of All Time
1. Never get too hungry
You make poor decisions when your judgment is compromised. Hunger is a primal urge that’s difficult to deny. When you're famished, it's hard to hold off until you can find healthy food. As a result, you end up eating anything that's not nailed down, and typically, regretting it. Planning meals and snacks works wonders to head off the intense hunger that can do a number on your best intentions to eat right. Always tote healthy snacks, such as an ounce of pistachios, a hard-cooked egg and some whole grain crackers, Greek yogurt, or 1/4 cup raisins. Don't skip meals or skimp on them, either. Here, 6 portable, protein-packed snacks that fill you up!
2. Be honest about your daily calorie allowance
Everyone has a calorie budget, whether you're trying to maintain your weight or lose a few pounds. I've found that people ignore this simple fact. Your calorie budget allows you to build a healthy diet, and it helps prevent frustration about weight control. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide suggested daily calorie intakes based on gender, age, and physical activity level. When you know your calorie budget, then you can plan on how many servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and other protein sources to include every day.
3. Eat right post-workout
People are notorious for overestimating how many calories they burn during physical activity, which is often far less than actual calories burned. When you overestimate the calories you burn during exercise, you may eat more than you need, making weight loss and maintenance difficult. High-intensity exercise may drive women to eat more, and moderate exercise may be the key to easier weight control. To see how many average calories you’re burning during everyday activities and exercise, check out this chart from the CDC. You can see how easy it is to wipe out the calories burned during a workout with just a few extra nibbles during the day.
4. Use the red, orange and green rule
At each meal include one food that is any of these colors. By focusing on these foods, you'll be sure to get some produce on your plate and won't have space on your plate for the higher-calorie fare. (Bonus: Colorful fruits and veggies help your skin look healthier and younger! Here's what to eat for glowing skin!)
5. Eat one less bite
Doing this at every meal could save about 75 calories a day which equates to nearly an 8-pound weight loss in one year!
6. Be a heavy drinker
Water is essential for keeping the body hydrated and we're actually more likely to retain "water weight" by not drinking enough of it rather than by having too much. The needs of each person will be different, but the general recommended daily amount is 64 ounces. It also takes up space in your stomach so you'll feel fuller while taking in fewer calories. Find out the best non-boring ways to get in your recommended servings of water.
7. Kick the salt habit
Salt is a big contributor to weight gain and often a reason why the numbers on the scale aren't going down. The average American consumes twice the amount of salt they should have each day, leading to weight gain, bloating, and the inability to lose stubborn pounds. Salt can also make you feel hungrier and thirstier, so check the nutrition labels for high sodium levels and choose fresh over packaged or restaurant foods. You'll see a puffy face and belly go down quickly just by cutting back on your sodium intake and choosing more natural foods. Here's how to start reducing sodium in your diet.
8. Spice up your food
Adding hot spices to your meals can help curb hunger, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Need another reason to add some heat? Scientists at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that capsaicin (a compound found in chilies) triggers your brain to release feel-good endorphins. A full belly and a good mood? Pass the hot sauce!
9. Don't think diet soda will help you lose weight
A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body's natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it's eating sugar, and you crave more.
A separate study found that even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease. Whether that link is attributed to an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers' eating habits is unclear. But is that one can really worth it? (Still not convinced? Check out five more health risks associated with drinking diet soda.)
10. Focus on nutrient balance instead of calorie counting
Making sure an eating occasion has carbs, protein, and fat instead of just counting calories (like a 100-calorie pack) delivers better energy and fat loss results by giving the body what it needs, like quick- and longer-digesting nutrients so you stay full longer. See ashleykoffapproved.com/nutritionplan for guidance.