10 Tips for Sticking to Your Diet


10 Tips for sticking to your diet

Sticking with a diet and losing weight is hard. It is important to have some techniques that keep you on track. Setting realistic goals when losing weight and finding ways to control your appetite will help maintaining your diet. Most diets require planning ahead to avoid the urge to snack on foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar. Below are some tips to have you stick to your diet. 

Drink Plenty of Water and Beverages With Low Calories

Drinking plenty of water will keep you feeling full and help prevent snacking. Drinking flavored seltzer water or iced tea without sugar that you make yourself are alternatives to water. Soda and fruit juice have too many calories due to the high amount of sugar. Vegetable juices are better considering there's only 41 calories in tomato juice. Skim and low fat milk are good beverages to drink on diets. Tea and coffee without milk and sugar will give you your caffeine boost without the calories. 

Eat Healthy Snacks

Stay away from donuts and pastries when your cravings start up. Buy healthy snacks for work and home that satisfy your hunger. A cup of yogurt with fruit, nuts, popcorn, or granola mix is far better than a slice of cake or a cinnamon roll. When you feel hungry and snack on sugary foods, you actually keep craving these unhealthy foods. A few cubes of low fat cheese are another great snack with an apple. Even some raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, celery, and cherry tomatoes pack more nutrition than baked goods. Limit snacks at night and don’t eat anything three hours before bedtime. 

Eat Your Favorite High Calorie Foods in Moderation

You don’t have to give up your favorite foods completely. You can eat your desserts, but only in moderation. Instead of buying a box of cookies, simply buy one from a cookie vendor at the mall or store. Buy a single serving of ice cream that they sell in most supermarkets, so you aren't tempted by a full gallon of ice cream. Often supermarkets sell one slice of cake, or cheesecake slices designed for one or two people. 

Try to Eat Protein at Every Meal

Eat protein at every meal. It fills you up and keeps your hunger in check.  Protein is eggs, lean meats, seafood, beans, nuts, yogurt, and cheese. These are all easy items to have for three meals. Watch the portion sizes that you eat. Protein makes good snack foods because it breaks down in the body more slowly preventing that spike in blood sugar that causes hunger cravings.

Stock Your Kitchen With Healthy Foods

You can stock your kitchen with healthy convenience and snack foods. Frozen vegetable, fruits, and low fat yogurts, cheese, nuts, canned beans, peanut butter, whole grain crackers and bread, bags of salad, pre-cooked chicken and meats are easy to prepare quickly. These items will help you cook a meal at th last minute or find a healthy snack when hungry.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Eating breakfast keeps you from getting hungry and snacking at home or work. An egg with whole grain toast, yogurt with fruit ,or hot cereal will fill you up with plenty of nutrition. Often when you skip breakfast you will  buy that pastry on break or eat a bag of chips to satisfy your mid-morning hunger. If you cannot eat breakfast bring a healthy snack to work that you will eat on your break or at school.

Clean Out the Kitchen

Do you have too many chips, cookies and high calories snack foods in the pantry? Gather it up and donate to a local food pantry or give it to friends that are not on a diet.  Most people hate to throw out food. Give frozen treats to family and friends with childrenWhen the food is there it is hard not to eat it. Get rid of foods that make dieting hard. This means ice cream, cake, pies, breads, cookies,  pastries, potato chips, and tortilla chips.

Learn to Understand Portion Sizes

Use measuring cups and spoons to measure food that you eat. Weigh food when needed this helps with controlling portion size. A serving of meat or poultry should be 3 or 4 ounces not 8 or 9 ounces like served in restaurants. Use smaller plates to make your serving look bigger.Serve two vegetables and skip the potato or rice a few times a week.  Read labels and know the calories and serving size you are eating. There are portion control plates that you can buy with sections for vegetables, starch, and protein. 

Set Realistic Goals

Focus on losing a few pounds a week and planning your meals. Focus on smaller healthy meals that satisfy the appetite and the need for variety. Set a goal to lose 5 pounds in one month not 30. This is more realistic and helps you stay on the diet not quit.  When you lose weight it’s important to have a maintenance plan for keeping it off. This means sticking with the diet and exercising even after you have reached your desired weight.

Add Flavor By Using Spices

Spices are a great way to add flavor to meals without the calories. Chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, mustard seed, black pepper, basil, oregano, onion powder add flavor to salads, soups, stews and main entrees. They can turn a bland meal into a tasty one. Put spices on foods like proteins and vegetable that satisfy the appetite and keep you feeling full.

These are a few diet tips that help with weight loss. A solid diet plan and exercise are important to success. Shopping with a prepared list helps you stay on track to buy what you need. It often keeps you from buying foods that are not healthy. Weight loss is not easy it requires some discipline and motivation.  A weight loss doctor can provide you with a diet and exercise plan, prescription medications and other solutions to your weight problem.

By Joan Russell

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