Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard. It does take preparation but once you get that down, it super easy. For the most part, I eat basically the same things every day and that makes my life easy! I know what I need and what I like and it simplifies it. I am such a convenience person, so if it’s not easy, I won’t do it. So trust me, if I can make this work for me, so can you! And to help you even more, I’ve put together a list of some healthy eating tips that you can start incorporating into your daily life to make it a little easier.
Keep healthy food in your house
This is a big one! The way that I am able to be successful and stay on track, is by having the foods that I like to eat and that I know will fit my macros, in my house at all times. These foods include: lite string cheese, 2% milk fat cottage cheese, Dannon light and fit greek yogurt, Premier Protein shakes and powdered peanut butter, Quaker oatmeal packets, deli turkey, chicken….lots of chicken, turkey or chicken burgers, 93/7 hamburger, veggies, Laughing Cow cheese wedges, Pretzel Thins, Quaker caramel rice cakes, Dreyers Slow Churned ice cream etc… These are things I eat over and over along with a few others. I make sure I have these in my home ALL THE TIME. That way when I am feeling hungry or munchy, I have stuff to grab that won’t blow my macros for the day.
Don’t deprive yourself of things you love
I am a dessert aholic! I eat dessert every single day. I know that’s the only way I can stay on track. I have tried cutting out dessert before and ended up binging and being completely miserable. I don’t know about you, but I can’t (and don’t want to) live that way. I know if I let myself have ONE cookie or ONE bowl of ice cream every day, I can stay on track the rest of the day. I look forward to my dessert and pre-log it everyday so I can make sure I get it! It really helps me stay on track when I have that to look forward to.
Be careful about your product choices
This one is a big deal. For instance, you can get regular Kraft Ranch Dressing for your salad, but that’s going to cost you 15 grams of fat for 2 tablespoons OR you can got with Bolthouse Farms Ranch for 3 grams of fat for 2 tablespoons! That just left you 12g of fat just by making a simple product decision. You can see how decisions like that throughout the day could really add up! This sparks an idea for an upcoming post about substitutions! Stay tuned for that! It’ll be a good one!
Use a smaller plate
This is purely a mental game! Using a smaller plate and filling it up will trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more as opposed to using a bigger plate and having lots of space on the plate. Try it and see what you think!
Drink lots of water
I wrote a post dedicated to water and all of its amazing qualities (click here) but for the purpose of this post, drinking more water will help you feel full. Also, when you’re dehydrated, it’s easy to mistake hunger for thirst so DRINK UP!
Eat protein at every meal
Just like with water, protein will help you feel fuller longer. When you feel full and satisfied, it will keep you from reaching into the chip bag when you’re feeling munchy.
Eat lots of veggies
Veggies are so low in calories that you can eat A LOT of them. And when you eat a lot of high volume (a big amount of food for low calories) food, it helps you feel full longer, which again, helps you so you don’t mindlessly graze trying to fill the void of hunger.
Pre-log your food
I don’t always pre-log my food but when I do, it helps me make better choices than just eating on the fly. Especially when you’re just starting out with macro counting and don’t have a lot of experience with which foods will fit and which ones won’t. When you pre-log, you can easily swap around foods for something else that is a little more appealing or has more bang for your buck (high volume).
Cook at home
This is a no-brainer, but when you cook at home, you’re able to control what does and does not go into your food and you’re able to log it more accurately. Plus I don’t know about you, but I have so much self control at home. When I go out, especially when I go out with other people, not so much. I just cannot control myself around chips and salsa 😉 Anyone else??
Beware of liquid calories
Liquid calories will do nothing for you in terms of helping you feel full. A can of Coke has 150 calories and 39 carbs! OH MY GOSH! That’s insane! If you’re going to drink pop, go with diet or just drink good old water.
THIS IS HUGE! I mean HUGE!! If you’ve ever scarfed down a cookie without thinking and wondered where the heck your cookie just went, you know exactly what I mean. When you eat mindfully, you’re paying attention to what you’re doing. Turn off distractions and concentrate on your meal. I recommend that you sit down and really enjoy your food. Doing this will signal to your brain that you’re eating and enjoying it. Your brain will send signals to your body that you’re satisfied and that you’ve eaten and are full. There is nothing more frustrating to me than when I am looking forward to a good treat all day, then get distracted while eating it and don’t take the time to enjoy it.
Be prepared in advance when eating out
Like I said a few points ago, when eating out without a plan, I usually don’t do so well. But if I am prepared and going to a place where I know what the macros are and what I can and can’t have, I can succeed. I put it into My Fitness Pal in advance and make sure that the people I am with know that I am going with a plan to eat healthy and stay on track. They can help keep you accountable as well.
I wake up in the morning starving! I know there are quite a few people who do intermittent fasting and don’t eat their first meal until the afternoon, but I can’t do that. It’s just not for me. Eating breakfast will start your day off right and will curb any hunger or binges you may have from trying not to eat. My breakfasts aren’t huge, ether oatmeal or a quest bar, but it’s enough to satisfy me, get me through my workout and feel good until my next time to eat.
Eat enough fiber
Fiber will also help you feel full longer. It also helps keep your digestive system regular which in and of itself is enough to make you feel good!
Unless you have somewhere to be or some reason to shove your food down quickly, don’t. Slow down and enjoy your food. This will also give your stomach time to realize when it’s full. I know personally, I have been out to eat and get caught up in the conversation, not really paying attention to my eating and before I know it, I feel terrible. I’ve eaten too fast and my stomach didn’t signal my brain quick enough that I’d had enough, which leads to overeating. Who else has done this? Tell me I’m not the only one.
Swap condiments for spices
Some spices do have calories but not nearly as much as condiments. 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce can run you up to 18g of carbs and around 70 calories. A sprinkle of some Italian Seasoning on your chicken has zero calories! In fact, calories or no calories I never even log spices. But that is just a personal choice.
Weigh your food
How do you know how much you’re really eating if you don’t weigh it out? Over time you should be able to eyeball your portions pretty accurately but I still weigh out my food. It takes 2 seconds and I know I am accurate by doing it that way.
Always portion out your food. Never just eat out of the bag
It is really hard if not nearly impossible to know how much your eating when you are just eating handfuls out of the bag. Always portion your food out into a bowl or onto a plate and then put the package away! You will be a lot less likely to go back if you have to get the entire bag back out.
Grilled, roasted or baked instead of fried
I never order anything deep fried. I know it’s going to be super high in fat and will not make me feel good. That’s not to say I don’t sneak a few of my kids fries but I try to avoid deep fried anything at all costs. Grilled, roasted or baked is going to be your best option in terms of fat content.
Well there you have it! I hope you found this list to be helpful. A lot of small changes can really add up to big results over time. If you’re struggling, pick a few of these and incorporate them into your diet this week. Then next week add in one or two more. It will really start to make a different in your fat loss and the way you feel.
You’ve got this!