Whether you’re trying to lose weight or you’re trying to incorporate healthier habits, changing your lifestyle all at once can be difficult. You’re more likely to be successful long-term if you establish smaller, actionable habits to help you reach your goals. Then, slowly add new things into the mix. Here are a few simple diet changes to incorporate when you’re ready to start a new, healthier lifestyle.
Increase Your Water Intake
You might not be ready to give up your caffeine right away — and that’s okay. Or, maybe you feel like you should be able to drink something other than water all day. Been there!
Regardless of your reasons, it can be difficult to replace drinking coffee, soda, and other beverages with water completely. So instead of ditching your favorite beverage right away, try limiting the amount of caffeinated and sugary beverages you consume and drinking more water throughout the day. It can be tempting to change everything at once, but this can lead to resistance and/or frustration. Instead, choose one thing to try and focus on becoming more consistent. For example, if drinking soda at lunch is your go-to, try replacing it first with a calorie-free version of the same drink, or finding a carbonated beverage without sweeteners (you can make one yourself)! Once you become confident, move onto the next goal. Another option is to drink plain water before you plan to have your soda and see if doing so influences your decision. Sometimes we mistake subtle and not-so-subtle thirst as cravings for sugar or outright hunger. Limiting yourself to only having coffee in the morning or just one soda with lunch, will help you, so you can focus on drinking water throughout the rest of the day.
Eliminate Fast Food And Processed Food
Eliminating fast food and decreasing your consumption of highly processed foods, should be at the top of your list. According to TIME, almost 40% of Americans have some sort of fast food consumption habit, despite the fact that regular consumption can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and unwanted weight gain.
Eliminating fast food and decreasing your consumption of highly processed foods doesn’t mean you have to eliminate the type of food you normally eat entirely. Instead of grabbing a burger from McDonald’s, simply cook one at home — using high-quality ingredients. The way fast food is prepared, as well as the ingredients used to prepare it, cause the food themselves to be high in sodium, sugar, trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. But when you cook at home, you can control both the ingredients used and the method of cooking to achieve the same taste with a lower fat content, and better nutritional profile.
Eat More Protein
Eating more protein seems like such a simple concept and yet, it’s one that is often overlooked when weight loss is the goal. Because the body does not store protein, it uses what it needs to help with recovery and repair and eliminates whatever it doesn’t need. Check out my video on the importance of adding protein to your weight loss plan!
Keeping protein intake high can also help prevent muscle loss while losing weight.
Protein both slows down digestion, makes you feel full while consuming less food, and keeps you feeling fuller longer, making it the perfect addition to a healthy eating lifestyle. In fact, one study showed that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories, helped overweight women consume 441 fewer calories each day without intentionally restricting their diets. Eating more protein also makes your body work a little bit harder during the digestive process. The TEoF or Thermic Effect of Food can further amplify the weight loss process since protein has a much higher thermic effect than fat or carbs — 20–35% compared to 5–15%.
Eating more protein can be achieved in a variety of ways: Adding a protein-packed smoothie at breakfast to start your day off right, or during that mid-afternoon slump when you’re tempted to reach for a bag of chips. The small addition of nut butter, a handful of almonds or other nuts, is another way to get more protein in.
Keep in mind, that there are both plant sources and meat sources of protein. Some examples are Lentils, Chickpeas, Beans, green peas, and quinoa, as well as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts.
Eating healthy improves your overall health, but also makes you feel better throughout the day. So if you aren’t prepared mentally to make drastic lifestyle changes, concentrate on making smaller changes instead.
Founder and Creator of Fitness MOMents® LLC
Hi! I’m Trish Marmo and I believe every woman possesses the power to be the best version of herself and become the woman she always dreamed she could be! If you’ve woken up to the fact that what you’ve been doing isn’t working anymore, or you don’t recognize the person you’ve become, then let’s talk! Schedule a Complimentary Breakthrough Session or learn more.