Making healthy lifestyle and food-choice changes to achieve weight, fitness, or health changes can be paralyzing for many people. Look for small changes that you can make on a weekly basis, that can move you close to those goals.
Most people do not succeed with weight changes because they create unattainable goals. Here are practical ideas that are reachable and can make a difference:
Always eat breakfast. Strive for one part protein, one part fruit and one part complex carbs. That could be egg whites with Ezekiel toast and berries, oatmeal with ground flax and berries, or whole wheat English muffin with goat cheese, smoked salmon and ½ a banana. Add cinnamon & turmeric to oatmeal and in complex carbs for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Drink water or homemade iced green tea during your day instead of soda. Sugar and fake sweeteners zap your energy and make you sluggish all the while making you crave more sweet things.
Pack a lunch with lots of vegetables adding 2tbsp. sunflower seeds, almonds or walnuts to salads to boost nutrition, protein and healthy fats. + a piece of whole fruit. If sandwiches work better for you, use whole grain bread with at least 3 grams of fiber. Now add low-sodium, low-nitrate lean meat or meaty portobello mushrooms with a slice of avocado, spinach or kale leaves and fresh basil instead of mayo or fatty cheese. Add a piece of fresh fruit or cut veggies with that.
Pack a healthy mid-afternoon snack such as hard boiled eggs, hummus and vegetables, Greek yogurt (plain with added fruit), or almonds(in moderate portions), and string cheese.
Eat red meat once or less per week.
Eat fish at least twice per week.
Try non meat proteins like black beans, soy protein or quinoa as well.
Try a vegetable that you’ve never tried. Retry Brussels sprouts, kale or eggplant even if previously you thought you didn’t like them.
Use flavored vinegar or spices vs. butter and salt when cooking protein or vegetables to add flavor. Measure oils when adding them to your cooking pan. You are probably over pouring more often than you realize.
Make meals a balance of 40-50% carbs, 25-35% protein and 20-30% fat
Utilize quinoa, farro, & brown rice in salads, side dishes and as base of meatless meals.
Place cut fruits and vegetable on an eye-level-shelf in your fridge or the counter.
Use 0% Greek yogurt or cottage cheese vs. regular cheese and sour cream in cooking.
Eat whole fruits vs. fruit juices for reduced sugar intake.
Eat whole wheat bread with at least 3g of fiber. Don’t eat white bread.
Don’t eat in front of the TV or computer screen. Eat mindfully.
Stop eating if your full.
Don’t bring serving bowls with extra food to the table. Pack extras up and put into fridge before serving dinner.
Portion cooked meats, fish, complex carbs in well marked, sealed, 3 oz. bags and freeze so food is available in a pinch.
Use a digital food scale as a a portion-manager to visually understand portion controls.
Use a food diary to track your eating and recognize your food triggers.
Have treats in moderate portions now and again.
Reduce the levels of processed foods you eat.
Most importantly, enjoy your life, but make healthy changes that can help you feel more energetic and promote long-term improvements to your body’s.