In order to lose weight and become healthier, you will need to plan a diet that you can stick to. Your diet plan is not a crash diet that you will give up after two weeks; it should be a LIFESTYLE change. Your diet changes must be reasonable or you will not be able to stick to them. That’s why making a few subtle changes to your eating and exercise habits may help you develop a healthy diet plan. Sometimes, the littlest things make the biggest difference.
Look at your diet patterns and decide if there are some nasty patterns that you can break. For instance, are there certain times of day when you just have to have a candy bar? Or are there certain times of day when you can’t go without that bag of chips? Think about what you can reasonably give up or even better what can you replace with healthier food choices.
Here are some little habits that you might consider changing. The key is, you are breaking a BAD habit and instilling a GOOD habit in its place. This should be a PERMANENT change. Ask yourself, “Can I maintain this change for the rest of my life?”
- Fast Food. Do you eat out every day for lunch? Start to bring your lunch to work at least 4 days a week Even stopping by McDonald’s twice a week can have a big impact on your diet. When you cook at home, you know what’s going into your food.
- Drinks. When you’re thirsty, choose drinks that don’t have any calories (water, tea, or diet soft drinks). If your drink choices do have calories, they should have nutrients. Alcohol and soda both contain useless calories.
- Snacks. Do you have a certain time of day that you just HAVE to snack? Fill your cupboard and refrigerator with low-calorie snacks. Get rid of those high carbohydrates and sugary snacks.
- Dinner. Maybe your hardest time of day is when you sit down to have a big meal. While you’re cooking, eat a healthy snack – like a piece of fruit or a few low-calorie crackers. Cook only what you will eat (no leftovers). If you make more than you’re supposed to eat, serve from the stove, and put leftovers away before you sit down to eat. In other words, do not have extra food sitting in front of you on the table. Do you know that a meat serving should be only as big as a deck of cards?
- Exercise. Exercise MUST be a part of your daily routines: When you’re shopping, park your car far away from the store. Plan for this and do it EVERY time – especially in the cold weather! (The colder it is, the more calories you will burn.) Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Play a game of hide-and-seek with your kids. When you take the dog for a walk, make it a brisk walk. Can you find some way to sneak in some exercise every day? Look carefully at your routines and plan something that you don’t mind doing. If you like it, chances are you will continue to do it.