So you’ve decided to focus on healthy eating and in turn, improve your daily nutrition in order to lose weight. Awesome! That can likely be one of the most important decisions you make for your health and the direction your future takes. Before you dive headlong into the weight loss process, here’s a list of 5 healthy eating do’s and don’ts to help give you precise focus and direction.
If you start with these specific healthy eating tips, you will leapfrog right to the front and not have to struggle with issues that usually stump those new to the process.
5 Healthy Eating Don’ts for Weight Loss
– Don’t Starve Yourself
Many people think that in order to lose weight you need to starve yourself. Their thinking is, if I don’t eat food I won’t gain weight. The problem is everyone NEEDS food. It is what fuels our bodies to get through each day. Denying your body sustenance will only cause you to overeat the next time you do eat meaning you’ll take in too many calories at one sitting. Instead of forcing your body to deal with this, just get in the habit of eating 5 small meals evenly spaced throughout the day so you keep your body nourished while at the same time control the amount of calories you do put into your body.
– Don’t Snack During Leisure Time
When we are watching tv, reading a book, browsing the Internet, sewing, playing video games, or any other type of leisure activity, do NOT snack. Anyone who has snacked while doing a leisure activity knows from experience that the outcome is usually not a good one. Entire bags of potato chips and 2 liters of soda have been known to be devoured during one leisure session which amounts to hundreds upon hundreds of needless calories. If you must have a small snack during your leisure time, have a fruit and a tall glass of water. Presto, hunger cravings will vanish and you will have only consumed around 100 calories.
– Don’t Buy Unhealthy Food/Drinks
It goes without saying if you don’t buy the junk, you will be unable to eat the stuff when you’re at home. Don’t purposely put temptation in your kitchen making it that much more difficult to stay eating in a healthy manner. Out of sight out of mind really helps in this situation.
– Don’t Eat Late At Night
Get in the habit of not eating anything three hours before you go to sleep. Eating late at night does not give your body the chance to burn off those calories before going to sleep so guess where they will end up. Stuck right around your belly, back, legs or chest. Dinner should be the smallest meal of the day ranging from 400-600 calories including drinks.
– Don’t Eat Until You’re Stuffed
If you are eating until you are so full it’s hard to move guess what, you’ve eaten far too much for one meal. Portion size is king when it comes to healthy nutrition. Serve an appropriate portion size, drink a lot of water with your meal, and you’ll find that you really don’t need that much food to get full. Your body will thank you afterwards and you’ll avoid the “food coma” feeling you’ve likely had to deal with from past experiences.
Now that we’re done with all the unhealthy habits you shouldn’t let happen, here are 5 healthy eating do’s you should start adhere to as soon as possible. Remember this is a process, so don’t get down on yourself if you have trouble making these 5 healthy habits stick on a consistent basis.
5 Healthy Eating Do’s For Weight Loss
– Do Research Healthy Meals & Snacks
If you’ve been eating out at restaurants and fast food spots for some time, it’s important you start getting used to actually putting your kitchen to good use. Keep in mind 70% of your weight loss success will be dependent on your nutrition and the amount you’re eating on a daily basis. Take some time to research the Internet to find some healthy meals and snacks that look appealing to you. You’ll find tons of them within 15 minutes of searching on Google. Save or print out the directions along with ingredient list and the pictures if you want and you’ll be all set.
– Do Count or Monitor Your Calories
Your body only needs a certain amount of calories each and every day. Look online to find out what an appropriate calorie amount is for you – which will take into consideration your gender, age, height, and usual activity level. This number can range anywhere from 1,500 – 3,000 calories per day which is why it’s important to learn what is appropriate calorie amount for you. Once you have this number, you can use one of the many FREE calorie counting apps/websites to keep track of what you’re consuming on a daily basis. This tip right here can really get you focused on eating healthy regularly so give it a try for a couple of weeks and see how it helps you.
– Do Prepare Portioned Snacks
It’s so important to not only eat proper portions at your meals but also your snacks. Keeping your body properly nourished throughout the day in the form of snacks will prevent hunger cravings from creeping in tempting you to eat something unhealthy. It will do you no good to eat a healthy breakfast, then at ten o’clock when you start to get a little hungry go to the vending machine at work and get a 20 oz bottle of soda along with a giant Snickers bar. Say hello to 700 calories right there! Instead, prepare/bag healthy snacks at home and toss them in your lunch bag when you head out in the morning.
– Do Take Travel Lunch Leftovers
When you are away from home, try never to rely on having to go out to eat. Not only will that waste much more money than is necessary, but you’ll often be confronted with a meal that is far too large. Instead, get used to packing leftovers in plastic travel containers. To ensure you have enough food to take with you the next day, get in the healthy habit of cooking a bit extra. By doing this you’ll be guaranteed to have leftovers that can be used for either lunch the next day or future meals.
– Do Drink Lots and Lots of Water
The number one healthy habit you should get used to doing is drinking a lot of water each and every day. Lots and lots of water. Not only does water have absolutely zero calories, but it helps make everything move along smoothly through the digestive process. Get in the habit of always having a container of water with you so you’re never empty-handed during the day.
If you get rid of just one soda per day, over the course of a year you’ll eliminate 54,750 calories, or 15.6 pounds, from potentially being put into your body. Imagine if you changed all your drinks to water!
Hopefully you can put to immediate use these 5 healthy eating do’s and don’ts and get right on track to reach your health and fitness goals.
About the Author: Gregory L. Gomez, M. Ed, has been teaching 5th grade in the Los Angeles Unified School District for the past 17 years. He created 10Quickies.com to help teachers and parents provide children in 2nd-5th grades with a fun and inspirational way to review grade level math. He also wants readers to be mindful of their health and fitness especially since it’s easy to overlook i