For those who wish to lose weight or want to enhance health and wellness, going on a diet may not be the way to go. A diet is typically a short-term solution that can actually set you up for failure. According to WebMD, you can become more obsessed with food while on a diet, which could lead to intense cravings. Rather, to enjoy long-term success, you should strive to make small lifestyle changes aimed at improving your health that will last for a lifetime.
According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, the goal is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. If you’re not used to eating these foods, you can start by making sure that you increase your intake of vegetables and fruits every day, slowly working your way up to the half-plate recommendation. Vegetables and fruits contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are necessary for proper body functioning. There’s the added benefit that most of these foods are low in calories and fats. When you fill up on these foods, you’ll be less likely to have room for unhealthy options.
Because the body is made mostly of water, this liquid is vital to human health. Healthguide.org notes that we often mistake thirst for hunger, so drinking water may help to stave off cravings. Eight cups a day is the set standard for optimal hydration and removal of waste and toxins from the body. Reduce your consumption of sugary drinks and replace them with water. If you don’t like the taste, add some sliced lemons or limes to enhance the flavor.
Fish provides you with high levels of lean protein that are beneficial to your health. Cold-water fish also have high levels of fatty acids that can help to reduce your risk of certain health problems. Eating fish a couple times a week is all it takes to enjoy the health benefits.
Foods that are processed generally contain more sugar, salt, and fat that are neither good for your health nor your waistline. Buying your foods in a more natural state or packaged with minimal processing can help to ensure that you’re consuming fewer additives and unnecessary ingredients. While choosing more whole foods means that you will have to prepare more of your own meals, you’ll also avoid unnecessary ingredients found in refined foods.
You don’t have to completely give up your favorite foods, especially if you find that it causes you to binge later. If you have just a small serving of your not-so-healthy favorites, you can satisfy your cravings and continue with your healthy eating plan.
You can also add more whole grains and switch to low fat in your dairy choices. While making better food choices, you may also find that the weight starts slipping off, and that your weight loss is easier to maintain. Your first step lies in making a commitment to change and be healthier. Even if you can only handle one change at a time, you can slowly change your behaviors for a lifetime of better eating.
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