I have been a dieter for as long as I can remember. Starting at the ripe old age of twelve, I tried everything from Atkins to the Zone. I fasted, ate nothing but cabbage soup, even tried popping pills. I’m not kidding, I’ve been there and done that! It wasn’t until I turned twenty-nine and gave birth to my son that I realized it couldn’t be about getting “thin.” It had to be about making healthy choices. Choices that could become good habits.
I’ve been at my new happy, healthy weight for three years and guess what? I still have the same healthy habits. All the lifestyle hype is true. The changes you make have to be things you’ll do forever. Here are ten tips I still practice daily:
1. Rearrange your Refrigerator. I now keep all produce, fresh veggies, and yogurt on the most predominant shelves. Everything else goes in the drawers, like breads and the husband’s junk food! This way, when I’m hungry I see the good stuff first. I also found that by doing this food doesn’t go bad as quickly. I haven’t thrown a bag of lettuce out in a LONG time. Take a peak inside my fridge .
2. Get more volume for your calories. For example, I buy shredded mozzarella. I use it for everything! Tacos, pizza, salads. I weigh out an ounce, it’s perfect. Well, one day, I bought the fancy shredded kind and when I measured out an ounce I was shocked. It looked like so much more. To me more is better even if it really isn’t more. Now I only buy the fancy shredded kind. This is a mind trick example but you get the idea. If you think you are eating more you are more satisfied. Bulk up burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, green pepper slices or add tons of veggies to homemade pizza. Anything that tricks you into believing it’s way more food but adds only minimal calories.
3. Bring tons of stuff with you. When I go to work I don’t worry about lunch anymore. I bring a ton of 50–200 calorie snacks and literally eat all day. I’ve become a gazer and it works for me.
4. Not everything needs extra cheese or cheese at all. This is one that is pretty personal to me but I’ve learned that everything doesn’t need cheese and if it does 1/2-ounce is usually enough. Gosh, I look back I must have been eating at least 500 calories of cheese a day!
5. Eat more veggies. When I have dinner I’ll usually have about 4 ounces of protein, a small starch and then seriously about 3–5 servings of whatever veggie I make. Normally broccoli, green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas, or zucchini. It fills me up and makes my plate look like there is enough food to feed an army
6. Carrot Sticks! When I host parties and everyone else is eating chips and dip, pretzels, and candy. I keep munching on my carrot sticks. I’m completely satisfied and I don’t even notice that I’m not eating what everyone else is.
7. Fruit! No one got fat eating too many strawberries. Make fruit your go to snack!
8. Stay Active. You don’t need a regular exercise routine but you have to stay active. I have the 5 story rule, I take the stairs if it under 5 stories. I dance with my son at least once a day and I when the weather is nice I walk in the evenings. Check out my ten active tips .
9. Don’t stress about parties, or special occasions. I didn’t get fat because of one meal. I go and make good choices then come home and assess how I did. It’s about balance.
10. LOVE appetizers? I used to go to restaurant with friends and get mozzarella sticks, potatoes skins or anything fried! Then a salad AND a whole main entry. Of course I would rarely bring anything home. I don’t even want to think about how many calories I was consuming. Now I go and get a soup instead of an appetizer. Soups I choose are generally chicken noodle/rice, vegetable, black bean, beef with barely, minestrone basically anything “brothy.” Then I eat half of my meal and bring the rest home for lunch the next day.
If you have any tips of you own, please add them with the comment feature at the bottom of the page. Remember … little things really can make a big difference.