Can’t Commit To a Diet? These small diet hacks can bring BIG results!
By: Sharita Jennings (Pictured Above)
Track Your Meals.
While this step doesn’t directly affect what you put on your fork, it will make a huge difference in your food consumption if you stick to it. For me, food tracking is the most difficult hack just because I tend to forget to log my food. But setting up reminders and using simple apps makes this a lot less painful. Apps like MyFitnessPal have a huge database of foods so you don’t have to count calories or anything. You plug in your food and it does the rest. The latest versions of this app will even remind you to log your food throughout the day!
When you stick with it, you’ll start to hold yourself accountable. Just the feeling alone of logging “2 slices of cheesecake and 1 large milkshake” in one day will make you step up your eating on the next day, trust me…
Scope Out And Reduce the Sugar.
Note this step is not about cutting out ALL sugars from your diet. That would be too scary for us commitment-phobes. Instead, this step is simply about taking a closer look at your foods and drinks for hidden sugars. For instance, my favorite cocktail, the margarita, has at least 30 grams of sugar in the mix alone. Even a health-nut’s best friend, peanut butter, can have excessive amounts of sugar. Once you find the sugar hiding in your foods, you can make smarter decisions. For instance, you might choose a less sugary margarita mix to still enjoy your favorite drink. Or you can pick up the organic peanut butter at the grocery store, which will save you from the sugar attack.
Also, pay close attention to the fruits you eat. Tropical fruits like pineapples and mangoes are loaded with sugar. Although it’s a natural sugar, it still has similar effects on your body in the long run. Keep in mind that sugar is an energy source. If we overindulge and don’t burn that sugar (which is hard to do) our bodies store it as fat!
Eat More Protein.
If you’ve read any health or fitness publication in the last 5 years, this tip is not new to you. Still, I simply cannot stress enough how great protein is for improving your eating habits. Lean proteins, like chicken and fish, are low in calories but have some serious satisfying powers. They fill you up, provide nutrients, and support muscle growth, which in turn helps charge your metabolism to burn more fat for weight loss or maintenance. I mean, what else could you ask for?!
I get a lot of protein in my regular meals, but to add more, I like to have high-protein snacks around like greek yogurt, turkey jerky, grilled chicken strips, and egg white muffins. These options are typically lower in calories than chips or crackers, and they keep me full for much longer.
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The bulk of food consumption should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk products.