Lots of people choose an all-or-nothing proposition when it comes to making improvements to their diet. Thinking the only avenue to achieving better health is a radical revamping of how they eat – they give up before they begin, abandoning even small efforts to make positive changes. Too hard. Too much trouble and bother.
Well, folks, major diet makeovers aren’t necessary to achieve lasting results. In fact, research reveals that “baby steps,” rather than giant leaps, result in lasting, positive changes that impact overall health more than a major diet shift. New routines that incorporated minor adjustments proved more successful over the long haul.
While the aim of most diet modifications is to see a lower number staring back from the scales, the positive impact on overall health, energy, and well-being is every bit as important as a drop in weight – and sometimes, more important.
The key to achieving any and all of these improvements is making changes that are both practical and sustainable; that can be adapted for and adopted into everyday life. Incorporate a couple of these tips at a time into your daily routine.
Choose food wisely
- Pack in the Protein. Not only are proteins one of the four building blocks of life, “they constitute more of a cell’s dry matter than do lipids, carbohydrates, and all other molecules combined.” Studies have found that doubling up on protein could help you eat less without feeling hungry due to making the brain more sensitive to leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full.
- Aim for protein as a part of every meal, with a goal of at least one-third of the calories coming from a source of lean protein.
- Take advantage of the increasingly popular one-hundred calorie packaging of many snacks from chips to yogurt to nuts to ice cream. While these portion-controlled servings may be costlier than economy sized packages, the convenience, and the lessened temptation are worth the expense.
Monitor shopping habits
- Never, ever shop on an empty stomach. Even a quick stop to grab just a couple of items can result in a plethora of craving-satisfying foods walking out the door with you.
- Shopping without a plan in the form of a specific list? Then expect some indulgent, I-didn’t-plan-to-buy-that items to appear in your cart. Guard against hasty decisions with a commitment to make a list and stick to it.
- Because Little Johnnie is too cute to resist, and Susie can be expected to sob until Mom purchases all of her favorites, shopping with the kids is sure to result in unplanned items getting toted home. If at all possible, leave the “beggars” at home. Swap babysitting with another Mom or Dad also striving for solo shopping excursions.
Smart dinnerware and utensil choices
- A smaller plate at meals will look “full” with a lesser amount of food. Kind of a “mind over matter” situation that will lessen the sense of being deprived.
- Insert a smaller serving spoon into higher calorie dishes, a larger spoon into low-cal salads and veggies.
Tame your Achilles Heel
- Everyone has those one or two foods they can’t seem to resist. Lesley Lutes, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of psychology at East Carolina University suggests, “If you’re eating six of these foods a week, try to go down to five.” Each week, drop another until you’re at no more than one or two. Substitute better choices like fresh or sautéed veggies, fresh fruits, and whole grains.
- Fool your sweet tooth with a piece of hard candy rather than indulging in a calorie-dense dessert. Savor the sweetness as long as possible then pat yourself on the back for settling for a healthier option.
If you thought you’d reach the end of an article about diet improvements without any mention of water intake, sorry. Most people grow weary of the “drink more water!” speeches even while admitting they struggle to consume adequate amounts of water. Even though they realize that drinking more water can increase energy, flush out toxins, and lower overall calorie intake, often that’s not enough motivation. Because let’s face it, water can be boring.
Here are few strategies that can help.
- Purchase a reusable water bottle that’s handy to tote around.
- Change things up with flavored or sparkling water options.
- Have a quantity of cold, flavored water always on hand with a DIY infuser equipped pitcher. Experiment with different flavor combinations to liven up the taste of the ol’ H2
B. Loehr Staffing is here to cheer you on – and, while you are making wise diet choices, we’ll help you make wise staffing choices too. Whether you have open positions or need extra help for special projects, rolling out new products, or making changes to your service processes, our team at B Loehr will ensure we find the staffing solution that best suits your organization’s specific needs. Contact us today.