The beginning of a new year has long symbolized making a fresh start. If you’ve been planning for a diet, now is the time to put that plan into action. Follow the tips below for living well while you’re on a diet, and learn how you can still eat your favorite foods.
Eat High-Fiber Foods
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You already know that fiber is good for you, but did you know that it can also help with weight loss? Fiber improves cholesterol levels, keeps you feeling full so you’re less likely to overeat, and improves your health by helping to promote regular bowel movements. It also helps your body control blood sugar levels and avoid the insulin spikes that can cause food cravings.
High-fiber foods include oatmeal, beans, lentils, fruits, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta. If you’re on a low-carb diet, you can get fiber from leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. An especially easy way to include fiber in your diet is by adding chia seeds or flaxseeds to your morning smoothie. Stock up on your favorite healthy foods so that you always have something on hand for those snack attacks.
Set Reasonable Goals
The average person is more successful in her dieting goals when making only two or three small changes at a time. For example, swapping your afternoon doughnut for a serving of nutritional trail mix would be a good first step toward living well on a diet.
Try to keep your goals specific, too. Instead of trying to eat healthier, decide how exactly you plan to do that. Maybe you want to eat an extra serving of vegetables every day, or maybe you want to drink water instead of soda. Next, decide how you plan to measure the results. Do you want to lose a certain number of pounds, or do you care more about inches? What’s your time frame for achieving these results? Keep in mind that healthy weight loss for women is 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Include Occasional Treats
When we said you don’t have to deprive yourself, we meant it. Eating your favorite dessert or high-fat food every now and then will prevent you from binging later on. Make your treat day count by choosing something you love and eat it slowly so that you can savor it.
You’ll need to adjust the rest of your diet to account for the extra calories, of course. For example, if you’re ordering dessert with your dinner, you may want to change your side of fries to a salad and skip that glass of wine. How often you treat yourself depends on how often you’re willing to adjust your other meals.
You can still enjoy your meals when you’re on a diet, such as a low-carb diet. Gradually make small changes, include healthy foods, and indulge every now and then. Most importantly, don’t give up. You may not see results right away, but your efforts will pay off in the long run.