Let's face it - when it comes to trying to eat the right kind of foods to help you achieve your ideal body composition, it can be tough. Especially when you're faced with lots of temptation that keeps trying to sabotage your efforts.
To simplify things, here are a few quick and EASY ways to help tweak your diet to promote results.
Stop drinking empty calories on the weekdays. Here's the deal - we all have to start somewhere. If you like to enjoy beverages like soft drinks of alcohol, you are adding up calories without even consuming food. One canned soft drink can be anywhere between 120-180 calories; if we start talking about alcohol and the things you might be mixing your drinks with, that's even higher! So let's start by simply cutting these out during the weekdays.
Cut the starches in half. Sometimes we don't even realize we're over eating our portions, especially when it comes to those yummy starches. Instead of having the whole baked potato with your dinner or two pieces of toast with your breakfast, try cutting it in half and replacing the missing portion with more veggies or just leave the plate empty. This is closer to what an actual serving is anyways and you can give your body some time to adjust.
Skip dessert. WHAT did she just say? As a sweet-tooth junkie myself, I know this is a tough one. But I'm not saying to give it up completely. But let's strive to make dessert a rarity rather than a normal occurrence on your menu. If this is a difficult task for you, make the same rules apply here as they did the empty calorie rule. Make week days no dessert days but allow treats in limits on the weekend.
Skip the creamy salad dressings. Did you know that Ranch dressing is by far the most popular salad dressing around? Yeah - I like it too! But it is also stuffed with fat and calories. Even if you opt for the low fat version, it doesn't mean it's low in calorie or sugar. Give your salad a switch by skipping the creamy dressing and top your salads with things like lime juice or a flavorful vinaigrette. If you can't seem to choke down a salad without a high fat dressing - it's better to opt out of the salad and steam up some vegetables you can enjoy without the sauces.
Don't clean your plate. Hard to believe, right? I was always part of the clean plate club growing up. My grandfather always told us that at dinner we could take all that we wanted but "eat what we take." The problem is, as time has progressed, we, as a society, have inflated our portion sizes to astronomical proportions. Let's talk about the fact that an average restaurant meal contains 3x the amount of food one portion should really equate to for an adult. When you're going out to eat, make a rule of eating only half or less of your entree and get a togo box immediately - or better yet, split a dish with the person you're dining with. At home, use the smaller plates in the cabinet and slow down to enjoy the food you're eating.