Train your brain to eat these foods and jump off the dieting train. When you have a workout plan, a healthy mind-set and allow yourself to eat whatever you want in moderation, you can give up dieting, forever! A healthy lifestyle is all about balance.
Compromise, don't deprive
Breaking old habits is hard to do. But when you get into the groove and routine of things, you can retrain your brain to reach for something healthy instead of a handful of potato chips. Dieting is not necessary as it often sets you up to fail. Deprivation is no fun. Tell yourself that you absolutely cannot have a glass of wine for a week and what is the first thing your taste buds want? A glass of wine. Forbid yourself from having a cookie, and suddenly all you can think about is cookies! Remove the words "forbidden" and "deprive" from your food vocabulary. If you really, really, really want a brownie sundae, have it. But don't order an appetizer AND a frozen cocktail for GNO Friday. Think, balance.
Portion control is key
"Everything in moderation" is a wonderful saying for a reason. If you practice portion control, maintain a healthy everyday "diet" and exercise, there is really no reason why you cannot eat whatever you want, within reason. Of course this does not mean that at lunch you should eat a greasy cheeseburger and an extra-large order of fries because you were on the treadmill this morning. In fact, once you "retrain" your brain, you will find yourself wanting to eat even more healthily.
Change your plate size for a while. Instead of using large dinner plates, consider using salad plates for your dinners. This will help you think about portion control. Fill at least half of your plate with vegetables. The other fourth can be a carbohydrate like pasta or rice and then the other fourth needs to be your protein. Balance. Plan healthy meals, all day, every day.
What to eat?
If you are not a big breakfast eater, try to have at least something. Try to eat something like oatmeal with fruit or make a protein drink. A smoothie/protein drink in the morning can consist of 1/4 cup of low-fat Greek yogurt, 2 cups soy milk (or almond milk or low-fat milk), a frozen banana and a handful of spinach. (The spinach has no taste, and it is so healthy for you!) Mid-morning when you start getting hungry, grab an apple, cut it and dip each quarter in some peanut butter or almond butter. Have a sandwich bag with 1/2 cup of almonds to nibble on when you want something with a "crunch." Invest in an insulated lunch bag so you can pack a smart lunch (or keep the following in the refrigerator). For lunch, have 1 cup of mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) and 1 cup of low-fat or fat-free yogurt and half of a turkey sandwich with avocado spread on both sides of the bread, arugula or spinach and a tomato, if desired, on whole grain bread. Balance.
A mid-afternoon snack should be something healthy. Think vegetables and hummus or fat-free ranch dip. Have a banana and 1 tablespoon of Nutella instead of running to the vending machine for a candy bar. Think of that word, "balance" again. For dinner, have grilled or roasted chicken breast, and slice up half of the chicken breast for tomorrow's lunch. The next day, lunch should consist of a spinach salad and the leftover chicken. Cut up watermelon to put on your salad. It also acts as a "dressing," which saves on calories but flavors your salad.
Keep drinking, but drink water
Staying hydrated with water should not just be something you think of when "dieting." Water should be an all-day, everyday habit. Slice lemons, limes and oranges very thin and add them to a pitcher of water. Keep that in your refrigerator and drink it all day. If you are away from home, keep lemons, limes and oranges and a knife with you to cut them. Squeeze the citrus into your water and drink the "fruit" water instead of a soda. As the weather warms up, keep fresh fruit in the freezer as "fruit won't dilute." Place frozen strawberries, raspberries and watermelon in your water, and add a bit of freshly-squeezed lime juice. For a "treat," have some chocolate soy milk or almond milk. Want a handful of chocolate chips? Have them. Remember, there's no forbidding or depriving on the "anti-dieting" menu.
In addition to the healthy food options, remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle by working out and doing yoga. A healthy eating lifestyle contributes to a balanced lifestyle, which allows for more "splurges" every now and then and kicks that "anti-dieting menu" into high gear!
More on healthy eating
7 Simple ways to maintain a healthy weight
6 Healthy eating myths debunked
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