From Supermarket To the Dinner Table
Healthy Eating Tips for Weight Loss
At the Store: Healthy Food Shopping
Sometimes the hardest part of starting a diet is reconciling your busy lifestyle with the healthy foods you should be eating—sometimes this is not the most convenient thing to do. What is crucial for your weight loss success is that you stock your kitchen with all the right foods so that you have them ready to go with you.
Here are some foods to pick up at the store that are high in protein and/or fiber and low in fat. Some or all of them will make great snacks or meals as you start a new eating plan:
- 100 calorie snack packs
- Cut veggies like carrots and celery
- Fresh fruit, washed and ready to eat
- Fruit cups
- Pre-portioned nuts and almonds
- Protein bars
- Protein drinks
- String cheese
- Yogurt cups
- Yogurt dip and veggies or fruit to dip in it
If your life was perfect, you’d be able to sit down to a healthy, well-prepared meal with your family every night. OK, in a perfect context, you wouldn’t need to start a diet plan. Instead of changing your lifestyle to accommodate healthy eating habits, make those healthy eating habits fit your life by stocking up your fridge and pantry with foods fitting perfectly into your diet plan.
When you’ve stockpiled healthy, nutritious food in your kitchen, it’s downright easy to stick with an eating plan. If you always have a healthy snack on hand, you won’t have to hit up the snack machine or drive thru.
Overeating or going off plan is often due to lack of planning. Making sure you always have a healthy snack at the ready will keep you focused and on track.
In Your Kitchen: Healthy Food Preparation
Preparation is a significant factor in one’s success, particularly when it comes to achieving weight loss goals. One way to prepare for dieting success is to portion your food straight out of the bag from the grocery store. Portioning your foods this way will allow you to have healthy food choices always available so that you can grab and go.
How does this work? Take your veggies, for example. When you bring home vegetables, instead of putting them directly into the crisper, peel, chop and divide them into one cup portions that you can store in plastic baggies or small containers in the fridge for when you’re ready to eat.
Non-veggie items such as crackers, nuts and potato chips can also be divided into smaller bags for portion control and stored for when you need them. Many of these items are sold in smaller packages at the store but often these are more expensive than the larger bags or boxes.
Another portioning option is to prep a mixed fruit salad (like a veggie salad) in a large bowl to keep in the fridge. You can scoop fruit out quickly at meal time instead of stopping to prepare fruit before eating. Whole fruit can be washed and placed in a bowl for immediate or later consumption. The trick here is to make sure that fruit is ready one way or another so that it’s convenient to eat. The more available healthy foods are for you in correct portions, the more likely you are to eat them and experience success in your weight loss plan.
Prepare and keep healthy food portions handy—this will ensure that you save time and money. Once your snacks or meal components are ready, you can just grab what you need and get going. The power in this strategy lies in preparing your foods directly when you get home from the grocery store.
Once you’re home from the supermarket with your groceries, make sure to do the following:
- Wash off your produce
- Cut up fruits and veggies as necessary
- Store single servings in small bags or containers and put them in the fridge
- Keep a bowl of washed whole pieces of fruit in the fridge so you can grab it for a quick snack
- Prepare a bowl of mixed fruit so that you can scoop out portions for meals
- Portion out small servings of snack foods so that you can eat those when ready and control the amount of nuts, crackers, etc that you eat each time.
Preparation and planning are key in staying on track with your food plan, especially when you are busy with various aspects of your life. Portioning out your foods will not only save you calories, it will be easier on your schedule and your wallet as well.
On the Dinner Table: Portion Out Your Plate
We’ve covered what to buy at the supermarket to stay focused on your diet and how to portion out fruits, veggies and other foods so that you’re always eating something on-plan rather than off. Now I want to discuss meal time portions and hunger cues.
When it comes to hunger cues at meal times, there are some useful suggestions for making sure you are satisfied without overeating. Some dieters abhor having to measure their food as part of an eating plan (ok, I’m one of them). The technique I’m going to outline next will allow you to eat healthy meals without measuring and counting plus weight loss will naturally follow.
To start, plan on filling half your plate with veggies for every meal. Generally, people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables before starting a diet so often this is a habit that needs to be broken to ensure healthy weight loss. There are many ways you can fill your plate with veggies at meal time. Try serving one or some of the following vegetables:
- Green beans
Once half of you
A taco meets this requirement as well. The shell is a carb while the filling of beef or chicken is the protein portion. Half of your plate would have the taco and the other half would be filled with veggies. This plate portioning guarantees you each foods low in calories yet rich in nutrients.
Whenever you sit down to eat a meal, imagine your plate filled with portions following these guidelines. Remember that half of your plate should be filled with vegetables, one quarter with carbs and another quarter of protein. Eating this way will help you give the body the nutrients it needs for health and healthy weight loss.
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