Dieting and weight loss can be difficult. Learn healthy eating habits to help you lose weight and keep it off. Try these 5 tips to help you reach your goals.
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Healthy Eating Habits for Weight Loss
Achieving sustainable weight loss starts with developing healthy eating practices. If you've struggled to lose weight in the past, you know how difficult it is to implement a new diet. Instead of trying specific diets, focus on developing long-term healthy habits that will help you lose weight and keep weight off over time. Keep reading to learn some simple tips for developing eating habits that can help you reach your personal weight loss goals.
5 Tips to Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals
Consider these five tips to help you reach your weight loss goals.
1. Consume Fruits, Vegetables, Lean Proteins, and Complex Carbohydrates
Planning your meals in advance is one way to support a balanced dieting approach, focusing on meals consisting of whole foods. When meal planning or prepping, it's important to strike the right balance of whole foods. For example, your meals should contain a mix of varying colors of fruits and vegetables (making up about 50% of each meal). About 25% of your plate should contain complex carbohydrates from whole grains, such as oats or whole wheat pasta.
Lastly, 25% of your meal should consist of lean protein. Examples of lean proteins include high-quality eggs, nuts, and chicken. By sticking to this general guideline, you'll help ensure you fuel your body with the appropriate levels of each of the three major macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
2. Eat Small Meals Throughout the Day
Meal timing is another important habit to consider to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Many fad diets promote varying meal times, which may work against your weight loss goals. Instead of standard diets that promote three large meals, try breaking up your meals into smaller, more frequent ones.
Eating smaller meals throughout the day can help you boost your metabolism, requiring your body to work harder to process your meals. In addition, studies suggest that smaller meals throughout the day can keep your energy levels higher, fueling more energy for your workouts. In addition, consuming smaller meals throughout the day can help reduce feelings of hunger, preventing overeating and binging on unhealthy foods.
3. Stay Hydrated and Full
Another important healthy habit to pay attention to is your water consumption. Consuming enough water throughout the day signals a "full feeling" to your brain, reducing feelings of hunger. Many studies have suggested that water serves as a natural appetite suppressant that can help support your dieting efforts. In addition, several studies have suggested that consuming water can help your body burn more calories throughout the day.
Furthermore, by focusing on drinking only water, you'll eliminate your consumption of calorie-dense and sugary drinks such as juices and sodas. This is one of the easiest dieting tips!
4. Limit Processed and Sugary Foods
As you practice new healthy eating habits, you'll quickly learn the right types of foods to consume. When you switch to diets that are focused on whole foods, you'll naturally eliminate processed and sugary foods. Consumption of foods high in sugar, such as ice cream, baked goods and snacks, and sodas is directly linked to excess weight gain. Even worse, processed foods are high in sodium, which can also cause high blood sugar. Cutting down on processed foods and foods with added sugars can vastly improve your health and make it easier to sustain a normal body weight over the long run.
5. Be Mindful of Portion Sizes and Overeating
Consuming proper portion sizes will help ensure you're eating the appropriate amount of calories each day. Overeating and consuming portion sizes that are too large result in the intake of too many calories and, thus, weight gain. As you develop new healthy eating habits, it's important to pay attention to appropriate portion sizes.
To help guide you in the beginning stages of your weight loss journey, it may be helpful to measure or weigh your food. This can be done with measuring cups or a simple kitchen scale. Weigh your food according to the portion sizes listed on the packaging. Over time, you'll begin to learn the appropriate amount of food to fuel your body with.
When dining out, portion sizes are almost always too large. Restaurant portions are often twice as large as they should be! As such, pay close attention to how much you eat when dining out. (Ask for a to-go box or order a half portion.)
Learning Healthy Eating Habits
As you embark on your weight loss journey, remember to be patient with yourself as you develop new healthy eating habits. Dieting takes consistency and commitment. While you might have tried other diets before, many dieting plans promote unhealthy eating habits.
With these five eating habits for weight loss in mind, you'll soon be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Focus on consuming a well-rounded diet with whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. In addition, consume smaller meals throughout the day, drink lots of water, limit sugary foods, and be mindful of portion sizes.
Teaching yourself new habits can take time. Slowly implement these five suggestions to help you achieve your weight loss goals.