Are you tired of diet tips espoused by people with apparently unlimited income and time?
For a lot of us, it may just not be practical to spend half of our Sunday preparing carefully portioned meals for the rest of the week, or financially feasible to buy all our meals prepackaged in just the right portions.
And there are those of us who cringe at the thought or mention of weighing food to achieve "optimal portion sizes."
Here are 10 free diet tips for practical people...
1. Eating out a lot? Restaurant portions tend to be enormous, and if it's on the plate, we are inclined to eat it. If it's possible, order from the kids menu or select an appetizer, where portions are more reasonably sized. You can also split an entree.
2. Keep healthy snacks and make them easily accessible. A bowl of fruit on the kitchen table, a container of celery or carrot sticks in the fridge, or a couple of pop-open cans of fruit salad in your desk at work will help you grab for something healthy when those first snaking desires begin.
3. Substitute frozen vegetables for canned. Canned vegetables tend to be high in sodium, which you don't need, and low in real nutrition, which you do. Use economy size bags with zip closures to make it easy to pour out a single serving for a meal.
4. Get a vegetable steamer. Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook veggies. The food retains nearly all of its natural nutrients as opposed to leaching them out into the cooking water. Even better, it makes your veggies taste great -- which means you'll be more likely to eat them instead of filling up on fatty foods.
5. Never eat standing up. One of the easiest ways to sabotage your diet is to "eat without thinking." Treat eating with the respect it deserves. Fix yourself a plate and sit down and eat properly. You'll be less likely to just pop food into your mouth without paying attention.
6. Spread out your meals. When you eat three meals a day, your body tends to store whatever it doesn't need at that moment. By adopting a "grazing" habit, you'll keep your metabolism working throughout the day. Have a small breakfast, a piece of fruit with crackers or toast at mid-morning, a light lunch and an "after school snack" mid-afternoon. Just remember that you're breaking up the same amount of food into smaller meals, not ADDING more food to your daily diet.
7. Grab a fruit juice instead of soda. Soda is nothing but empty calories. No nutrients, lots of sugar and carbonation. Grab a bottle of 100% fruit juice, or pure water.
8. Drink water. When you're dieting, you should drink even more. It's not just that full feeling -- water helps your body digest properly and cleans out your system.
9. Can't afford a gym membership? Make a pact with friends and exercise together. Set a date at least three times a week to play volleyball, take a walk, or spend half an hour doing something active.
10. Skip on the potato chips. Fatty snacks fried in hydrogenated oil like potato chips contribute fat and calories and are terrible for you. Instead, grab a handful of dried fruit or a cup of yogurt. You'll get the same amount of calories and these contain a lot more nutritional benefit
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