One of the most effective ways to lose weight and enjoy a healthier lifestyle is to eat a well-balanced diet.
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Dieting may seem like an insurmountable goal, but there are many ways you can gradually improve your eating habits.
Trying to force a completely new diet rarely works. You need to give your body time to adjust to new foods.
It may not seem like you are making progress, but easing into a healthy diet not only improves your odds of success, but it is often healthier overall than trying to force your eating habits to change overnight.
Swap Sugary Drinks for Healthier Alternatives
The first step toward switching to healthier eating is identifying the foods you want to cut from your current diet.
A great place to start is not with the food you eat, but your drinks. Many beverages are surprisingly high in calories.
Most dieters know soda can be unhealthy, but many juices are also loaded with sugars. Even certain teas and coffees can be high in calories.
Not only are these drinks considered unhealthy, but liquids are not as filling as solid foods. This means you are not only consuming calories with unhealthy drinks, but you are more likely to feel hungry and add even more calories later.
Cutting out unhealthy beverages does not mean you are limited to only drinking water. When you are buying beverages, look for drinks without extra sweeteners and sugars.
If you are not ready to eliminate caffeine completely, try to limit the number of unhealthy beverages you drink each day, and try to purchase diet variations whenever possible.
Plan Your Meals in Advance
A common reason diets fail is because of cravings. If you are starting a new diet, try and plan your meals ahead of time, and always make sure you give yourself a “cheat” day.
If you are struggling with a diet, do not be afraid to modify your schedule to add in a few extra cheat days. You can also try and switch your meals up.
For example, start with incorporating healthy breakfasts, like eggs, Greek yogurt or oatmeal. Replace your unhealthy snacks with healthier alternatives, like fruit instead of chips.
Leave some room for sweets and similar foods so you do not end up craving them later and risk breaking your diet. Ideally, as you get more comfortable with your diet, you’ll crave these unhealthy foods less and less and will naturally replace them with healthier options.
Another advantage of planning meals in advance is that it gives you something to look forward to. If you are struggling, remind yourself you have a cheat day over the weekend.
Planning your meals also means there is less risk of spontaneous eating. Whenever possible, stick to a set schedule, such as eating breakfast or dinner around the same time each day.