The top 5 things you can do to improve your health permanently:
Stay Hydrated: There was a study a few years ago that found that most overweight people have lost their ability to determine thirst from hunger. If you have the urge to put something in your mouth, think about how much water you have had to drink. You might just be thirsty!
Keep some junk in the house: I cringe when I hear people clearing out their kitchens and buying only healthy food in order to “jumpstart” their diet. What happens when you are headed home from a long day at work and all you have to eat at home is fish, chicken, broccoli and berries? Well, if it was me I would probably hit the drive through! Getting healthier doesn’t mean being perfect. Any meal cooked at home (even most that can be microwaved) is a better choice than a #3 at the drive thru. Also keep some sweet stuff in the freezer (in our case it is the garage freezer so we have to work a little for it). Snack sized candy, breakfast cereals and salty snacks in moderation can actually help you stick to your diet and keep you from feeling deprived. Just remember 1 serving is 1 serving!
Always have a backup plan: Carry snacks in your car, snacks at your desk, snacks in your purse! Yes dudes, you are going to have to start carrying a purse if you want to get healthier. ;-) I have an arsenal of easy non-perishable foods that fit lots of needs. 100 calorie granola bars when I need something to tide me over, Zone bars that make a great small and balanced meal, almond tins for when I am craving fat or just plain hungry, electrolytes when I should have eaten but need to workout. I never have an excuse to be starving and lethargic. It keeps me on track so I have the energy to go and I never have the urge to “overdo” or make bad choices on my next meal because I was over hungry.
Educate yourself: I have learned what to eat because it became my job several years ago, I know how many calories are in a shot of whiskey. (Hard alcohol is measured by its proof. Whatever the proof of the drink is you add 20 to that to get the amount of calories.) I know that low fat peanut butter actually has more calories and sugar than regular peanut butter. I know how much fat, protein, and carbs I need to stay satisfied and full of energy every day. I learned most of these lessons from FOOD LOGGING! It is the best way to learn what applies to YOU and your food. Nutrition books help too, just stay away from fad diet books and stay on track with books aimed at athletes and a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Don’t give up what you want the most for what you want right now: When I was working on losing my weight I often fixated on the fat when I was at the gym, shopping, and showering. Once I parked my butt on the couch I was in LaLa snack land. Nolan suggested I do pushups or crunches when I had the urge to snack due to emotional hunger. It worked! So does taking a shower… the whole naked thing is hard to ignore! Seriously, keep your mind on the goal and success will come.
Good luck and remember that a better body comes from a healthier lifestyle, you need to stay healthy for life if you want a great body for life!