In the past two years that I've written this blog, our nutritionists and health experts have shared tons of tips on how to improve your diet.
I've put together a list of my favorite tips that can help you to keep off the pounds in the new year.
1. Choose Your Diet Plan WiselyOpt a diet plan with proven results, such as Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem.
Avoid Atkins, South Beach or Paleo – they ban essential nutrients and will leave you hungry.
See: Diet Plans That Are Too Good to Be True; And Those that Really Work!
2. Focus on Improvement, Not PerfectionWhen you make a mistake – maybe you chose pizza for lunch or ate a candy bar after dinner – don't be too hard on yourself. Focus on your successes, not your failures.
Ask yourself, “Am I improving?” instead of looking for perfection.
By focusing on your progress, you can approach mistakes in a kinder, gentler way and recognize them for what they are: opportunities to learn, not signs that you’re doomed to failure.
See: 6 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Without Exercise
3. Watch Your SodiumExtra sodium in your diet can cause high blood pressure and put you at risk of stroke and heart failure.
Foods high in sodium include pizza, pasta, hamburgers, meat and bread.
Choose recipes with no more than 600 mg of sodium per meal. Visit our Pinterest boards for recipes that are low in sodium.
See: 4 Ways to Make Time to Cook.
4. Go Vegetarian for One or Two Nights Each WeekEat one or two meatless meals per week. Options include veggie burgers, pita bread and hummus, chili and baked beans.
Se: Smart Eating: Eat 1 or 2 Meatless Meals Per Week
5. Avoid Bad-for-you IngredientsWhen grocery shopping, choose whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat breads and brown rice, as opposed to their white counterparts.
“Refined” or “Enriched” ingredients should be avoided. Also avoid added sugars (sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, maple syrup, or raw sugar).
See: Smart Eating: Choose Whole Grains Instead of Refined Grains
6. Drink Two Cups of Water Before You EatIt has been found that people who drank two cups of water right before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal.
In fact, over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake.
7. Make a Healthy Dessert
Even when you're eating healthy, you don't have to go cold-turkey on dessert. Smart choices include:
- Lemon ice
- Italian ice
- Cakes and cookies made with applesauce and yogurt
- Desserts made with olive oil (see: Olive Oil Desserts)
- Dark chocolate, containing at least 70% cacao
- Trail mix