1. Eat a healthy breakfast. Include a high-fiber hot cereal like Red River, oat bran, or oatmeal, an egg or two, and a piece of fruit. Easy. Done.
2. Drink more water. Not only does it help you stay hydrated, water also helps you feel less hungry and it is a zillion times better for you than fruit juice or pop. If you love fruit juice, try to select brands that don’t add sugar and contain real fruit or invest in a juicer to make your own. The whole fruit has fiber that helps you fill up and stay regular so it is a superior choice – think about it – would you eat 5 whole oranges in one sitting? Mother nature knew what she was doing.
3. Change up your fitness routine! When you do the same thing all the time your body gets used to it so you need to change your workouts every 4-6 weeks to keep getting results. I recommend strength training for everyone because it increases your bone density (prevents osteoporosis & broken hips when you get older :D), burns lots of calories, and improves your muscular strength, endurance, or power, depending on what you do. Every workout plan should involve the following movements: a push, a pull, a squat, a lunge, core stability, and rotation. Training movements rather than single muscles activates more muscle mass and is much more functional. If you aren’t squating yet, learn how! It’s one of the best exercises you can do.
4. Eat new veggies. The produce isle is overflowing with different vegetables that you probably don’t recognize or know how to prepare. Take a look next time you go and write down one or two new veggies that you want to try. Google them when you get home and find out how they are typically used. If it sounds like something you might like, give it a try next time you go for groceries. Bring on the leeks, the kale, the bok choy!!
5. Eat reduced veggies. Peppers are one of my favourite vegetables but at $3.99 a pound they don’t come cheap! Most grocery stores have a little cart near the produce section where they place perishables in various stages of imperfection. Inspect carefully and choose only items that have spots that can be cut off. Avoid anything that is juicy, weird-smelling, or highly questionable. Otherwise, enjoy the 50% off discount and make a beautiful salad, a veggie platter for freshly made hummus, or a savory soup.
6. Stop eating out. Not only will you save money, but you will enjoy more time with your family, learn to cook some new meals, and save a ton of extra calories. Unless you are eating at high quality gourmet restaurants, you probably wouldn’t want to know what you are actually putting in your mouth. For example, a single hamburger at Harvey’s contains 390 calories, 16g of fat, and 960mg of sodium. A blueberry bran muffin at Timmy’s is no better – it has 300 calories, 10g of fat, 53g of carbs, and over 700mg of sodium. Yikes!
7. Have your last snack or meal 3 hours before bedtime. Eating before you go to bed increases your insulin hormone levels. This tells your body to store energy as fat instead of using it up. Try having veggies with hummus, 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with 1/2 cup frozen berries, or a small protein shake as your evening snack. Choices like these are less likely to spike your insulin and will keep your hunger at bay.
8. Get a hobby. Instead of spending time lounging in front of the TV or snacking mindlessly, find something to do that inspires you. Maybe it’s collecting postcards, starting a band, painting, or learning how to dance. Try something new – you might meet some new friends, find your calling, or just have a lot of fun!
9. Have a riot, not a diet! Diets suck and they don’t work over the long-term. Sure, you might lose weight for a while but it will come back with a vengeance and you will be fatter than when you started. I hate to bust your magic bubble but it is the truth. Instead, make changes that you can live with, have dessert once in a while, exercise, and love your life 😀 People who are happy are a lot less likely to eat when they are not hungry. Like I said, have a riot, not a diet – I guarantee you will have a lot more fun and that muffin top will disappear before you even realize it.