If you asked ten people how to lose weight and improve your nutrition, you would probably get ten different answers. One person may say, “try the Paleo Diet”, another may say, “Five small meals a day”, while another may say, “Carbs are the enemy…avoid them.” There are a number of different ways you can change your diet to lose weight and improve nutrition. But when it comes down to it, there are really only four core principles you need to adhere to.
Check out these core principles and ensure that any diet you chose or plan you make has these at the core…
1. Use Smaller Plates
One sure way to lose weight is to simply eat fewer calories. One proven way to eat fewer calories is to use smaller plates. I grew up learning that we need to eat all the food on our plate. And if we didn’t, we heard, “there are children starving in Africa, so you better clean your plate.” So, to this day, I eat everything on my plate. Even the buffets say, “Take all you can eat, but eat all you take.” If you’re the type of person who “cleans your plate,” consider using a smaller plate. This will enforce smaller portion sizes which will inherently cause you to eat fewer calories. And fewer calories each day typically results in weight loss.
2. Eat Sequentially
“Eat your vegetables” is something I’m sure every parent has told their child. Not bad advice, but even better advice would be to say, “Eat your vegetables FIRST.” When you eat foods rich in nutrients and vitamins first, they tend to satisfy your hunger. So, eating your vegetables first will actually fill you up a bit and cause you to eat less of the second item on your plate, which is typically something like macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes, which tend to pack on more calories than healthy vegetables. Simply eating the healthier foods first will cause you to eat less of the unhealthier foods, so the sequence in which you eat your foods is just as important.
It’s funny, I always eat one thing at a time. I also always eat my vegetables first. Not because they are the healthiest, but I remember them as being the least fun thing on my plate to eat. So, I would eat them first, to get them out of the way, to move on to the others. I didn’t really realize my sequential eating was a good thing.
3. Remove the Temptation
You know what I’m talking about. That bag of potato chips in the pantry, the cookies that melt in your mouth, and don’t get me started with Reese Cups. All of these foods taste great, are convenient to eat in a pinch, and are NOT GOOD FOR YOU. The convenience of these items in your house puts temptation in your face that you have to battle every time you get hungry or bored, for that matter. Remove these items from your house, or make them very inconvenient to get to. This will surely help cut some weight.
4. Have a Rhythm
Never, ever, wait until you’re hungry to eat. If you wait until you’re hungry to eat, then you will most likely eat more than you need. Binge eat much??? It’s best to have a regular rhythm to when you eat so you can avoid those hunger feelings and a need to gorge yourself in food. Have regular, frequent times you eat throughout the day. This will keep your hunger under control and help you avoid the binge eating that can kill a good week of dieting.
There are many complicated answers out there on what you can do to improve your weight loss and nutrition. When you’re overwhelmed with all the ways and opinions from others, go back to these core principles that will get the job done. It’s always best to keep things simple and do the simple things right. Implementing these core principles into your diet is a simple strategy to improve weight loss and nutrition and is easy to adhere to. Don’t worry about all the rules of all the different diets out there. Use these four core principles to change your life.