Instead of pouring sugary and fattening salad dressing on those beautiful fresh romaine and spinach leaves, use only balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. You’ll avoid unwanted additives on your delicious greens and reap the many benefits of adding olive oil into your diet such as weight control, improved heart health and glowing skin.
2. Don’t drink with meals
Ever wonder why you feel much more full when drinking while eating? Drinking with meals inhibits the body’s ability to produce digestive enzymes and properly digest what’s being eaten, leading to bloating and abdominal discomfort. What’s worse, because the food is not being digested it sits and rots in the digestive tract so the body is unable to extract important nutrients. Do yourself a favor and drink a glass of water ten to twenty minutes before sitting down to eat. If you must drink while eating, take small sips every so often of water or hot tea. Doing this will help prevent that overwhelming feeling of fullness and ensures that your food is properly digested, providing you with energy for the rest of the day.
3. Only drink water
Coffee or tea in the morning and a glass (or three) of wine with dinner is a staple for most people. However, during the day there are numerous options when it comes to drink choices- sodas, iced teas, sports drinks, vitamin enhanced waters- all of these have one thing in common and it’s sugar, and sugar means calories. Yes, even if it says diet, fat-free, or no calories, sugar turns into fat in your body and these drinks will undoubtedly cause you to gain weight. Water should be the only choice throughout the day as it is the number one thing our bodies need for optimal health. Being properly hydrated will keep you alert, cleanse your system, and keep your skin vibrant.
4. Keep flax meal and chia seeds on hand
Flax and chia seeds are excellent ways to fortify your meal without changing the flavor or adding extra calories. Flax is a fantastic source of fiber, which is extremely important in helping your liver metabolize fat properly, adds roughage to clean the digestive tract and helps detoxify your body. Chia seeds are a great source of protein to provide sustained energy throughout the day, and are an excellent source of omega 3 and 6, which help with concentration. You can add these two things to soups, salads, oatmeal, rice bowls, toast with jam or almond butter, or pastas. These whole foods will make a big difference in your meals or snacks, and will dramatically improve the way you feel.
5. Turn mindless snacking into smart snacking
Most people can’t go through the day on three meals alone, understandably so, which is why most of us turn to snacking. Whether it’s having something to munch on while doing mundane tasks at work or having that 3:00 muffin to get through the last hours of the day, everybody needs a boost between meals. When your body craves something it’s telling you it has a need. Unfortunately, however, a lot of the time this need is satisfied with a quick fix which is usually something processed – a snickers, protein bar, chips – something that doesn’t actually satiate the body’s need. That’s why it’s important to be prepared. Pack yourself snacks before your day starts so you don’t fill up on empty calories and sugar when the time comes.
Walnuts, almonds, cranberries and dark chocolate (72% cacao) chips are a great sweet and salty combo, provide omega 3 and 6 and are very filling. Chopped carrots and celery are healthy and refreshing, and are great dipped in fresh hummus or almond butter. It may feel weird at first to snack this way but after a few days your body will thank you and you’ll feel a lot more energized, not to mention guilt-free, when you’re done.
The best way to make healthy changes is to commit to doing one thing and gently incorporating it into your routine. Choose one of these suggestions to start with and see how it feels. Small, purposeful decisions lead to big results so see what works for you and notice the difference you feel.