Tips for Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals
Healthy eating isn’t always easy, especially when you’re busy and pulled in many directions. Even though your intentions are good, you argue that you’re too tired to cook a balanced meal, you’re too busy or healthy foods are just too expensive. Although the increasing availability of fast food and convenience items makes it seem like these are your only options, eating healthy doesn’t have to be out of reach. But a diet isn’t the answer, either. You need a plan.
Plan to Succeed
Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Healthy eating requires some planning. It’s more difficult to slip up and sink your teeth into that fast food burger when you have a healthy meal packed in your lunchbox. Spend an hour or two on the weekend planning out your meals and snacks for the entire week. Once you’ve got your meal plan down, make a shopping list and hit the stores where you can purchase items in bulk. Doing so is not only time-effective; it’s usually cost-effective, too. Schedule a few hours on Sunday afternoons or evenings preparing meals for the next three days or the entire week. It may seem time-consuming at first, but planning ahead will actually save you time in the long run.
Start Your Day Right
Don’t skip breakfast. Eating breakfast provides you with the energy you need to get through your day and leads to increased concentration. Studies have shown that when you eat a satisfying breakfast, you’re also less likely to overeat throughout the day. It also helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Smoothies are a quick, accessible option when you’re on the go, but avoid the commercial chains since their smoothies are often loaded with sugar and calories and are usually very expensive. It’s easy to make your own. Start with frozen fruit; add some almond milk, a handful of spinach and a scoop of all-natural peanut butter or almond butter. Sprinkle in some chia seeds or flaxseed for a boost of fiber and pour it into a to-go mug as you run out the door.
A Healthy Snack at All Times
Snacks are key to eating healthy when you’re busy and rushing around. Having one or two healthy snacks a day can curb your hunger and help prevent binging on unhealthy options at the last minute. Keep a bag of raw almonds or cashews and some dried fruit in your car or desk drawer. Throw an apple or a banana into your purse or briefcase on your way out the door. Keep your refrigerator stocked with cut-up veggies and small plastic containers of hummus or all-natural nut butters for dipping. Healthy snacking helps keep your blood sugar levels even, especially if you combine a carbohydrate-rich food like whole grains, fruits or vegetables with protein foods like nuts or dairy products for the most filling snacks. This is especially helpful for diabetics, but also beneficial for people without diabetes, since large spikes and dips in blood sugar levels may make insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure more likely over time.
Celebrate Success and Forgive Failures
Make time in your busy life to celebrate your healthy eating and weight loss success. Reward yourself with a new pair of jeans, a new workout outfit, or a night out with friends. But be sure to mark the milestones somehow because celebrating will motivate you to continue! No matter how hard you try, having a busy lifestyle means there’s probably going to be a day when you just can’t avoid ordering takeout, but getting a meal on the run doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Stay away from value meals and tailor your choices to your new lifestyle. And be sure to forgive yourself a lapse now and then. Nobody is perfect and it is better to forgive then give up.