After battling breast cancer, I decided to change my eating habits. Healthier foods and smaller portion sizes helped me accomplish a 70-pound weight loss. Follow my tips below, and you too can enjoy being slimmer this summer!
Make keeping a food diary a habit. Whenever I eat something, I automatically log it in the food diary on my phone. Tracking my food in a public food diary helps to curb my tendencies to overeat or eat unhealthily. Logging my meals daily is the single most important dietary adjustment I have made.
Read food labels, and choose lighter options. A quick scan of the labels to find the lighter breads, cheeses, yogurts, etc., can save hundreds of calories per day. I was able to switch back to full-fat products when I wanted to stop losing weight.
Bring easy, healthy snacks on road trips. I do not want to be stuck snacking on chips at a rest stop, so I bring my own snacks when I travel. Fresh fruit, vegetables and dip, low-fat yogurt, popcorn, hard-boiled eggs, and pretzels are some of my favorites.
Learn the best options at the major chain restaurants in your area. I search the nutrition information of restaurants online to find healthy and low-calorie meals. That way I am able to make good choices quickly if I am out and need to get a meal. Sometimes a virtuous sounding menu item ends up being surprisingly high-calorie, so it is wise to check ahead.
Come up with a list of fast, healthy dinner ideas for those busy weeknights. Rotisserie chicken, omelets, fresh fish, and microwave-in-bag vegetables all take less time to prepare than hitting the drive-thru. They are healthier as well.
Tell family and friends that you are working on improving your health. I did not want to force a lifestyle change on my family and friends, but I did not want them to inadvertently sabotage me either. My husband started leaving his junk food in his car, or the back of the freezer, so that I would not face temptation. If you get lucky, you may even find a health buddy who wants to make improvements in their diet along with you.
Find a support system online. It was helpful to me to talk to others about their struggles to maintain a healthier diet. A quick web search for “calorie counting communities” should get you in touch with knowledgeable food diary veterans, as well as people who are just starting out.
Accept that some days will not be perfect, and that is no reason to quit. I have days that are less healthy than others. I try to do better the next day, and I do not let it bother me too much. When I am eating unhealthy foods, I still try to stick to my calorie goals. This is a lifestyle change, and as in life, bad days will happen.