Eating healthy is a key to healthy weight loss, but it’s not enough to just “go on a diet”. If you want long-term success, you need to incorporate healthy eating into your every day life. This may seem like a chore at first, but if you follow these tips, you’ll find that you enjoy eating healthy foods.

  1. Make it easy. One of the reasons that people tend to turn to unhealthy foods, such as fast foods or convenience foods from the supermarket, is that they are easier to prepare. It’s easier to order a pizza than it is to make a healthy dinner. If you want to make healthy eating a part of your lifestyle, do what you can to make it easy. For example, if you cut up your veggies as soon as you get home from the supermarket, it’s just as easy to snack on veggies as it is on chips. Another good idea is to double a recipe when you are cooking dinner. You can then save the extra portion in the freezer for another time.
  2. Be prepared. We also tend to fall prey to unhealthy foods when we are not prepared. For example, if you are out for the day and get hungry, you may make some unhealthy choices if you don’t have a snack with you. Always pack healthy snacks and have food on hand at home to make a meal.
  3. Shop the outside aisles. When you look at the layout of the grocery store, you’ll see that it’s the aisles on the inside that are stocked with the types of foods that you don’t want to eat — processed foods, chips, and cakes, for example. The aisles on the outside are the ones that contain the healthy foods, such as the produce and dairy sections. When grocery shopping, try to stick to these outside aisles. If you don’t bring unhealthy food home, you won’t be eating it.
  4. Watch your portions. Portion control is a huge factor in healthy weight loss. Restaurant portions are huge and have given us a distorted sense of how much we should be eating. While you may be careful about eating only a certain amount when you are actively trying to lose weight, those portion sizes can start to slowly increase when you try to maintain. To keep things in check, try purchasing smaller plates or continue to measure out your portions.
  5. Eat your veggies. Vegetables are an essential part of your diet. They are low in calories and high in nutrients. Furthermore, they can help you fill up, meaning that you’ll eat less of other high calorie foods. Try eating salad or broth-based soup before your meal to help you fill up. Make sure to choose a low calorie dressing.
  6. Go for whole grains. Whole grains are more nutritious than refined flours, so it’s a good idea to base your diet on whole grains. This means brown rice instead of white or whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Some people find making this switch challenging, as the flavors can be very different. If you’re not ready to make a complete switch, try to make sure that at least half of the grains that you eat are whole grains. Note that whole grains usually take longer to cook, so you cannot mix brown and white rice before cooking, but you could cook them separately and then mix.
  7. Stay hydrated. Everyone needs water to keep them going. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough. Doctors usually recommend at least 8 glasses of water a day, but if you are active or the weather is hot, you should aim for even more. This can help to fill you up so that you don’t eat as much. In fact, many people often reach for food when what their body actually needs is water.

Eating healthy should be a lifelong commitment, but it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing affair. Do your best to make healthy food choices. If you eat healthy most of the time, then it won’t be much of a problem if you have a treat every now and then. Remember, the goal is healthy weight loss — the only kind of weight loss that works in the long run.

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