Heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity are all major problems in Texas and across the rest of the United States. While there are a variety of factors that contribute to these health conditions, diet is one of the most significant. If you want to lose weight or improve your overall health, taking a look at what you eat every day is one of the best places to start.
When people decide that they’re going to change their eating habits, they often dive into making a radical change. Although there are times when that makes sense, most attempts to follow a strict diet or similar plan end in failure. The reason that type of sudden and significant change generally isn’t best is it’s very hard to stick with.
Even if someone sees some initial success in the form of shedding a few pounds or feeling more energized throughout the day, there’s a very high likelihood that they will slip back into their old habits. What’s worse is when people do slip, they often end up gaining back any weight they lost and then more.
Although making better choices about food is hard, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The key to making changes that will stick and have a big impact is to start small. While small changes may not seem like much on their own, the cumulative effect of steadily adopting multiple changes over the course of 3 to 6 months can be very significant.
If you’re wondering what types of changes you should make, here are five that you can gradually work into your daily routine:
Start the Day with a Big Glass of Water
When you wake up in the morning, head to the kitchen and drink a large glass of water. By making a point of drinking at least 16 ounces of water when you first wake up, you’ll hydrate your body, help start up your metabolism and brain, as well as reduce urges you may have during the first part of your day to overeat.
Sit Down for Meals
Mindless eating is a common cause of eating too much. By actually sitting down to eat a meal, you’ll be able to focus on your food and enjoy feeling more satisfied.
Substitute Grilled or Baked Sides for Fried Ones
Improving your eating habits doesn’t mean you can never go out. A simple way to enjoy eating out without going overboard is to opt for a grilled or baked side instead of one that’s fried.
Pay Attention to Portions
One of the main reasons most people are consuming more calories is portion sizes have gotten considerably larger. That’s why you don’t need to feel pressured to eat your entire plate. And before you go back for a second serving, give your body a few minutes to process your food so you’ll know if you’re actually still hungry.
Be Careful About Snacking
Although smart snacking can be a useful weight loss or management tool, be careful about foods like nuts that can be surprisingly high in calories even when eaten in small quantities.