4 nutrition tips to help you lose weight
If weight loss is your goal, some simple nutritional changes can be a great way to help you look and feel better. Lindsay Smore, RD, shared these tips to help you kick start that weight loss you’ve been wanting to tackle.
Drink plenty of water.
Proper hydration helps keep your body moving all the good things in and the bad things out. Poor hydration can slow your metabolism and make weight loss more challenging. Increasing your water intake may also decrease your sugary beverage and soda intake. Even diet soda has been associated with weight gain. Try to drink only caffeine-free beverages as well. Caffeinated beverages actually dehydrate you, and lead to increased hunger. Aim to drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces every day. Remember these tips:
- Try to put a glass of water in front of your toothbrush or coffee pot and drink a glass when you first wake up.
- Think phone, wallet, keys, water bottle. Everywhere you go. Your proper hydration is probably even more important than your phone in your day.
- Set alarms to remind you to finish water bottles during the day.
Plan ahead and cook more at home.
Cooking at home helps you choose better ingredients and healthier recipes. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Most meal decisions are based on convenience over taste. Eating out for every meal is, on average, three times more expensive than cooking at home. Additionally, driving to pick up the meals often saves you no more time than it would take to cook. Remember these tips:
- Choose what you want to cook ahead of time and make a shopping list.
- Cook for more than just one meal at a time. Make extras for lunches and easy-to-heat-up meals throughout the week.
- Start small. Choose easy recipes and grow your cooking skills gradually.
- At the beginning of the week, prepare large amounts of items you can use for meals throughout the week like brown rice, quinoa, salads and grilled chicken.
- Have a stockpile of vegetables in the freezer for quick cooking or steaming.
Avoid skipping meals.
Eating all your meals throughout the day will help you stay on track and avoid pitfalls or cravings. Every meal should have four elements – a carbohydrate (starch or fruit), a lean protein, a small amount of healthy fat and tons of vegetables. Pushing off eating until you are starving will often lead to weight gain. Remember these tips:
- Create a plan B breakfast. Have some items that you can grab and go quickly in the morning when you are in a rush. Make time for a couple bites of food.
- Aim for half of your plate to be vegetables. If vegetables are new for you, start small. Put a couple on your plate. Gradually start to try them. The ones that you like, add larger and larger portions. Experiment with how you are preparing your vegetables, this can make them more palatable. They don’t have to be your favorite part of the meal, but they are still great for your health.
- Know what you are going to eat tomorrow, today. Having a quick game plan, even if it is what you will order at a meal out, will help you make better decisions in the moment.
Improve your sleep.
Sleep can be one of the greatest tools toward improving your nutritional health. Not only is your metabolism directly affected by your sleep volume and quality, but sleep helps you make more rational decisions about food choices. It also helps you avoid snoozing and missing out on breakfast. Remember these tips:
- Set a regular time to get to bed. We set bedtimes for our kids, but sleep is just as important to adults. Have a bedtime alarm to improve consistent sleep.
- Drink your water more toward the beginning of the day to avoid extra midnight bathroom trips.
- Avoid screens and social media before bed. Read a book or work on a puzzle to decompress.
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