Feel defeated in your quest to get healthier? Here are some tweaks for weight loss from a Registered Dietitian to help you lose weight without feeling deprived.
Weight loss can be very dramatic
Someone who drinks 2,000 calories a day can decide to give up Coke and drop lots of pounds fairly quickly.
But most of the time, weight loss comes in very small packages.
Most of us just need to make some very small changes to our lifestyle in order to tip the snowball effect in the healthier direction.
These little tweaks for weight loss lead to a gradual loss over time (weight gain also works this way too, unfortunately!)
Luckily small tweaks can make weight loss happen almost without noticing.
Here are 7 tweaks I have made lately to aim to create some deeper dips in my squiggly line.
7 Diet Tweaks For Weight Loss
1. Brush your teeth after lunch
One change that has made quite a bit of an impact is brushing my teeth after lunch. I can’t tell you how often I just want to eat to have something change the way my mouth tastes.
When I worked outside of the home I often brushed after lunch, but at home it’s easier to just pop a piece of chocolate. Instead of looking for something sweet, I’ve been brushing and any nibbling that used to happen from 1-4pm is no more.
2. Keep any dessert in your house to a minimum.
I used to keep chocolate chips on hand for a batch of cookies, some ice cream in the freezer for a Saturday night, Biscoff cookies and dark chocolate bars for unexpected company or an every-now-and-then craving. For the longest time I could resist them.
One of the bags of dark chocolate chunks I ate this spring for dessert I had had since a blog conference years before!
Something to do with breastfeeding or my emotions/hormones after having a baby caused all of my self control to go out the window. I didn’t get rid of any of the desserts – I ate them all gradually over time. And then I refused to buy more.
I no longer feel deprived because there’s nothing in the house to deprive myself of. I am a very all-or-nothing type and I find it’s easier to not have any available than it is to know it’s there and resist. Willpower is hard, so I try not to even test it.
3. Go grocery shopping when you’re full.
Speaking of not buying more, I’ve been going grocery shopping when I’m satisfied and feeling healthy and motivated. After a workout, perhaps. And I usually go in the mornings verses the late afternoon.
I make better choices while there and then the food in my house is healthier and more nutrient dense when I get home.
I’m stocking up on whole grains like brown rice and quinoa, healthy fats like avocados and Gratisfied bars for snacking, Greek yogurt and eggs for protein at the morning meal, and tons of fresh fruit and vegetables for sides and salads. A well-stocked fridge is your best offense for a healthy life!
4. Lighten up snacks
My favorite afternoon snack is a bowl of yogurt topped with granola, peanut butter and any other crunchy toppings. It’s really filling, but also can really pack a lot of calories into a few bites.
While there’s nothing unhealthy about this combo, I’m sure I don’t need a snack that big to get me to dinner. Instead of a yogurt bowl I’ve been turning to the fruit bowl and I’ve kept the granola out of the house for the short term (along with other foods that are way too easy/fun to overeat).
I’ll still add some yogurt or crunch to my fruit in the form of cereal or chia seeds, but I make the fruit the star of the show. This is especially fun now that berry and stone fruit season is here!
I have noticed, too, that often in the afternoons I am simply thirsty! Drinking water with bubbles or sipping tea all count for your daily glasses of water and help your stomach feel full. Note I am NOT saying drink water if you’re hungry, but drink water first to rule out thirst and then have a snack if your body is asking for food : )
5. Have a vegetable-based lunch
In the spirit of eating more salads, I’ve been having a salad for lunch everyday. My proteins and toppings change, but the salad is the same.
The good news is I love salads, so this is a no brainer for lunch and guarantees I’ll get at least one bowl of greens in everyday.
This is easiest to do in the summertime, and in the winter I turn to vegetable and bean soups!
You can choose a green salad, like this Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad or a grain-based salad like this Greek Salad with Quinoa. Anything that adds a rainbow of vegetables to your day! Check out all my salad recipes here.
6. Keep sweets out of sight
It is so easy to get out of control when I’m around our sweets. But if I don’t see them, I forget them!
Store them way out of sight – maybe even in another room – if you must have them at home at all.
And on the flip side, store your fruit bowl out on the counter, and maybe put the best snack choices in the front and center of your pantry.
7. Have one choice, not 10
Also in the spirit of keeping variety to a minimum, I’ve been making an effort to have only one open nut butter at a time. OK, two.
Because they don’t go bad, it’s easy to get carried away with 5-6 different open kinds – each with their own use – to choose between. And that can lead to a taste-test-a-thon.
Sticking to one, especially if it’s a simple peanut, sunflower or almond butter, makes overindulging much less likely.