Diets are a pain to go through, we all know this. Having to cut out our favourite foods from our lives is heartbreaking, but we do what we have to in the name of health and beauty — to lose weight, get healthier, look and feel trim and fit. “Does the end justify the means?” — you’ll constantly wonder, after having to give up that piece of fried chicken you’ve been craving since last night, which only makes you more miserable.
But hold up — what if we told you there was a way to still eat what you love and still be able to reach your weight loss goals? Okay, maybe you won’t be able to eat everything you love – that itch for fried chicken can’t be scratched — but some sacrifices have to be made to get where you want to be. What we can do is show you some simple, teeny-tiny tweaks you can make to your daily meals that can help you lose weight. Sounds a lot easier than eating salads all day, right?
Drink Water Before Every Meal
You’ve probably heard the ‘rule’ about having to drink 8 full glasses of water a day and how it can benefit us. That’s false information, but it is a fact that water is something we need every day. Sometimes, when we’re thirsty, we mistake it for hunger and end up eating more, when we were not even hungry in the first place.
One surprising fact about water that you might not have known is that it can help to keep the calories away. When you drink a glass of water before a meal, it makes you feel full, which will reduce your appetite and prevent you from consuming too many calories.
If you’re still not convinced, there are many side benefits to drinking more water. Just to name a few – an increase in energy levels and brain activity, flushes out the toxins within the body, improves the appearance of your skin, boosts your immune system, helps to regulate body temperature, improves overall cardiovascular health — and the list goes on and on. So what are you waiting for? Go grab a cup and drink up now.
Include Vegetables In Your Meals
If you’re dieting, chances are you’re already eating plenty of fruits and veggies, but here’s the thing — you don’t have to just solely eat these. If you can find ways to incorporate them into your pre-diet meals, that’s a win too.
Veggies are high in fibre and low in calories, and they contain plenty of essential vitamins and minerals that help to fight fat. However, we tend to neglect them in favour of unhealthier food, because we think those other foods are tastier. But there are ways to make your veggies tasty too — for example, if you usually have an omelette for breakfast, try adding some chopped veggies into the omelette — maybe some diced capsicum peppers, or some baby spinach. This way, you get to enjoy your regular breakfast, with the added nutrients of the vegetables.
Don’t Skimp On Protein
As much as leafy green vegetables are good for you, there are some nutrients you can only get from other foods. Protein is the source for building and maintaining the muscles in your body, and also has beneficial effects on your internal organs, skin, and individual cells. It is commonly found in meat products, as well as eggs, nuts, and yoghurt.
Adding protein to your diet can have many beneficial effects. As we mentioned above, drinking water can help reduce your appetite by making you feel full before eating, and protein has a similar effect on us. It keeps us full for longer, so we do not feel hungry as often — which is a great way to prevent us from bingeing on snacks.
Swap For Healthier Alternatives
Sometimes you may not have to give up your favourite foods if you want to lose weight, and you can do this by swapping some of the ingredients used for other healthier — yet so similar — alternatives.
Maybe you love mayonnaise and cannot live without it. You could substitute it with non-fat Greek yoghurt — with twice the protein, less unhealthy fats, and a taste that is almost similar to the real thing.
The same idea applies to almost everything — let’s say you like snacking on crackers and potato chips, but these tend to contain lots of calories and preservatives. You can swap them out for low-calorie options like sliced vegetables and hummus dip, or nuts like almonds and walnuts – for all the protein and fibre that will do your body good. You can even try to swap out regular white rice for cauliflower rice — less sugar, fewer carbohydrates, same taste and texture. The possibilities are endless, so try and see where you can make healthier swaps.