Eating healthy and keeping fit should ideally not be considered a one-time thing, but rather something that requires continuous efforts. One often tends to fall in the traps of crash diets and fad diets but these are not healthy and may wreak havoc on your health in the long-term. Eating healthy is something that you just can't do for some months and then give up on, expecting to not gain the weight that you lost. Eating clean and healthy is something that you must inculcate into your daily lives, not just because it helps you to lose weight, but also because it ensures that you stay fit inside out and keep illnesses and diseases away. It might seem impossible, but even small changes to your lifestyle, if followed over the long-term, can bring out big changes in your weight. All you need is determination and a will to eat clean.
One of the most important steps in the direction of clean and healthy eating is to build a healthy relationship with your meals. If you are someone who tends to 'eat their feelings' or turn towards food for comfort and then feel guilty later on, you need to correct that. Another important thing to remember is why you are doing this in the first place. Weight loss and looking good is obviously a goal that will motivate you, but more than that, you need to constantly remind yourself that you are eating healthy to give yourself a longer and happier life. If you develop a taste for healthy food and keep your eye on the end-goals at all time, you will find it much easier to effect weight loss and stay fit.
Healthy Eating: Don't 'eat your feelings'
If you inculcate the dietary habits below, then you may never have to diet for weight loss again:
1. Prepare For Your Meals: Something small like prepping for your own meals can also help you in weight loss. Take a little time out for grocery shopping each week and pick out fresh produce like vegetables and fruits. More importantly, store them in your refrigerator in a way that they catch your attention every day. So, every time you crave something unhealthy, grab a fruit or make yourself a salad instead.
2. Learn To Cook Healthy Meals: Learning to cook can also help your weight loss goals. Look for ways to replace unhealthy cooking methods and unhealthy ingredients with healthier alternatives. This will not only make you mindful of how many calories each of your meals have, but will also give you a survival skill that is important for your own personal growth.
3. Never Skip Meals: It's the biggest mistake that anyone who's on a diet makes. Skipping meals is not just unhealthy and outright dangerous, but it also never leads to weight loss. In fact, skipping meals increases cravings for unhealthy food as the drop in blood sugar levels makes your brain hungry. Instead, one should eat all three meals of the day - a heavy breakfast, a moderate lunch and a very light dinner.
4. Snack On: Eating snacks has become infamous for making you pile on weight, but you it can actually help you lose weight, if done in the right manner. Snacking in a healthy way keeps your blood sugar levels in check and keeps unhealthy food cravings at bay. Stock up on healthy and low-calorie snacking options like dark chocolate, nuts, granola, seeds, fresh and dried fruits, etc. These will prevent you from 'pigging out' during lunch or dinner.
Healthy eating: Don't stop snacking if you want to lose weight
5. Eliminate Distractions While You Eat: It's tempting to sit in front of a television or a computer screen and binge on your favourite series, while eating. But, it's not very healthy. Watching shows while having dinner may whet your appetite and make you eat more, especially if you are watching something with a lot of ad breaks in between. You must instead eat with a friend or family member and catch up with them over lunch and dinner.
6. Shun Fads, Adopt Science: Fad diets and anecdotal evidence of weight loss by 'social media influencers' and celebrities are unhealthy. They make you set unrealistic body goals, which can make you give up faster. Instead, you should get in touch with a certified dietitian or a clinical nutritionist to get a better and more factual understanding of your own body and diet. This will help you fine tune your diet and dietary habits to achieve your weight loss goals better.
7. Stay Hydrated: This just cannot be stressed enough- drink water! Drinking water before meals makes you feel fuller and prevents you from over eating. Keep sipping on water in between meals in order to stay hydrated and stave off unhealthy cravings.
8. Discuss Your Goals: It's not that easy to bring about a sudden change in your habits; talking about your weight loss goals with friends or family can definitely help. Surround yourself with caring people who check you when you're about to go on an unhealthy binge and motivate you to eat healthy.
Healthy eating: Discuss your weight loss and diet goals with friends and family
You need to realise that cleaning up your diet for weight loss is bound to be a slow and a difficult process. So, don't be too hard on yourself if you slip up occasionally. Don't give up on your favourite foods right away, but instead work on portion control in the start and then slowly eliminate these unhealthy foods completely. If you are able to make these small dietary adjustments in your daily life, you will see a visible change in your weight and will also lead a happier and a healthier 'diet-free' life.