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Changing your eating habits to encourage weight loss

Updated on January 12, 2014

When dining out,think before you order.Consider replacing things like mashed potatoes and gravy with an extra vegetable,or a side salad.For lunch,choose a sandwich that is light.Turkey or chicken (grilled) is generally a good option.Soups are also usually low in calories,but watch out for cream soups.

When eating at home,use a smaller plate. This tricks the mind into thinking you are eating a lot more than you really are. If you use a large plate,there is a lot more space to fill.

It's not a diet. It's a lifestyle change. So do it right!

Changing what you eat can be very tough to do. Your personal eating habits develop at a young age,and If you are brought up eating a lot of junk foods,then you will probably continue that habit as an adult. There are so many different types of food out there nowadays,and most of them are not good for you. The more processed a certain type of food is,the more bad things you will find in it. Some of the earliest humans ate things such as nuts,berries,fruits,and it is speculated that they probably ate animals as well. They didn't have things like candy bars,and TV dinners. But,the fact that these types of food are readily available and also quite tasty,means that most of us will probably eat too much of them. The first step in changing that would be to get back to the basics.

Fruits and vegetables go through very little processing. Even in their canned form,they are very healthy and low in calories. The first change that you should make would be to start eating more fruits and veggies. Keep them stocked in your refrigerator,so that when you get the urge to snack,you can grab an apple,or baby carrots to curb your craving. When we are sitting in front of the TV,we tend to eat snack foods at a much faster rate. We don't pay attention,and before you know it,you just ate the entire bag of potato chips. If you like to snack while watching your favorite TV shows,here is a suggestion.

Take an apple,grapes,cantaloupe,or whatever fruits you like,and make yourself a healthy little fruit bowl. Cut up any large fruits,so that they are bite size. This will make it seem more like a "snack". You wont have to do anything except reach your hand in the bowl,and munch away. You really don't even have to worry about portion control,because nobody ever got fat on eating fruit. Fruit is good for you! You can do the same with broccoli,carrots,cauliflower,etc. Even if you use a veggie dip,or ranch dressing (low fat),it will still be healthier than sweets and potato chips.

The next thing we are going to talk about is soda. Yes,soda tastes good. It has that great fizzy feeling that you can't get from any other drink. But do you ever look at the calories on the back of the can? If you did,you would notice that the average can of soda has around 150 calories,sometimes more. So every time you drink a can of soda,you are downing an extra 150 calories. Wouldn't you rather eat something with 150 calories,than to just have a drink that does nothing for your hunger? The same thing goes for other drinks,such as Gatorade,fruit juices,etc. They all have extra calories that you do NOT need. Soda should be cut out of your diet completely,while juices should be labeled 100% fruit juice,and only used in moderation. The best thing for you to do,is switch to water. Water contains no calories at all,and your body needs it to survive.Sure,you can get water through other drinks.But not without adding inches to your waist!

When appropriate,try using non-fat cooking sprays instead of vegetable oil. Little things can add up to a lot of excess calories.

Pay attention to food labels.They are there to help you make good choices.

Pay close attention to what you are putting into your body. Most of us don't even think about looking at the calories in what we are eating. But,if you get into a habit of doing it,you will realize that there are a lot more calories in food than you thought! Try switching to lower calorie versions of your favorite things. They usually don't have much of a difference in taste,and if it does,your taste buds will eventually not even notice,because you will be used to eating it. Consider switching to low calorie wheat bread. I suggest wheat bread because it is much better for you,and has more fiber,which can help you feel full. They also make low calorie/low fat cheese,milk,yogurts,puddings,and other dairy products. Just open your eyes next time you are at the grocery store and you will see that there are a lot of options out there. Making the switch to lower calorie foods can make a tremendous difference in your weight.

Now,if you are a serious junk food junkie,there is still hope. Food companies keep coming out with healthier options for snacking. The most interesting thing I have seen is the low calorie snack packs. These are normally based on popular junk foods,such as potato chips,cookies,etc. But they are packaged in a box containing small 100 calorie packs. If you are going to indulge once in awhile,this is the best way to do it. I have seen Reese's peanut butter sticks,oreos,party mix,snack cakes,crackers...just about anything you could imagine is now available in a 100 calorie pack. Just don't eat more than one pack at a time,or that ruins the whole point of it.

Also,remember that you will lose weight much faster and easier if you are doing some sort of exercise on a daily basis. Walking and jogging are both excellent ways to lose weight. If you would like to take it a step farther and also get toned up a bit,start an aerobics routine at home. There really is no reason to spend money at a gym,because you can lose weight without leaving the house if you are doing the right type of exercises. Always remember that if you are not used to a lot of exercise,you should not push your body too hard at first.Start with some easy workouts,and work your way up from there.

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    • nikitha p profile image

      nikitha p 

      8 years ago from India

      Very informative hub! I like it.

    • lisaluv9784 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Yes,the plate rule really helps a lot.Best of luck to you,and glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • nancy_30 profile image

      nancy_30 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub. I've been trying to cut back on my calories lately. I've started buying less junk food. If its not at home then I can't eat it. I've also cut back on sodas. I loved the idea about the smaller plate. I usually do fill my plate full when eating. Now I know to just get a smaller plate. Thanks for the information.

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