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Healthy Eating

Here you will find tons of information about healthy eating and incorporating the principles of healthy nutrition into your daily life. Built around Dr. Cederquist’s nutritional foundation for healthy weight loss, these articles place a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

Easy Diet for an Easy Lifestyle

From reducing empty calorie intake to skipping drive-thrus, easy diet tips can lead to lasting weight loss without major sacrifice!

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Fad diets and claims to lose fast weight loss populate pages of magazines and social media sites. Their enticing marketing schemes may leave you thinking of trying one of those so-called "miraculous" diets.

While some of these diets can lead to quick weight loss, they are often are not sustainable. The best way to lose weight fast is by making simple, yet long-term diet changes in your current lifestyle. They should also be on your own terms, as diets that work for you are ones that last.

Use these expert tips for natural, yet easy weight loss success!

10 Tips for an Easy Diet

From reducing empty calorie intake to skipping drive-thrus, easy diet tips can lead to lasting weight loss without major sacrifice.

1. Replace soda, juice and energy drinks with water.

Liquid calories are often a source of empty calories. They add calories without much nutritional benefit and tend to leave the body unsatisfied.

Besides, just one small can of soda can add on 150 calories and about 40 grams of added sugar! Added sugar is one of the top contributors to obesity and increases the risk of heart disease. Aim to replace sugary drinks with water. Staying hydrated can foster a good metabolism by supplying the body's cells with nutrients from foods and aid in digestion.

Water can also help control hunger and reduce food intake. A glass before and during meals may lower overeating risk or the desire for a second plate of food.

Easy tips to drink more water daily include using larger cups and making it more convenient. Also, make water taste better by flavoring with fresh fruit, herbs, and other enhancers.

2. Skip regular drive-thru runs.

Fast food and drive-thrus have become commonplace in America. But that does not mean that it should be a part of your easy diet.

If you visit the drive-thru more than once a week, you can be wreaking havoc on your health. As a part of your easy diet, replace one fast food meal each day with a healthier alternative. Practicing meal prep can also deter from fast food visits. 

And if fast food is the only available option, try finding better-for-you menu choices. This includes grilled chicken and salad greens. Also, stick to proper portion sizes and limit soft drink refills.

3. Add more fiber to the diet.

Dietary fiber is a plant component that cannot be absorbed or digested by the body. It is naturally found in nutritious food sources, including whole grains, fruits and veggies, and legumes.

Compared to diets low in fiber, high-fiber foods are more filling and typically lower in calories. Not only are you more apt to eat less, but likely to feel full longer and more satisfied after meals.

Fiber needs vary with gender. Adult men should aim for 38 grams of fiber daily. Women are encouraged to consume 25 grams per day.

4. Eat enough lean protein.

Protein is important for weight loss. The macronutrient induces greater satiety, regulates hunger hormones, curbs carb cravings, and enhances body fat burn.

Protein intake recommendations vary based on a number of factors, including age, weight, gender, and activity levels. However, adults are often encouraged to consume at least 10 to 35 percent of total daily calories from protein sources.

Furthermore, the dietary reference intake (DRI) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight. This amounts to at least 56 and 46 grams per day for men and women, respectively.

Eating a high-protein breakfast is a great way to stabilize blood sugars and control hunger throughout the morning.

5. Balance the meal plate appropriately.

Many may wonder how to know if the body is receiving adequate nutrition. While a Registered Dietitian can help you identify personal needs, use a meal plate as a valuable tool.

Start by filling half the meal plate with non-starchy veggies, including broccoli, asparagus, and salad greens. Designate a quarter of the plate for a lean protein, such as grilled chicken or sirloin. Use the remaining quarter for brown rice, sweet potato, or another complex carb.

6. Beat the snack attack.

Snacks tend to be tossed to the side when trying to lose weight, but doing so may be derailing efforts. It is important, though, to snack sensibly. This means limiting bags of chips, cookies, and other snacks of that nature.

Healthy snacks should contain an average of 150 to 200 calories and supply between 10 to 15 grams of protein. Because again, eating protein is key for weight loss.

Pairing protein with fiber, including from fruits and veggies, can enhance satiety and nutrient content without major worry of empty calories. Including healthy fat in a snack can help induce satiety, too.

7. Eat meals and snacks slowly.

Slowing down when eating allows time for the stomach and brain to signal the "I'm full" response. This ultimately lessens the opportunity to further binge in unnecessary calories.

Tips to eat slowly include chewing food thoroughly and setting the fork down between bites. Sipping on water throughout the meal can also down the eating process and aid in digestion.

8. Wait before plating a second serving.

Instead of heading for a second plate, and naturally more calories, wait about 10 to 15 minutes then reassess hunger.

If still truly hungry, go for a smaller serving with nutrient-dense foods. Often, after fifteen minutes you will be as satisfied with the smaller portion as you would be if you ate more.

9. Practice mindful eating.

Mindful eating is an increasing approach to reduce the risk of overeating and binges along with successful weight loss. The practice is essentially a nonjudgmental awareness of physical and emotional sensations while eating.

Mindful eating strips down the stigma of "unhealthy" or "bad" foods and promotes the notion of "all foods fit." Individuals are encouraged to focus on internal hunger and satiety cues, as well as external motivators that drive behaviors to foods.

Recognizing the smells, flavors, and textures of foods is a strong foundation of mindful eating. This helps cultivate and increase the appreciation of food. It also surfaces awareness of thoughts and emotions experienced at meal times.

10. Consider a weight loss meal delivery program.

Meal delivery programs offer convenience and easy diet plans, bistroMD included. BistroMD's weight loss program focuses on metabolism correction to not only lose the weight but keep it off!

Every meal plan provides a scientific balance of fiber, lean protein, healthy fat ratios. The balance of nutrients helps adjust your body's specific metabolic rate to lose weight and achieve successful lifetime weight maintenance.

BistroMD cooks with the freshest ingredients and offers over 200 recipes. So truly, there is always an appetizing menu to fit into a customized menu!

Additional, Easy Tips for an Easy Lifestyle

While diet is key to lose weight, other lifestyle factors can influence weight loss. These include exercise, sleep, and stress.

1. Include aerobic activity and resistance training.

Exercise can accelerate weight loss efforts and improve overall health. Furthermore, partaking in cardio results in faster weight loss by burning more calories.

The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages at least 150 minutes of cardio weekly or 30 minutes most days of the week. Cardio exercises that elevate heart rate include running, brisk walking, swimming, dancing, and cycling.

Also, include resistance training at least twice a week. Strength training increases and preserves muscle mass to accelerate metabolism. Generally speaking, greater muscle mass is able to burn calories more efficiently and quickly, even when the body is at rest.

Simply make it an effort to increase daily movement, too. Taking the steps, biking to work, and parking further away from store entryways are easy ways to be more active. Even just 10 minutes at a time can make a significant difference!

2. Lower stress levels.

Chronic and ongoing stress can make it difficult to lose weight, particularly related emotional eating and heightened cortisol levels.

While eating can suppress undesirable emotions at the moment, food selections tend to be rich in calories from sugar and fat. If a regular practice, emotional eating can lead to weight gain. To make matters worse, the body releases cortisol in times of stress. The hormone is known to heighten cravings, store fuel and energy as fat, and slow down metabolism.

So rather than negatively feeding into or avoiding stress, learn to manage it with positive coping strategies. These may include exercising, meditating, deep breathing, calling a friend, taking a warm bath, listening to music, and reading a book.

3. Get quality sleep on a nightly basis.

A lack of sleep may cause weight gain for a number of reasons, including unregulated hunger hormones and exacerbated emotions. Sleep loss can plummet energy levels, which can compromise physical activity.

Ensure adequate sleep by staying consistent with bed and wake times and creating a comfortable environment. Limit caffeine, large meals, and screen time leading up to bedtime, too.

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on August 15, 2013. Updated on June 12, 2019.

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