Have you noticed how hard it is to make healthy diet changes, especially lasting ones? Intellectually you know that if you cut out certain foods, you’ll see a difference the next time you step on a scale. You know that if you make healthier food choices, you can reduce your risk of conditions like diabetes or heart disease. Yet when that candy bar calls to you from the office vending machine at 3 in the afternoon, sometimes your best intentions fly out the window.
The clients that I see succeed over the long term make small healthy diet changes to habits they already have. They focus on tweaking one habit at a time rather than making drastic changes. Here are a couple examples:
Half & Half to Low Fat Milk in Coffee. If you like this creamy additive in your morning java, you might try whole milk. If you use 2 tablespoons to each cuppa joe, you’ll save about 20 calories as well as reduce fat grams. If you drink two mugs a day that adds up to 280 calories a week. That’s the equivalent of a Snickers bar. If you switch to 2% milk, you’ll save even more.
Instant oatmeal to unflavored oats. Those pre-packaged sleeves of oatmeal packs a sugar punch. The Maple & Brown sugar version has 9 grams of sugar, while its slow-cooked alternative has 1 gram. By adding fresh blueberries or ½ a banana, you’ll get the sweet without the same glycemic hit. You’ll also increase your fiber intake by adding fresh fruit to your oatmeal :-).
Fatty cuts of beef to lean cuts of beef. There is a lot of saturated fat in regular ground beef and several popular cuts of steak. You can shave off lots of calories from fat (without losing much in iron or other nutrients in beef) by switching to leaner steaks (such as flank steak or filet mignon) or to extra lean ground sirloin.
Where could you make small changes to your favorite foods in order to decrease your calories (or sodium, fat, sugar)? Don’t be surprised if it takes several months for your taste buds to change. But once they do, you’ll be amazed! Your taste buds really do change— you’ll be more sensitive to the sugar, salt or fat content of your food once you’ve gotten used to eating foods with less.
My clients have commented that the old foods they used to eat and love just don’t taste as good now. Or, less of it satisfies them. That’s the trick to staying on track with a healthy diet. Small changes over time reap BIG, long term dividends down the road!
What little changes have YOU made that are paying you big weight loss dividends now?
Share your successes in the comment section!
Committed to your success,