5 Easy Diet Tips

Photo Credit: Jocian CC-BY-SA-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0
When you hear the word diet, do you think deprivation or hunger? A diet should not feel like punishment. You don’t have to give up all of your favorite foods. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. You need to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day and eat a healthy diet to lose weight, but deprivation and hunger should not be part of your weight-loss plan. Keep a food diary and list the amount of calories you have consumed beside each food you eat. A food diary is invaluable to help you keep up with your calories so that you do not over-eat and have to work harder during exercise sessions to burn off the extra fat. 
Enjoy your favorite foods to help prevent that feeling of being deprived from undermining your weight-loss goal. Instead of cutting out all sweets and candy, cut back on the amount you eat. Have one or two of your favorite cookies for dessert, but don’t keep the box on the table in the television room. Buy smaller packages of cookies and candies and keep the package out of sight. Place the package high in your pantry or on the top shelf in a cabinet. If you have to work a bit to get to your treats, you will be conscious of the amount of sweets you eat. 
Drink plenty of water! The importance of water for your health cannot be over-emphasized. In addition to providing hydration, water can also help you lose weight. Drink 8 ounces of water before every meal and before each snack. Water helps you feel less hungry, which then helps to prevent over-eating. Try a zero calorie, sugar-free flavored water for variety. Replace your afternoon latte pick-me-up with a cup of green tea. Green tea has many health benefits and may stimulate your metabolism.
Choose healthy, low-calorie snacks instead of chips, cookies or candy. Nuts, baked whole-grain crackers and fruit are healthy, nutrient-rich snacks that will satisfy your sweet tooth and snack habit without destroying your hard work counting and controlling daily caloric intake. Cut portions of snacks in half to help reduce the amount of calories you ingest. Try 1/2 scoop of ice cream instead of a whole scoop. Skip the chocolate syrup and try adding some fresh fruit instead. 
Adding spices to your food boosts flavor and helps you to lose weight. Spicy foods and flavorful foods help you feel more full while eating smaller portions. The aroma of your food is part of the enjoyment of a meal. Spicy foods with a delicious aroma can help you feel fuller sooner. Chew slowly and savor each bite. Eating slower will allow your brain and stomach time to communicate with each other so you feel fuller faster. 
Include fiber and protein in every meal. Lean meats, fish, poultry and beans are good choices. Vegetarians and vegans can get plenty of protein by eating legumes, wild brown rice, whole grains and nuts. Vegetables are also rich in protein and fiber. If you think you are not getting enough nutrition while on a diet to lose weight, a dietitian can help you design a menu that provides all the nutrition you need without adding too many calories to your diet. 

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