eat healthier

7 Small Changes to Eat Healthier with Big Results

 

7 Small Changes to Eat Healthier with Big Results. These minor and easy changes will help you eat healthier. When it comes to weight loss, it’s the little things that can add up to make a big difference. Think “diet” and you might assume it requires a radical revamp of your life or misery-inducing restrictions. But when it comes to lasting weight loss, research shows you’re better off making small, consistent changes rather than aiming for a major diet or lifestyle overhaul.

eat healthier
Whole Wheat English Muffins

The key is that the changes are practical and sustainable so that you can permanently adopt them into your everyday life. In one study, people who made tiny adjustments to their eating habits were able to stick to their new routines—and had more success slimming down compared to those who didn’t incorporate the tips. To help shed pounds, without making any massive changes, follow these seven natural habits for weight-loss success.

1. Eat Breakfast Every Day

Research shows dieters are more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—when they eat breakfast. If you don’t already eat breakfast, start. If you are already a breakfast eater, try eating the same breakfast multiple days each week. Repeating the same meals can help you shed pounds, according to research.

One of my morning favorites: a whole-wheat English muffin topped with one tablespoon of peanut butter and ½ sliced banana. This meal delivers a modest 278 calories, along with filling fiber and protein. It’s also portable and ready in less than 5 minutes, so forget about using any “I don’t have time for breakfast” excuses.

2. Downsize Your Dish to Eat Healthier

Studies show that we eat less when we use smaller dinnerware. The theory is that our eyes get tricked into thinking we are eating more because our plate is full, making the food portions look bigger. The result: we are satisfied with less food. Try eating your meals on salad plates instead of more substantial dinner plates.

eat healthier
trade up your fork

3. Trade Up Your Fork

It sounds counterintuitive, but research shows using a bigger fork and subsequently taking bigger bites can lead to eating less (apparently seeing yourself making a more significant dent in the food on your plate can cue you to stop eating sooner). You’ll increase the benefit by holding the fork with your non-dominant hand to slow you down. Eating slower helps you consume fewer calories without you even realizing it.

4. Drink Lots of Water

You’ve probably heard it before but this is one diet-friendly adage that’s tried and true, so start hydrating. Drinking 2 cups of water before eating a meal can help you lose weight. The water helps you feel full sooner, so you eat less and in turn weigh less.

5. Display Produce Proudly to Eat Healthier

You know the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”? Not what you want when it comes to eating more fruits and vegetables. Produce delivers lots of nutrients but not a lot of calories. Plus, it’s packed with fiber, which helps fill you up. Don’t shove your beautiful apples to the back of the produce drawer, or bury your carrots under your other groceries. Instead, bring the fruits and vegetables front and center in your refrigerator and out in your kitchen.

Try keeping fruit like bananas and oranges on the counter in a fruit bowl where they’ll be in plain sight. You’ll also be more likely to reach for diet-friendly fruits and veggies if they’re ready for easy snacking. Wash and slice celery, peppers and other delicious produce, and then pack them in baggies so you can quickly grab them for a quick—and healthy—treat.

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fresh fruit

6. Eat Healthier by Snacking on Yogurt

Yogurt was recently identified as a top weight-loss-promoting food by Harvard University. It’s high in protein, which, gram for gram, helps fill you up more than carbs. Stick to plain, low-fat or nonfat yogurt for a healthy snack, without extra sugar or saturated fat.

Another diet bonus? The probiotics in yogurt may help you burn fat. In one study, researchers gave overweight but otherwise healthy, adults about 1/2 cup of yogurt at dinner every night for six weeks. Some ate yogurt supplemented with an added dose of probiotics (either Lactobacillus fermentum or L. amylovorus), while others got regular yogurt (which has a lower probiotic content ).

Though none of the subjects lost weight, those consuming the probiotic-enriched yogurt lost 3 to 4 percent of their body fat, compared to just 1 percent body fat lost in the other group. To ensure your yogurt delivers a decent amount of probiotics, look for one that carries the “Live & Active Cultures” seal.

7. Enjoy a Small Treat

Don’t banish all your favorite foods. Doing so may lead to failure. A drastically limited diet is not sustainable, and feeling deprived may eventually cause you to overeat. Savoring a small treat won’t sabotage your weight-loss efforts, according to research.

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low-fat yogurt

Keep the treats small—aim for about 150 calories or less. Try savoring two squares of dark chocolate, a ½ cup of ice cream or one 5-oz. Glass of wine. This is one habit most of us can stick with for the long haul.

These seven small changes will be producing significant results and will have you eating healthier in no time.

I hope you found this article helpful and as always I look forward to your comments, questions, and the sharing of ideas.

 

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References:

Small Changes With Big Results – Eatingwell, http://www.eatingwell.com/article/280967/7-small-changes-with-big-results/ (accessed December 13, 2017).

 

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44 thoughts on “7 Small Changes to Eat Healthier with Big Results

  1. Developing sustainable eating habits shouldn’t be too strict in never having the chance to enjoy any “goodies” like most people think. So #7: “Enjoy a small treat” really hit home with me!

  2. Nice article, I ‘m glad you noted to get yogurt with no added sugars or saturated fats, because I’m finding a lot of manufacturers sneaking that extra junk in that really kills the overall health & fitness benefits of yogurt.

  3. I know breakfast is a vital meal in the day. However, I couldn’t believe that eating breakfast even in multiple days can shed pounds. Great tips!

  4. Any thoughts on flavored but low-fat yogurt, Robert? I see gym goers snacking on them and I think what they’re doing is counterintuitive.

    1. Hi Ana C, you are probably right and here’s where reading the label becomes important. Manufacturers have a knack for cramming as much sugar and artificial ingredients into yogurt pots as they do candy bars as we found out doing research. When buying yogurt look for low-calorie, low-fat, low-sugar and high in protein. I hope this information helps and thanks for joining the discussion, Robert

  5. I swear by drinking lots of water. When I start craving in between meals, I try to shake it off by taking in plenty of fluids. It’s among the many ways I do to stay within my target weight.

  6. Drinking a LOT OF FLUIDS is a good advice. Me I consume about 2 litres a day. I do not know the facts of that but I do it out of habit.

  7. How do you measure calorie intake by the way? Everybody says it but nobody gives an exact measurement which is weird.

  8. Great piece. I’ll consider trading fork and drink a lot of water. I always have difficulty doing the latter, especially when I get busy at work.

  9. This article is kind of a reminder for me. It’s time to downsize my dish. 🙂 However, I don’t skip breakfast, but pretty careless in drinking water. I only drink what is enough to quench thirst. Nonetheless, the points mentioned above are spot on!

  10. I have actually tried drinking water before meal, especially during dinner. I think it is effective, it’s just that you don’t really see the results immediately. If what you’re aiming for is to lose weight.

  11. Making adjustment to one’s lifestyle to live healthy is hard at first but worth it in the end. Small but sure changes like the ones you suggest here are proven to make a healthier you in the long run.

  12. Drinking a glass of water before meals is also a great tip to make you feel full, thus preventing you from eating more. Helpful and practical tips you have here though.

  13. Thanks for the wonderful tips! I’ve already done these small changes and it helped me a lot. Needless to say, everyone should know these tips for better health and diet.

  14. The article is very informative and there are a lot of helpful tips. In my opinion you do not have to start with all the seven of them at once, you can begin with three and work your way up.

  15. It is true breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I have learned from experience that
    eating breakfast gives me endurance and concentration.However, for breakfast to be effective
    it must be healthy so eating doughnuts does not count.

  16. Nice tips from this wonderful piece. I will try to take breakfast as regular as I can; am not used to taking breakfast, only two-three glasses of water in the morning.

    1. Hello Edwin, thanks for your comments. I too wasn’t much of a breakfast person until I started eating healthier. I still usually only have a smoothie or breakfast shake in the morning (better than nothing) and eat a bigger lunch and smaller dinner. It’s working for me. Thanks again, Robert

  17. The information on this post is basic and no hard thing here. Anybody can do it. However, that part of taking water before a meal, it’s sometimes hard at the beginning but by time you get used to it.

  18. Another tip that I learned on getting healthier is. Eating small portions, but more frequent is better than eating 3 full meals a day. I tried it for months and got amazing results.

    1. Hi Lovely, you’re absolutely correct. It’s now recommended to eat between 5 and 6 times a day but to eat smaller portions. Try using a salad plate instead of a larger plate to cut down on the size of portions. Thanks for your comments, Robert

  19. It’s still not clear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s true that always eating breakfast will make you become healthier.

    1. Hello Faith, and you are right. There’s debate about which is most important breakfast or lunch. It’s my personal opinion to eat enough in the morning (usually a smoothie) to get you going and a larger lunch because your metabolism is revved up and then a smaller meal for dinner. Everyone is different but I have found that this works for me and has helped me to lose 50 LBS.

  20. Great tips, personally I didn’t know that eating from small or medium sized dinnerware tricks the eye into assuming the plate is full. Going healthy is the way forward.

  21. Your body will thank you a lot for following these small changes. These are good steps to keep in mind for a healthier you.

    1. Hi Esdyi, thanks for sharing. Breakfast is an important part of eating a healthy diet along with snacking and other meals. It’s not so much how often you eat but how much you eat when you do. Thanks again, Robert

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