Considering the epidemic rates of diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related illnesses in America, it’s not a surprise to learn most Americans are looking for ways to live healthier, happier, and longer lives. Whether or not you adhere to a strict diet, balance and incremental changes are the best way to make those much-needed changes for sustainable weight loss.
How That Lifestyle Overhaul Hinders Your Weight Loss Efforts
According to a 2014 poll, most Americans are actively looking for ways to be healthier, and they know an essential part of their journey involves eating healthier foods and portions. When it comes to changing your diet though, the task is typically easier said than done.
Stop the cycle of crash dieting
If you’ve ever overhauled your diet and lifestyle in an attempt to shed those last few pounds, it’s likely that you succeeded for just a handful of days before falling off the wagon and letting your old habits creep back in.
If that cycle seems familiar, that’s because it’s the same trap that millions of dieters fall into every day. According to a 2012 study, research showed that the best way to make healthy sustainable changes to your diet is to find small changes that work for you—and stick to them.
Why you should opt for small, sustainable changes
In a clinical trial conducted at the University of British Columbia, patients participated in a several months-long trial program in which they kept a food journal and tracked their steps with a Fitbit. After the first week, researchers reviewed the notebooks and incorporated three to five small diet changes of approximately 100 calories each. Through this method, doctors were able to guide participants to a diet in which they were consistently consuming several hundred fewer calories each day.
By making small changes like reducing the amount of milk in one’s coffee or eating a salad with a bit less dressing or cheese, researchers helped obese and overweight participants lose an aggregate of seven more pounds than those who receive a traditional weight-loss treatment. Notably, the participants who made small changes were also the ones who were able to maintain the weight loss longer.
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Start your day the right way with a plant-based protein
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dietary proteins support both weight loss and maintenance. But, it’s not enough just to get your 24 to 35 grams of high-quality protein. it’s also important to get it in the morning, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Consuming protein first thing in the morning increases your level of satiety throughout the day, which makes you better equipped to fight off that donut craving in the middle of the morning. You also want to pick a protein that your body can break down quickly and easily as some proteins can cause bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Go crazy with fruits and veggies
When starting yourself on a healthier nutrition track, it’s important not limit yourself. Processed sugars and saturated fats lurk in many of our go-to snacks like chips, sugary drinks, and processed meats; by opting for more calories of healthier food, can improve your body’s ability to metabolize its food.
In fact, one researcher at the Mayo Clinic found that increasing consumption of foods like vegetables, nuts, and yogurt contributed to weight loss, despite the increase in caloric intake.
Keep a golf ball on your plate
The excessively large portions that grace the menus of practically every restaurant in the country means that most of us are simply eating more than we need to. One way to combat the urge to clean an over-sized plate is to use what some nutritionists call “the golf ball trick.”
First, leave approximately a quarter of your regular serving off of your plate for every meal over the course of two or three days. During each (smaller) meal, leave approximately two tablespoons of every food on your plate; the leftover food should be around the size of a golf ball.
Try to track your hunger around 30 minutes after every meal. If you forget, you’re probably not hungry. At the very end of the day, gauge your physical hunger level: are you hungry? By using this incremental approach, most people find that they’re satisfied with smaller servings.
Create a Foundation for Sustainable Weight Loss
Regardless of where you’re at in your fitness journey, establishing a solid nutritional foundation for your weight loss or maintenance efforts is essential. Set yourself up for success by choosing a plant-based protein that gives your body 21 grams of high quality, easily digestible, and complete protein. Take the Pure Charge Challenge today!