By Dai Manuel
The word “diet” conjures up all sorts of emotions for different people, but we’re guessing that most of these feelings fall on the negative side of the coin. We’ve all been there, going to the dietician or joining a weight loss group, getting your eating plan for the next six months and then jaw to the floor, wondering how you’re ever going to “survive the drought.”
So let’s cast that terrible word “diet” aside and focus on a better, more motivational phrase – consistent healthy eating. The thing about diets is, while they may work for some people, they’re usually just fads – coming and going as quick as the seasonal fashions in Cosmo. The truth to staying in shape (and by that I mean your health AND figure) is to eat the right foods for your body type – consistently.
Want to keep the spare tire in your car and not around your waist? Read these quick tips and tricks gathered from a host of specialists.
9 Clean Eating Tips That Make Life More Awesome (and actually work!)
1) Eat breakfast.
Skipping breakfast will lead to a lack of energy throughout the day. No energy means a hungry tummy.
2) Chow dinner early.
At night, your metabolism starts to slow down. The best time to eat is about three hours before bedtime. Don’t eat that leftover cake at two in the morning!
Notice the difference between hunger and craving. Yes, there is a difference between the want for food and the need for it. Before you guzzle down that chocolate, ask yourself, “Do I actually need it?”
3) Get enough sleep.
We know that’s not necessarily an eating tip, but without enough sleep, the appetite hormone ghrelin increases say the author of Eating Free, Manuel Villacorta. Rest also helps to build muscle, so catching some shuteye is a must.
4) Pack your meals at home.
When you cook your own food, chances are you know exactly what ingredients are going into the meal. When you eat out during the week, you may think you’re eating healthy when you have a salad, but do you know what’s in the dressing?
5) Snack throughout the day.
This doesn’t mean snack on unhealthy glucose-filled candy bars. You should try to eat small bites of healthy, organic foods throughout the day. Mix this with point 3 above so that you stay fuller for longer.
6) Keep a food journal.
This is an oldie, but a goodie. Recording what you eat sounds tedious, but you’d be surprised what you eat throughout the day. You’ll discover how many snacks you’re ingesting from sunrise to sunset.
7) Eat protein and fiber.
Proteins fill us up for longer. Snacking on nuts and seeds throughout the day will keep you from craving foods filled with saturated fats.
8) Limit your carb intake.
Yup, one of the best and hardest ways to lose pounds is to decrease refined carbohydrates. Why? Glad you asked. Carbs have a high glycemic index, this means that they create a quick rise in blood sugar. This sugar is stored in muscle. If you don’t use up this storage, it turns into fat. Simple.
9) Drink water.
This is the simplest trick in the book to losing or maintaining weight. Not only is water amazing for you – keeping you hydrated, creating the proper circulation of nutrients – it also keeps you away from sugary drinks. Add some lemon, orange or cucumber for flavor.
Dai Manuel – a fitness and nutrition expert based in Vancouver, BC .