Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are good-for-you fats that promote heart health and can help reduce belly fat. Avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, olives, and dark chocolate are all MUFAs.
Drink lemon water first thing in the morning
Lemon water flushes out toxins, balances your pH, assists in weight loss, and boosts your immune system.
Stop eating when you are satiated and not stuffed
Aim to stop eating when you feel content but not overly full to the point where you can’t move or don’t feel like it.
Pay attention to what you are eating. Ask yourself if you really are hungry or if something else is going on that’s causing you to turn to food.
When do you stress eat? Keep a log of what triggers you. Eventually you can predict when you might stress eat and you can avoid those triggers. Choose healthy foods first by having them accessible—have a big bowl of veggies to fill you up, or snack on some strawberries ready to go in your fridge.
Cook at home more
We all know the portions served at restaurants are huge. Plus, you don’t always know what they are putting into your food. Escape the hidden calories and make your own food instead from fresh ingredients.
Go healthy first
When you are stressed out, you are producing higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol that can make you crave sweets and salty foods. Instead of trying to fight it, select a sweet or salty food that’s healthy for you. Before you reach for the donuts, make yourself a smoothie with your favorite fruit, nonfat milk and yogurt. If it’s salt you crave, eat some pickles, almonds or walnuts. Keep some of your healthy snacks on hand so you can easily turn to healthy options first.
Drink more water
Get a stainless steel portable water bottle to take with you everywhere. And using less plastic is good for the environment. Most adults need about two quarts of fluid per day to replace normal water loss or approximately six to eight ounce glasses of water each day.
Keep in mind that people have a tendency to underestimate the calories they consume and overestimate the calories they burn.
Don’t think running a half marathon (or any form of exercise) means you can now eat whatever you want the rest of the day.
Indulge once a week
Sometimes when people feel deprived of their favorite foods, they throw in the towel and give up on eating healthy. Instead, consciously indulge once a week. Choose one meal when you eat what you want, and get back to healthier eating for your next meal.
Don’t overdo it on cocktails
My cocktail of choice is red wine. A five-ounce glass typically has about 125 calories, much lower in calories than many other alcoholic beverages. (A margarita can have up to 800 calories!) Red wine also has antioxidants, making it good for your heart. Liquid calories add up fast, so opt for one glass only.
Don’t go to parties hungry
Don’t make the mistake of saving up your calories for the end of the day when you head to a party. When you are hungry, your portion control goes out the window. My trick for parties is to only fill my plate up once with my favorite appetizers and then stop eating.
The best way to create a craving is to tell yourself you can’t have it! If you are dying for a chocolate chip cookie and you end up eating a whole bag of fat free cookies to squelch the craving–you are doubling your calories. Instead of eating what you should, try eating what you are hungry for in smaller portions.
Aim to eat five servings of fruits and veggies daily
No, it’s not an arbitrary rule: you should aim to get at least five servings of both vegetables and fruits per day to stay healthy.
Eat more greens
Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Swiss Chard or Collard Greens. Greens are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals to protect you against disease. Not a fan? Throw greens into smoothies with tropical fruit like pineapple and you won’t even taste them.
Watch your portions
A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat. How many servings are in your portion? Often what we are eating isn’t a bad choice, but we are eating too much of it.
Make a green smoothie for breakfast
I typically make a green smoothie with frozen banana and pineapple, almond milk, coconut extract, kale and spinach. I just stuff all of the ingredients in the blender. This smoothie has vitamins A and C, calcium, fiber, folic acid, magnesium and other nutrients. You can also “Check” this out.
Find a healthy substitute for your most tempting food
I love ice cream, but most of the time I will substitute it with Greek yogurt sweetened with a little raw honey and I add berries and dark chocolate chips or walnuts.
Use Sundays as prep days to eat healthy all week. Get enough produce and staple needed for the week. Make double or triple of your meal, and freeze the extra for future use. Grill up extra chicken breasts and use them in salads and one-pot dishes for the rest of the week. Make a batch of brown rice and keep it in the fridge for easy lunches, burritos, and stir fry.
Have healthy snacks on-hand solution for the munchies
When I really need to munch, I make popcorn because you can eat a lot for not many calories. Or how about baby carrots, apple slices or almonds. Put your snacks in baggies and carry them with you to avoid going through the drive thru in desperation.
Be prepared for busy
It’s always good to keep healthy snacks on you—especially if your schedule is crazy. I make apple cinnamon energy bars and freeze them so they are easy to grab on the go.
Aspire to eat clean
Focus on eating things that come mostly from plants and trees, sometimes animals, and eat less from boxes, bags, and take-out containers. Try to get the majority of your daily calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, minimally processed whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, seeds and lean meats and fish. Clean eating minimizes the presence of preservatives, chemically altered fats, extra sodium and artificial ingredients.
Eat healthy, not perfect
It doesn’t mean you will never consume another bag of chips or another brownie. It means you are aware that some food choices are more ideal than others. Don’t attach guilt to your choices, accept them. Enjoy that brownie while you are eating it and develop confidence that you will return right back to your healthy eating habits.