As the seasons go by, there’s no better time to change your habits, and if you’re looking to shed a few pounds, then more specifically, your eating habits. After all, studies have shown that your diet is a crucial part of weight loss, and it’s extremely difficult to achieve your goals through exercise alone.
The good news is that changing your eating habits doesn’t have to mean giving up the foods you love. Rather, the idea is to focus on the healthier choices as often as possible, to the point where reaching for a fruit rather than a pastry seems second nature.
“Research shows that about 40% of our behaviors are habit-based, not decision-based,” says Kitty Broihier, Dt.P., registered dietitian, creator of the Eating Habits Lab and owner of NutriComm Consulting. “When it comes to losing weight, it’s the repeated actions we take daily that can make or break our success. Willpower only gets you a little closer to your goal before it runs out. Your Healthy eating habits are what will get you to the finish line of weight loss – and you won’t even have to spend precious brainpower thinking about it.”
With that in mind, adopt these dietitian-approved eating habits for faster weight loss this fall. Then, for more healthy eating tips, check out 15 Healthiest Chili Recipes for Weight Loss.
Stick to a schedule
“When you don’t have an eating schedule, you’re more likely to skip meals, overeat at other meals, mindlessly snack and pick up other habits that can jeopardize your weight loss efforts. “, Explain Blanca Garcia, RDNnutrition specialist at Canal Santé.
That’s why she advises choosing specific times to eat meals. For example, you might decide to have breakfast every day at 8:00 a.m., lunch at 12:00 p.m., snack at 3:00 p.m., dinner at 6:00 p.m., and snack at 8:30 p.m. The idea is to create a model that works for your lifestyle.
Depending on your needs, this may mean smaller, more frequent meals, or you may prefer larger, less frequent meals with small fasts between dinner and breakfast the next day. The goal is to create a structure for your body to know when to expect food.
“It benefits your weight loss journey in two ways,” says Garcia. “First, if you know when you’re going to eat, you can plan accordingly by preparing meals ahead of time and cutting down on last-minute rushes for high-calorie foods. gets used to these set times, your hunger cues come on and can let you know it’s time to eat, reducing the need to overdo it because you ignore or don’t even get these cues.”
Eat more seafood
Seafood is one of your safest bets for weight loss, not only because it’s so high in protein, but also because it’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which according to studies, can help you feel full longer.
Rima Kleiner, Dt.P., dietitian and blogger behind Dish On Fish, says all seafood can benefit weight loss. However, according to Kleiner, salmon is particularly high in satiating omega-3s, and shrimp are not only low in calories, but also stimulate the production of a hunger-reducing hormone called CCK.
Kleiner recommends aiming to incorporate seafood into your diet at least two to three times a week.
“When it comes to weight loss and health, the most important thing is to choose healthy prepared and cooked seafood,” she says. “Say no to fried fish and ditch dishes with high-calorie sauces. Instead, opt for baked, sautéed, steamed, grilled, or boiled shrimp with sauces and dips on the side for the greater nutrient intake.
Add 3 servings of vegetables and fruit
There are plenty of benefits to eating more vegetables and fruits, but when it comes to weight loss in particular, these foods are low in calories and very high in filling fiber. For this reason, Dana Ellis Hunnes, Dt.P.senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and author of Recipe for survivalrecommends incorporating at least three servings of vegetables and fruit into your daily diet.
Some examples of what this might look like are a chopped apple in oatmeal for breakfast, a cup of mixed green salad for lunch, and half a cup of steamed broccoli with chicken for dinner. Another example might be a cup of sliced tomatoes in an omelet for breakfast, a banana in a mid-afternoon smoothie, and half a cup of roasted asparagus with fish for dinner.
“Fruits and vegetables can replace many of the less healthy, high-calorie foods you might eat in a day, reducing your calorie intake and increasing weight loss,” adds Hunnes.
Replace some of your animal protein with plant protein
While meat and dairy products can be high in protein, many animal products are also high in saturated fat. That’s why Garcia advises replacing animal proteins with plant proteins, such as chickpeas, lentils, beans, tofu, quinoa, nuts and seeds, whenever you can. As a bonus, plant proteins also tend to be much higher in fiber.
“Fiber keeps you full longer due to the time it takes to pass through the digestive tract,” adds Diana Gariglio-Clelland, DRdietitian at Soylent.
If you currently eat animal protein every day, try to make this swap at least 2-3 days a week. Still struggling to cut down on your meat intake? Jesse Feser, Dt.P., a registered dietitian on the My Crohns and Colitis team, suggests switching from high-fat red meats and processed meats to lean proteins like turkey, chicken, fish and eggs.
Replace refined carbs with whole grains
Another super smart trade to make, according to Garcia, is to go for whole grain products over refined grains. Examples of easy to try substitutions would be 100% whole wheat bread instead of white bread, brown rice or spelled pasta instead of white pasta, quinoa or farro instead of white rice, and flakes oats instead of cereals made with white flour.
Whole grains not only contain more nutrients than their refined counterparts, but they also contain more fiber. Of course, that means they’ll keep your hunger pangs at bay for longer, which can aid weight loss by preventing you from snacking too much between meals.
In fact, a 2008 review in Public health Nutrition found that eating three servings of whole grains daily was linked to lower body mass index.
Practice mindful eating
When you’re not present while you eat, not only can you miss the joyful experience of enjoying your food, but you can also miss the cues that you’re full, causing you to accidentally overeat. That is why Catherine Gervacio, DR, registered dietitian and Living Fit contributor, recommends mindful eating. It means taking your time while you eat to really listen to what your body is telling you.
Some tips for mindful eating are giving yourself at least 20 minutes to savor a meal so you can recognize hunger and fullness cues, eliminating distractions like TV during meals, planning meals with others because that the conversation encourages you to take time while eating and to take a break. between bites of food to check in with your body and ask, “do I need more?” or “have I had enough?”
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