French women eat smaller portions of more things, and American women eat larger portions of fewer things. So plate your meal like a French woman! For breakfast, eat a slice of toast, a sliver of butter, a bit of jam, and a fruit—like half a banana—plus coffee or tea. Variety, color, and presentation go a long way toward fooling the stomach into thinking you’re eating more than you actually are.
At a restaurant, make sure your water glass is always topped off and that it’s ice cold. Drinking water throughout your meal makes you feel fuller faster, and the coldness causes you to burn more calories to bring the water’s temperature up.
Get into the habit of popping DHA-based omega-3s—take two 200-milligram capsules about 30 minutes before both lunch and dinner. Or have 4 ounces of non-fried salmon or trout three times per week, along with six walnuts before each meal. This will decrease your desire for food later on, since this type of omega helps release the hormone cholecystokinin, which reduces appetite. Less food equals a smaller waist!
If you’re a soda-lover—or have another favorite calorie-laden indulgence like potato chips—hide your stash in a really inconvenient place, like your basement. I do this myself. You’ll be less likely to go and grab it. And if you do make the trek, you’ll have to burn extra calories to get the treat.
Eat a small amount of dark chocolate—I’m talking a 100-calorie piece that’s made of at least 70% cacao—every day. I consider it ‘the daily dark chocolate escape.’ Doing this curbs your cravings for both sweet and salty foods. You’re much more likely to be satisfied and not reach for those cookies or chips. My clients say this allows them to pass up samples at the market without feeling deprived.
Taste buds are malleable little fellas. When they can’t be with the foods they love, they learn to love the foods they’re with. Make a short-term commitment to choosing more wholesome closer-to-nature foods with less added salt, sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat. Within weeks, you’ll start to prefer these now-familiar foods.
Ways Nutrition Can Pep Up Your Life
Calories are by definition a measurement of energy. So, your diet can determine the amount of energy your body has stored during any time of the day. Many people tend to look at food as a way to satisfy a growling stomach, but that food is affecting your energy level and your mood as well. Increasing your energy levels is a delicate balance of eating the right foods and not eating too much food. Too little or too much food can slow you down, causing a tired, lethargic feeling to creep in. If you eat for energy, you may gain that extra pep in your step that you have been looking for.
Starting off with a healthy breakfast is a great way to get the energy up. Skipping breakfast is a bad idea based on the amount of calories burned while sleeping. The body craves new calories in the morning, so adding oatmeal or low-fat yogurt would be an awesome way to consume complex carbs as well as healthy bacteria that will help in digestion.
Eat small meals frequently throughout the day. Small snacks will help you maintain a constant level of energy all day. This will also counteract the effect of the body slowing down because of the energy needed for the digestion of larger meals.
Get rid of the refined carbs and add the complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, pasta or rye bread. Complex carbs cause fewer spikes in blood sugar, which causes fatigue. Also, diets low in carbohydrates have also been associated with depression, anger and tension.
You must add a protein source in each meal or snack. Lean protein sources come from foods such as turkey, tuna, beans, chickpeas, fish and soy products. These all can give you energy that increase how alert and energetic you feel.
Omega-3 fatty acids are another key energy ingredient needed within your diet. Fish, fortified breads, yogurt, orange juice, milk and eggs are all good sources. Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to lift bad moods and reduce negative attitudes.
Lastly, water is another key to maintaining energy throughout the day. Many of the body’s vital functions rely on water in order to perform. A deficit of water can cause fatigue and a sluggish feeling so a good rule to drink eight 8oz glasses of water a day based on fitness and activity level.