Is one of your goals this year to lose weight, eat healthier, or just feel better with your food choices? Then read on for some of our top tips to improve your diet and feel your best in 2021.
Track what you eat.
The first step of improving your diet comes from an awareness of where you are starting from. Tracking can be a bit time-consuming but even tracking all of your food intake, and I mean everything, for just one week can give you incredible insight into your baseline. One awesome and free tracking app to use is MyFitnessPal.
Be sure to take note of overall daily calories as well as where most of your calories are coming from. MyFitnessPal will show you what percentage of carbs, fats, and protein you eat as well. Also included a weekend in your tracking as most people tend to eat higher calorie-dense foods on weekends.
You want to aim for most of your calories to come from real foods, not packaged products. And you want a good mix of carbs, fats, and protein.
Know your weaknesses.
We all have those times where we know we eat more than we should and feel a little too full afterward. Find out when that is for you. Think about social situations, are you likely to graze a buffet table without thinking? Are evening snacks your weakness? Do you tend to mindlessly overeat while watching TV?
Reflect on scenarios in the past where you felt overstuffed and come up with a plan of what you will do when the same situation arises.
If you like to eat while watching TV, portion out your snack or pick food with low-calorie density – like air popped popcorn.
If you tend to overeat in social situations, like at a restaurant, ask the waiter or waitress to box up a portion of your meal before serving it.
There are many other scenarios that can be contributing to overeating, so be sure to evaluate where you are slipping up and create an action plan to fix it. Be creative!
I know that you know hydration is important. But what is sometimes not understood is how hydration levels can affect our hunger levels. One easy test is when you are feeling hungry, drink a full glass of water. Sometimes dehydration will show up as hunger in our bodies. If your hunger goes away, then you only really needed water at that moment. If your hunger is still present, give yourself permission to have a snack.
Staying hydrated throughout the day can also help keep your hunger levels from spiking.
Food is such an important part of our overall health and wellness and these tips will get you started on the right path to feeling better in your body.