When discussing diet changes, one mistake many people make when deciding to change their diet is to change the whole diet drastically. The problem is, this type of modification is rarely successful. The question then becomes, what can I do to help improve my diet?
Here are four small diet tweaks that can help you change your outlook on food and dieting.
Swap for a Dessert Plate
Have you ever been to your grandmother’s house and noticed how she has really tiny plates? Maybe this has happened to you. But it is true. Over the last 75 years, our portions have gotten larger and larger. The standard portion size today is almost 100% larger than it was 50 to 75 years ago.
The best thing that you can do to help control your portions is starting with a dessert plate instead of a dinner plate. Dessert plates are approximately the size of dinner plates in the 1920s and 30s. Filling your dessert plate full of dinner will give you a good idea of what you should be eating.
Furthermore, you can divide your dessert plate up so you can get a better idea of portions.
The Western world, in general, suffers from portion distortion. We think a serving of protein is 10 ounces when in reality it is more like 3 to 4 ounces. One of the reasons this portion distortion has come about is the larger plates we’ve been using to eat.
Now that you’ve swapped for the smaller plate you can divide your plate in half. One-half of your plate should be devoted to fresh vegetables, salads, or a vegetable dish of some sort. This doesn’t mean starches like potatoes.
Divide the other half of your plate into quarters. One-quarter of that plate should be dedicated to your protein and the other quarter can be used for starches like mashed potatoes sweet potatoes or squashes.
Now you’ve got a good idea of what your portions look like for a good meal. You haven’t changed anything about what you’re eating, you can still eat the same vegetables the same dishes that you’re used to eating. You’re just adjusting how much you eat at a sitting.
Water, Water, Water
Many times when we are hungry, we are actually thirsty. Americans are surprisingly mildly dehydrated most of the time. Did you know that you are supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day?
That means if you’re 150-pound woman you should be drinking 75 ounces of water. And that’s on a sedentary day where you’re just sitting around watching TV. That same 150-pound woman who goes out and exercises or works in the sun is going to need a lot more water.
Unfortunately, we tend to drink sodas, sweet tea, fruit juices instead of water. So not only are we getting excess calories but were also not getting enough of the right kind of fluids into our system.
If you aren’t drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day, this should be your next goal. You’ll be amazed at how different you feel once you’re fully hydrated.
Keep Fruit Visible and Hide Your Junk
Studies have shown that households that left fruit out on the table instead of snacks like chips or candy have lower body fat percentages than households who don’t. This doesn’t mean you can’t buy the junk food. It just means that it needs to go in a bin or a cabinet where it’s not easily seen. Keeping the fruit and healthy foods visible means you’re more likely to eat them. This is an easy way to hack your brain into eating healthier foods and eventually get rid of the junk.
These four simple lifestyle changes don’t really seem like much. But if you can make them and stick to them consistently, you will start noticing big changes in how you feel and how your clothes fit.
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