One thing I have learnt from all the women on my F.I.T. programs, is that to get results, you have to work hard, be consistent and change your eating habits. A lot of women go on crash diets, get amazing results, but then often end up piling the weight back on as soon as they go back to their old way of eating. The problem is that most people see weight loss as a one-time thing. “I’ll lose the weight and then will be able to eat whatever I want”. The truth is if you want to get fit and healthy for the long term, you need to make lifestyle changes. It can feel a little overwhelming at first, but if you start making healthy changes to your eating habits, one step at a time soon they will be part of your everyday routine, without even thinking about it.
Here are 5 tips to change your eating habits:
1. Start Slow
Often when we decide we want to lose weight we completely overhaul our lives. We resign ourselves to eating only healthy foods, sweat it out at the gym every day, avoid temptation by saying no to coffee and lunches with our friends, and then wonder why we fall back into old habits after just a few days or weeks.
The trick is to start slow. That means changing one habit at a time so it doesn’t feel like you’re depriving yourself. A good first step is to start with a healthy breakfast. Once you have got that first meal out of the way and started the day on a healthy note, you are more likely to continue to eat well for the rest of the day. Choose a breakfast high in protein like overnight oats or eggs with green veges, and you’ll be less likely to reach for an unhealthy snack mid-morning.
2. Find healthy swaps for your favourite unhealthy dishes
If you’re a foodie, or simply love to eat, the thought of depriving yourself can bring your fat loss goals crashing down. The trick is to find healthy ways to eat your favourite dishes, so you can get all of the flavour without all of the calories. Google is an excellent resource for healthy, low-calorie meals like cauliflower rice, healthy mac and cheese and delicious, flavourful curries which won’t ruin all your hard work. Or my F.I.T. programs are an entire four week program filled with delicious meals and even desserts that are super healthy.
3. Get rid of temptation
You’ve probably heard that one of the best ways to avoid temptation is to distract yourself until the urge to eat is gone. But if that chocolate bar or bag of chips is sitting in your cupboard you may find it impossible to stop thinking about having a “treat”. The answer? Don’t buy the unhealthy stuff! Remove unhealthy foods from your pantry so when you’re watching TV late at night you won’t be able to find calorie-laden and high-fat foods, and you’ll soon notice your waistline shrinking.
4. Reduce your plate size
When you pile your plate high, you usually end up eating everything you’ve served yourself (especially if your mother taught you to finish what’s on your plate). It takes around 20 minutes for our stomachs to realise they’re full, so choose a smaller plate so you can serve yourself less food, and tell yourself you can go back for seconds if you’re still hungry in half an hour.
5. Carry healthy snacks on hand
If you’re the type to get “hangry” (like me), it’s time to fill your purse or pockets with healthy snacks. If you get really hungry when you’re out and there are no healthy options to choose from you’re probably going to make an unhealthy decision instead. Some good options include:
A small bag of almonds
A protein shake
A home made protein muffin
Vege sticks and homemade hummus
By taking control and ensuring you always have a healthy snack on hand, you’ll ensure that you’re not tempted by Starbucks or McDonalds and you’ll be more likely to meet your weight loss goals.
Remember, if you are just starting out, don't overwhelm yourself by doing too much. Tackle one healthy habit at a time and soon or enough, you'll be smashing through your goals and feeling great.