Hunger is your diet's worst enemy.
Usually when people begin a healthy diet plan, they dive in headfirst with...salad. We've gotten so much terrible information, so much conflicting information, so much downright dangerous information, that we often don't know which end is up. So, when we decide to get healthy, we cling to the one thing we know for sure: There's nothing wrong with a big bowl of lettuce and veggies (assuming that you don't drown your salad in dressing).
When newbie dieters decide to branch out, they'll add grilled chicken to their salad. Then salmon. Then tuna. Not only are they bored, they're starving.
Pretty soon, you'll find them huddled in the kitchen, munching on a bag of potato chips.
Now don't get me wrong, I love salad. But as healthy and versatile as it can be, even I wouldn't want it for every meal (and my kids would certainly put up a fight if I tried).
We've been so messed up by drinks that give us flavor but aren't filling and snacks that only curb our cravings momentarily that we don't know how to eat healthy, filling foods. Instead, we munch and snack our way through the day, completely oblivious to what - and how much - we're putting in our bodies.
Beginning a healthy weight loss plan means completely changing your relationship with food. You'll plan out your meals so that the food you eat has the maximum fat-burning and tummy-filling effect. The first step on that journey is making sure you're satisfied at the end of each meal (snacks included). That way, you won't feel tempted to break into the cookie jar two hours before dinner!
As you're planning out your meals, consider adding the following four ingredients to make your meals more filling.
- Protein: Even carb metabolic types need protein in their lives. Protein is more difficult for your body to digest than other nutrients, so your metabolism kicks into gear when you eat it. Plus, since protein takes longer to digest, it will fill your stomach long after your meal is over.
- Fat: Because it is energy dense, fat takes up more space in your stomach and holds you over between meals. Of course, you'll want to stick to the healthier varieties: Avocados, assorted nuts and nut butters, and some seeds are all super-healthy ways to fill up during or between meals.
- Beans: Beans are complex carbohydrates, meaning they'll fill you up, offer a laundry list of essential vitamins and nutrients, and help keep your blood sugar steady. They're also a simple way to jazz up any salad!
- Fruits and veggies: When you're making your standby salad, don't stop with lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. Pile on the veggies, and add a few fruits if you're feeling bold (apples and oranges are great on salads). Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, so they'll fill you up. Plus, both have a high water content, so you'll feel fuller longer.