1. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables that have high water content. These are foods like tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupe, kiwi, grapes – you get the idea. All of those fresh and flavorful, juicy fruits and veggies are good for you.
2. Eat fresh fruit instead of processed fruit. Anything that is processed as more sugar. Processed and canned fruits also do not have as much fiber as fresh fruits.
3. Increase your fiber intake as much as you can. This usually means eating more fruits and veggies.
4. Veggies are your friends when it comes to shedding pounds. There are tons of options here, and you may even want to try some you haven’t had in the past. The leafy green varieties are the best, and you always want to work in a salad when you can. Salads are packed with nutrients as long as you don’t pour too much dressing on and load them with too much cheese. The leafy greens also have a lot of natural water.
5. Watch everything you consume from the food itself to what you top it with. Garnishments and condiments can sabotage a healthy meal because they are typically high in fat.
6. Set meal times and stick to them. Try to have your meals at specific times and eat them at that time. An eating pattern will help you to control what you eat and when you eat it. Also, it is better to have five small meals a day rather than just one or two huge meals.
7. If you must have a snack make sure it is a healthy one. If you travel a lot, try to find healthy snacks and not junk food.
8. Veggies make great snacks. They can get you through the hunger pangs if you have them. Carrots are great because they satisfy hunger, and they are packed with nutrients.
9. Counting calories is a good idea for those must-have food items. If it is a packaged food item, then it will have the calories on the packaging. Be sure to pay attention to serving sizes in terms of calories as well.
10. Work off the extra calories by the end of the week. If you feel you have splurged too much this week, be sure to get to the gym or go walking a little longer to work off those extra calories you have consumed.
11. Stay away from all things fried. If it is breaded, it is better than it is baked. Fried foods are immersed in fat and oil. Even after the excess has oil has been drained away, there is still oil absorbed into the food item itself.
12. Don’t skip meals. You should have, at the very least, three meals a day, but preferably five small meals. This will keep you from getting hungry during the day and overeating out of starvation.
13. Just like fruits, fresh vegetables are better than those that are canned. It is even better if you can eat your veggies raw. When you cook them, you cook away the nutrients. If you must cook them, try to boil them to the point that there is still some crispness to them. Also, don’t soak them in butter. If you can buy organic and pesticide-free veggies, that is even better.
14. Eat foods from all of the food groups each day. This is a great way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs, and it helps to ward off any diet deficiencies. Also, don’t eat the same foods all the time. Experiment so that you don’t get bored with the same old diet.
15. Try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. This is the best way to give your body the jump start it needs. Don’t wait until you are really hungry. Breakfast is essential, but you don’t need to stuff yourself.
16. Eat more white meat than red meat. White meat includes chicken, fish, and some other fowl. Red meat includes beef and pork.
17. White bread is good, but high fiber multigrain breads are much better. These breads are another way to add more fiber to your diet.
18. Don’t worry about cheating, but don’t cheat for a meal. Eat sweets and your favorite cheat food for the flavor only. If you want dessert after dinner, share one with the whole family. You’ll get the flavor, but not the pounds.
19. Pork does not assist in weight loss in any way. The less pork you eat, the better off you will be when trying to lose weight. Pork has a high-fat content and includes food items such as bacon, ham, and sausage.
20. Limit your sugar intake as much as possible. If you must have sweetener in your coffee and tea, try to find an artificial sweetener that you don’t mind the taste of. However, these things are not all that healthy either and should be limited as well.
21. Take it easy on the salt and try to cut what you use in half. Salt is one of the main causes of obesity.
22. Opt for dark chocolate as an occasional sweet. Look for a brand that has at least 70% cocoa content (75% or higher is even better). Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants but doesn’t look at it like a “healthy meal.” Try to have no more than one or two small pieces per day, perhaps after lunch or dinner, so you get the taste without going overboard.