Making changes to your diet can become overwhelming. Keeping track of the number of food groups to “avoid, eliminate, and cut out” is a lot of work. Try reframing your thought process and stick to these 3 simple tips:
- Aim to eat every 2-4 hours. Each time you eat, you should eat enough food to keep you full for 2-4 hours, but not so much that you could go another 8 hours with food. Start paying attention to the times of the day the you eat and how much you eat. If you notice that you “over eat” at a particular time (meaning you’re full for 5+ hours), try to squeeze in a snack sometime before that meal (preferable 2-4 hours before) so that you aren’t over eating and grabbing foods that I refer to as low efficiency foods (also known by some as ‘junk food’).
- Eat real food (or high efficient foods). 90% of your body is made up of the same 7 elements. Those same elements make up most of the naturally occurring food on this planet such as fruit, vegetables, 100% whole grains, dairy, and meat. When you real food, your body knows what it is and how to use it. The more processed the food, the harder it is for your body to use it. Processed foods leave your body wanting more because it didn’t receive the nutrients it needs for energy. This is why you can eat an entire bag of Cheetos and still want to eat more. When you eat real, whole foods, will have more energy and feel fuller longer, simply because you are giving your body what it needs.
- Make meals and snacks substantial. This means eat real food, and eat enough of it. Aim for at least 2 different food groups for each meal AND snack. Carbohydrates give your body energy, protein helps keep you fuller longer and rebuild muscles and tissues, and fat helps you absorb nutrients and keeps you fuller longer. Examples for snacks include an apple with peanut butter, 100% whole grain crackers with cheese, or deli turkey on a whole grain wrap.
If you are going to implement these three tips to your daily routine, pick one to work on for 1 week. Once you have a handle on that tip, pick another. Work on maintaining those two tips at the same time. Once you are able to do 2 of the 3 at the same time, add the third tip. Try not to do everything at once. Again, making changes to your diet and become overwhelming. Be sure to be patient and realistic when setting your goals. And as always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Caitlin Lantier MS, RD, LD