Changing your nutritional habits can be tough and oftentimes overwhelming. It’s not always easy to know where to start and what to do. However, most people would be surprised to learn that starting with small changes can often yield large results.
Most mainstream diets are rigid and require everything about your current nutritional habits to change. This may work for a few weeks until boom—it all becomes too unrealistic to maintain. There’s nothing like whipping out the scale to weigh your food at a family barbecue or passing on drinks out with friends because it’s not on your diet.
Fear no more. Below we’ve put together five small things that you can change today for big results. Start with one small change at a time, and once it becomes a habit, you are ready for another change. Here are our five quick and easy tips for fat loss:
1) Use smaller plates
This fix is one we suggest to all our nutritional clients. Swap out your large dinner plates for the small- to medium-sized plates. Use these plates moving forward with all your meals. Not only will you eat smaller portions without noticing, but you will also be visually tricked into feeling as though you are eating more. It’s a win-win.
2) Reduce starchy carbs by 50 percent
Now this tip may not be for everyone, but it can be implemented by most. We all know by now that American sized portions are huge and way larger than necessary. Portion control is key to weight loss. Next time you reach for a starchy carb (bread, pasta, potatoes, cereal, etc.), take half the amount you normally would. Practicing this alone can result in a substantial amount of fat loss.
3) Replace most beverages with water
Sodas, juices (yes, even fruit juice), sports drinks, etc., are all loaded with sugar. In fact, one small glass of orange juice contains 21 grams of sugar, which is half of your daily recommended value. Replacing these daily drinks with water can do wonders for your waistline. Coffee and tea can continue to be consumed with mindfulness to the amount of sugar added (1 teaspoon is recommended).
4) Take a closer look at your peanut butter
Remember the peanut butter you grew up on as a kid? Toss it out. Most popular brands of peanut butter (Jif, Smuckers, Peter Pan) are loaded with sugar. Even if it says “reduced sugar,” you should still pass on it as it is loaded with artificial sugars, which are just as bad. The only ingredients in your peanut butter should be: oil, peanuts, salt (optional). The same goes for all other nut butters.
5) When eating out, take half to-go
Going back to portion control, this is a great tip and another one we recommend to clients in our Lean Eating Program. Since restaurant portions are way oversized, it’s a good practice not to eat the entire portion in one sitting when eating out. Instead, once your food is served, ask for a to-go box immediately and pack up half of your uneaten plate. This way if you eat everything on your plate, chances are the portion will much closer to what it should be. And you have lunch or dinner for the next day.
Jason DeHenzel has trained some of New York’s most prestigious clients, including high-profile lawyers, advertising executives, movie producers and musicians. Sophie DeHenzel is a Pn1-certified nutritionist and former downhill ski racer. The pair founded DeHenzel Training Systems to develop customized fitness plans for clients of different abilities, experience and commitment. Find out more at dtsnova.com.