Due to the fact that weight loss is a primary goal for most people, I wanted to do a mini-series of posts with some tips and insight. I’m going to divide them into the sub-topics at home, dining out, and small changes to make.
The one thing you need to remember about losing weight is that it takes time to do it safely. The second thing is that it requires a calorie deficit – you need to take in fewer calories than you use throughout the day. However, cutting your calories too low is dangerous for your health and will actually halt weight loss, so finding the right balance is key.
Eating at home is the best option for weight loss as you have control over what goes into your food, making it as healthy as possible. Here are my top tips to help you on your weight loss journey:
- Focus on nutrient-dense foods. Vegetables, lean cuts of protein, and healthy fats will supply you with plenty of nutrients to keep you feeling full, on surprisingly fewer calories than processed foods. Fibrous vegetables will fill you up with a low calorie count, but plenty of vitamins and minerals. Aim to make at least half your plate dark, colorful vegetables at each meal.
- Take in enough protein. Lean proteins (chicken, turkey, white fish) do double-duty for weight loss: it’ll help rebuild your muscles after working out and help keep you full for longer. Women are notorious for not getting enough protein in their diets, so make sure to think of ways to include a protein source each time you eat. Half a can of tuna mixed with plain Greek yogurt makes a great protein-rich tuna salad without the fat of mayo. Put it on a salad for a complete meal – easy, healthy, tasty!
- Stay hydrated. Generally, we’re all dehydrated because we rely on a lot of caffeinated beverages and not enough water. When you feel hungry, you may actually just be dehydrated. Keep a reusable water bottle with you and fill it constantly throughout the day to remind you to drink. For more info on how water helps you, check out this post.
- Don’t buy tempting food. This is simple – if it’s not in your house, you can’t eat it. When you’re shopping, focus on stocking your cart with healthy food and avoid packaged foods (cookies, crackers, candy, frozen meals, ice cream, etc.). Even if these packaged foods are marketed as “healthy”, they aren’t. When you only have healthy options, you’ll be forced to snack on these foods. Don’t tempt yourself by keeping junk food in the house!
- Stay full. The common assumption when trying to lose weight is that you’re going to be hungry all the time. Keep your body satisfied to avoid binge eating in a fit of starvation. Aim to eat three moderate meals and three snacks throughout the day to stay full (using tips 1 and 2 to guide these meals and snacks). Also, eat within an hour of waking up to get your metabolism running and to give your body the fuel it needs.
There are so many more tips and tricks to use at home, but these are my top five – they’re things I think about each day and ways that I guide my nutrition year-round. I’ve learned that I’m unable to keep tempting food in my house when I’m prepping for a competition, so I don’t buy those things. Even though I can usually feel satisfied with just one bite, it’s easier to avoid the food completely. Out of sight, out of mind.
Also, having portions of protein on hand and ready to go makes life so much easier, especially if I’m in a rush to pull a meal together. Bulk cooking our proteins is something we do each Friday so we stay on track over the weekend and throughout the week. You can also try my go-to favorite meal as a quick option full of protein and veggies.
Most importantly, learn to have fun in the kitchen! Try new seasonings and cooking methods for flavour. Healthy eating is NOT boring, you just need to get a little creative and try new things. Happy eating!!