7 Quick and Dirty Tips for Healthier Dieting

Eating right doesn't have to be an overwhelming challenge! In fact, it's not as hard as you might think. A few simple changes to your food choices can make a huge difference not just in your weight loss, but also in your overall health. Here are a few of our best tips for healthier dieting:

Cook Right

Try to eat meals at home, and learn to cook meals that are healthy. Deep fried, stir-fried, and fried foods may be tasty, but they're a lot less healthy than foods that have been baked, boiled, grilled, and broiled. Frying and deep-frying food uses vegetable oil, and it ends up producing a lot more trans fats than is good for your health. By going for the lower-fat cooking methods, you avoid unhealthy trans fats!

Go Raw

Eat raw food as much as possible! You have to cook legumes, grains, and proteins, but you can still eat a lot of raw fruits and veggies, seeds, and nuts. Raw foods are loaded not only in dietary fiber, but also in important antioxidants your body needs in order to be healthy. Cooking fruits and veggies can eliminate a lot of those antioxidants, which is why it's so important to eat them raw. Make it a point to have at least 3-5 servings of raw food a day.

Shrink Portions

One of the greatest contributors to weight loss has nothing to do with the quality of your food—it's all about quantity. Eating too much of a healthy food can still cause weight gain, which is why it's so important to reduce your portion sizes. Try to limit the amount of food you eat to just ONE serving per meal. Don't go back for seconds, but make sure that first plate has enough food to keep you satiated. Over time, make a concerted effort to shrink portion sizes.

Be Aware of Hidden Ingredients

Do you have any idea how much sugar is in your BBQ sauce, or how many unnecessary calories are in Ranch dressing? Do you know what chemicals are used to flavor your seasonings? In some cases, the hidden ingredients will add extra calories to your diet, while other times they'll increase your intake of artificial and chemical foods. A good rule of thumb should be to always cook your food from scratch!

Drink Up

The more water you drink, the better! Water helps to fill up your stomach, but it also reduces the risk of overeating. Many times, your body misinterprets thirst signals as hunger pangs, so you end up eating when really all your body wanted was a drink of water. Try to have no less than 6 glasses of water per day, but shoot for up to 4 liters. Stick with ONLY water—avoid sugary sodas, juices, and fruit drinks.  And definitely stay away from any "low calorie" or "zero calorie" drinks, all of which are loaded with artificial sweeteners.

Cut Extra Fats

There are good fats—unsaturated and saturated fats—and then there are the bad trans fats and hydrogenated oils. Good fats will encourage better digestion and cardiovascular health, but remember that even too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Reduce the amount of butter you put on your bread, the sour cream on your potatoes, and the creamy dressings on your salad.

Read Nutrition Labels

Always know what's in your food! Not just the calorie count, but also the variety of carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Knowledge is power, as well as the key to weight loss and healthier eating!

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