January is always the month when we get the most questions about weight loss and adjusting eating habits, and that makes sense because a lot of people want to be healthier in the new year. We can help provide you with more hands-on weight loss treatments like gastric sleeving or the Orbera balloon, but before we consider these methods we ask that patients try conservative methods to help them lose weight, and the most basic method involves dietary changes. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at five ways to bring some long-term positive changes to your diet without radically changing your eating habits.
How To Make Positive Changes To Your Diet
Here are five ways to make healthy changes to your diet that have a good chance of becoming long-term habits.
- Meal Plan – We talked about the importance of meal planning in our blog about kickstarting weight loss in the new year, but it’s important for anyone looking to begin a weight loss journey. Knowing where our food will come from later in the day will prevent you from making poor choices because you’re running short on time. If you meal prep or throw something in the crockpot before you head to work, you won’t be tempted to stop at a fast food restaurant on the way home. Meal planning and cooking your own meals ahead of time if one of the easiest ways to avoid empty calories.
- Increase Your Water Intake With Meals – Every time you sit down for a meal, make sure you have a big glass of water nearby. You’ll consume fewer calories if you feel full faster, and drinking plenty of water alongside your meal can help with this process. Strive for water instead of juice, soda or alcoholic beverages, because you can consume this zero-calorie drink guilt free. Try to finish your water before you leave the table, and you may find that you’re no longer hungry for a second helping.
- Stop After 7pm – Another tip that many people have found to help with weight loss is to not eat anything after 7 p.m. By that time, most people have finished their dinner and are winding down for the night. Anything they eat from here on tends to be a less-than-healthy snack like chips, popcorn or ice cream. You can have water, but make it a point to avoid eating anything after 7 p.m. to avoid an influx of unhealthy calories. Eating before bed also forces the digestive system to work at a time when your body is trying to prepare for sleep.
- Increase Your Exercise – Increased exercise works on multiple fronts. For starters, exercise helps to drive weight loss by burning calories. On the flip side, if you’re exercising, you’re not eating. If you’re feeling hungry, consider performing a workout instead. You may just be bored and not actually hungry, and exercise can also act as a short-term appetite suppressant. Improve your eating habits by exercising more.
- Consult With A Specialist – Finally, our office is always open if you want to learn more about healthy eating habits and positive changes you can make to your diet. We can help provide individualized advice based on your specific needs, which may prove more successful than some of the generalized tips listed above. Reach out to Dr. Bhatti’s office for answers to all your weight loss questions and concerns.