It’s okay to make life a little tastier and still lose inches. Check out this guide on how to lose weight and still eat yummy foods.
When the mercury starts to drop and the snow starts to fly, do you tend to crave comfort food? It’s understandable — in fact, having a hankering for savory, meaty stews, gloriously cheesy casseroles, and hearty pasta dishes are built into human biology. Historically, having a diet rich in fats and carbohydrates was one way to help guarantee our survival over the long, cold winter.
Of course, it doesn’t help that the strawberries and tomatoes, trucked in from far-off farms, look anemic and tasteless. So the salads and vegetable dishes we became accustomed to in the summertime really aren’t options anymore!
If you are watching your weight or trying to lose a few pounds, fall and winter can be trying times. And that’s even before we factor in all the inevitable holiday goodies!
Just in time to stave off temptation, we’ve compiled these tips for how to lose weight and still eat delicious, satisfying food.
Flip Your Food Scripts
Do you still struggle to choose breakfast foods that aren’t giant greasy-spoon platters or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, tasteless and joyless egg-white omelets? Or maybe breakfast, to you, means a muffin — but let’s face it, muffins are basically cupcakes. Not the ideal way to kick off your day.
In Western culture, we learn from a young age that certain foods are fit only for certain times of the day. A veggie-packed soba-noodle soup for breakfast? That’s crazy talk! Only, in many parts of the world, it’s quite normal.
Here’s a little secret that can help you flip the script on your eating: You can eat any kind of food you want, whenever you want to eat it. If you roll out of bed and crave a giant green salad with a healthy dressing? Eat that to break your fast. Leftover curried vegetables and chickpeas, served over brown rice? A perfect meal to provide you with long-lasting energy for the day ahead.
The same rule applies for other meals, too. If your body is craving a big bowl of roasted butternut squash for dinner that is exactly what you should have for your evening meal. Not every plate has to be a precise trio of a protein, a starch, and a vegetable.
Sign Up for a Weight Loss Meal Plan
What are the benefits of a customized weight loss meal plan? Let us count the ways!
First of all, a meal plan takes the guesswork — and the regular ol’ work! — out of losing weight. All of the hard parts are already done for you, like counting calories, calculating protein and carbs, even coming up with interesting, tempting recipes. That’s an incredible boon to anyone who has enough other tasks on their daily to-do list without adding in the job duties of a nutritionist!
Secondly, meal plans eliminate the possibility that, when you’re in a hurry and feeling hungry, you’ll grab something quick and easy, but not healthy. Fast food, for example. Not having to plan your own meals makes it so much easier to nourish yourself if you lead a busy life.
Stop Thinking of the “Shoulds”
Again, this tip has to do with managing (and changing) your expectations and ingrained thought patterns around food. It’s OK not to like kale, and more importantly, it’s OK to not eat kale, either.
Are there other greens you do like? Broccoli, maybe, or raw cabbage, or roasted Brussels sprouts, or spinach, or Swiss chard? Give the kale a miss and eat the nutritious foods you do enjoy.
Rethinking your approach to meals, and finding ways to genuinely enjoy nutritious food, is a healthy approach to losing weight. Forcing yourself to eat the trendy superfood of the moment even if you think it tastes terrible? Not so healthy for body, mind, or spirit!
Regain Your Power with Portion Control
Making yourself eat a hated food won’t feel good in the moment, nor will it lead to lasting changes in your lifestyle. Similarly, depriving yourself of food that gives you pleasure is also doomed to failure. Some people do well to be virtuous eaters most of the time, but then reward themselves with a cheat day (or cheat meal).
For others, truly savoring a small portion of a beloved meal — whether that’s macaroni and cheese, pizza, fudge brownies, or fried chicken wings — is the key. In this scenario, you’re not cheating. You’re just exercising portion control.
One last way to integrate your fave noshes into a healthy meal plan? Make small changes to improve the food’s nutritional profile while retaining most of what you love about it. Swap whole-wheat pasta for the white stuff. Try oven-baked chicken drumsticks doused in hot sauce instead of deep-fried Buffalo wings.
Top that slice of pizza with a heaping helping of Caesar salad (it’s surprisingly good!). Make that pan of brownies, but eliminate the flour and find sweeteners and fats that aren’t quite as nutritionally deficit as the ones you might be used to.
Now that You Know How to Lose Weight and Still Eat Well
It’s something of a cliche, but it bears repeating nonetheless: diets simply don’t work. Deprive a human of something they love, and you will find that that human will move heaven and earth to obtain that taboo.
Instead, think of this as a true lifestyle change. Be kind and gentle to yourself during the process. Rethink your patterns and preconceptions. Teach yourself how to lose weight and still eat satisfying meals, without depriving yourself. Hopefully our tips have set you on the right path!
What are some foolproof tricks you’ve used to lose weight? Do you like non-traditional breakfasts? Have you made over any of your old favorites to have a healthier twist? Have your say in the comment section below — we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Brought to you by our friend, Darren.