Whether you are looking to lose weight or want to commit to a healthier diet, increasing your fruits and vegetable consumption provides numerous benefits. According to the CDC, “Eating more fruits and vegetables adds nutrients to diets, reduces the risk for heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, and helps manage body weight when consumed in place of more energy-dense foods.” Unfortunately, only 25% of Americans consume the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and many people eat way more calories than recommended.
If eating less and cutting calories from your diet seems impossible, we have some tips to help you eat healthier without feeling deprived or hungry. You won’t even realize you’ve reduced calorie intake, and your new diet can help you lose one pound a week! Fruits and vegetables have fewer calories and more nutrients than typical snacks of chips, cookies and crackers, making them a great “go-to” snack option. Always remember, if there is no color on your plate, rethink your snack or meal choice and swap something out for a colorful burst of fruits and/or veggies.
A new and improved diet will have you eating healthier and feeling more satiated. What have you got to lose – except some excess weight?
Start the day with fruit or vegetables at breakfast
Adding berries, prunes, or an apple to your morning oatmeal gives you extra fiber as well as anti-oxidants. Eating eggs? Add some veggies to your omelet. The fiber helps keep your blood sugar steady throughout the morning and prevents hunger pangs mid-morning.
Add veggies to your smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to enjoy fruit on the run, but you can also add veggies for a nutritional boost. The sweetness of the fruit will mask veggie flavors, so feel free to toss in a large handful of spinach. Add in half of an avocado to make it creamier and add a little healthy fat.
Include healthy fats in your meal
Healthy fats fill you up and keep you satiated for longer than low-fat foods. Low-fat foods are not as satisfying and usually have more sugar than their traditional counterparts. Add some avocado in your salad and eat the whole egg, rather than just the white. A few nuts on top of your granola works too.
Always choose healthy snacks
A healthy snack in the afternoon can satisfy your hunger until it’s time for dinner. There are lots of delicious fruit/veggie snacks, and here are some of our favorites:
- An apple, some walnuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Celery and carrot sticks with hummus
- Turkey slices with slivers of avocado
- Yogurt and berries
- A hardboiled egg and half an avocado
- Cucumber and tomato salad drizzled with red wine vinegar and olive oil
Have a salad with your lunch or dinner
Adding a side salad to your lunch and dinner increases your vegetable and fiber content. You’ll feel full without adding a lot of extra calories. Keep toppings such as croutons, nuts, and cheese to a minimum to keep calorie content under control. Top with a vinaigrette or low-calorie dressing and enjoy.
Pre-portion your snacks
Snack foods are easy to overeat. Keep yours to the suggested serving size by measuring them by weight on your Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale. Save time and money by portioning your favorite eats in grab-and-go containers or plastic baggies. For example, if one serving size of cashews is 150 grams, use your kitchen scale to weigh the nuts and only consume this measured portion. Whenever possible, avoid eating straight from the bag or jar.
Avoid mindless eating
Mindless eating and snacking tends to happen when food is in front of you and you are “focused” on something else such as your phone, TV, or computer screen. Avoid eating in front of such distractions and take time to enjoy your food. When you are aware of what you’re eating, you tend to eat less of it.
Include a source of protein in every meal
Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and fat, and it causes your metabolism to rise. When you eat protein, you get full faster and stay full longer. Pair an egg or nuts with morning oatmeal, add lean chicken breast to your lunch salad, and have a piece of string cheese with your afternoon apple.
Swap out traditional carbs for veggie substitutes
Switching some of your carbs for vegetables can help you cut calories while keeping you full. Swap out all or some of your pasta for zucchini noodles. “Zoodles” will give you the feeling of eating pasta with less calories and carbs. Cauliflower can be cut into small pieces or riced to give you the texture of rice. When cauliflower is steamed and mashed, it can also be a substitute for mashed potatoes.
Try a new fruit or veggie monthly
Try one new vegetable a month or experiment with a new way of cooking vegetables. Roasting is an excellent way to bring out the natural sweetness in vegetables. You may like broccoli or Brussels sprouts after all.
Bonus Pro Tip: Exercise in the morning.
Exercising in the morning encourages more movement throughout the day. Exercise helps suppress appetite for a short period. Even little bursts of extra activity during the day can help cut your overall appetite.
Incorporating these tips to your everyday routine can help you drop weight without dramatic effort on your part. Regular weigh-ins can help you keep track of your success. The Precision Choice Digital Bathroom Scale is a simple scale without bells or whistles, that lets your measure your weight accurately and quickly. If you want more data, such as body fat percentages, muscles mass, body water, BMI, and other matrixes, we suggest our Precision Body Fat Bathroom Scale.
Do you have an easy calorie cutting tip to share? Tweet it to us @eatsmartscales.
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