When we think of diet changes, we often think on a grander scale than is truly necessary. Yes, if you’re living off Kraft Mac & Cheese and delivery pizzas, you need to make some large scale changes, but most of use aren’t that far gone down the path of unhealthiness. Some of us just need a few tweaks, a few shifts, to take us from too much to just right. Today, we’re going to talk about the importance of paying attention to the little details, the blind spots we could easily fix if we only considered them to be issues.
3 Diet Changes for Big Results
Drinking Calories. This is perhaps worhy of an article in and of itself, but it definitely fits this list: drinking calories is easy, it’s almost never a good choice, and it’s consistently a source of calories we’ve failed to notice. This isn’t just about soda, which we all know is bad for us. It includes juices, coffees with cream and sugar, milk, all of it. Have you sat down and logged exactly how many calories you drink in a day, in your coffee or vegetable juice blend or morning glass of milk? If not, take the time to do so.
The solution to drinking calories is simple and small—drink water, take your coffee black, etc., but that can be difficult to stick to. If you simply can’t for whatever reason, try to go with diet sodas, non-nutritive sweeteners in your coffee, and smaller servings of juice and milk. And keep track! Sometimes knowing is more than half the battle.
Snacks. Snacks, like drinks, sneak calories into our day that we simply aren’t aware of on a conscious level. Even healthy snacks like nuts or fibrous fruits can become a problem if you’re eating them without taking them into consideration at the end of the day. By tweaking our snacking habits, we can see big returns in a short period of time.
If you’re eating unhealthy snacks, move towards healthier ones; trade chips for nuts, etc. Once your snacks aren’t quite so bad for you in general terms, make sure you’re controlling and tracking intake. If you snack heavily throughout the day, cut down on portion sizes at dinner to balance things out. Snacks aren’t ‘extra’ food, so include them in your plans.
Serving Sizes. Perhaps the most ‘hacklike’ tweak for improving our diets and getting big results lay in portion sizes. Consider this: at your next meal, set 20% of each item aside. You just cut your caloric intake for that meal by 20%. Was it enough to really notice? Why not serve yourself like that at every meal?
This gets even better when you realize that you can effectively trick yourself into smaller portions with smaller dishware. Shrink your plates by 20% and you’ll naturally eat less, without noticing. You’ll feel as full after clearing a plate, because of how your brain processes the feedback of ‘a cleared plate’. Now that’s a tweak worth putting into action!