You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get the body of your dreams. By making a few easy changes to your diet, you can get the results you want without breaking a sweat.
Count your calories
Many of us cringe when we hear the word “diet” but it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. Smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal make dieting easy. You create an account and let them know your current and target weight, weekly weight loss goal, activity level and how many times a week you plan to workout. In turn, they’ll set a daily calorie goal for you. The app allows you to complete your daily food log by adding your own recipes or searching for similar meals in their database. There aren’t any food restrictions but you need to be strategic about how you use your calories. If you’re only allowed 1,200 calories a day, it doesn’t make sense to eat a 960 calorie Baconator for lunch.
Use smaller plates
The easiest way to trick yourself into eating less is to use smaller plates or a bowl. This will stop you from piling on extra food because you won’t have any room.
Eat more often
According to The 3-Hour Diet by fitness expert Jorge Cruise, you need to eat small meals every three hours to reset your metabolism and burn more fat. He suggests having your first meal within an hour of waking up, then eating every three hours for the rest of the day.
Plan your meals
You’ll be less likely to hit the McDonald’s drive-thru if you plan and prepare your meals in advance. Take a few hours to cook your meals for the week and store them in plastic containers. When you’re ready to eat just pop it in the microwave and you’re good to go.
Use less fattening ingredients
You can make great tasting recipes with half the fat by swapping out some of the fattening ingredients. If your recipe calls for a cup of whole milk, try using a cup of nonfat skim milk instead.
Baked not fried
The way you prepare your food is just as important as what you actually eat. Fried chicken may be your specialty but it’s time to put the deep fryer away. Baking or broiling your chicken tastes just as good and is a much healthier option.
Salads don’t have to be boring
Salads are a quick and easy meal but they can get a little boring without the right toppings. Jazz it up by adding a tablespoon of croutons, nuts or dried fruit. You can even try to make a healthier version of your favorite dressing at home.
Eat more fiber
Want to stay full for a longer period of time? Eat more fiber. Not only will you eat less often, you’ll reduce your risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol. You can increase your fiber intake by eating oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, avocados, raspberries or artichokes. Try not to go overboard because too much fiber will leave you bloated and gassy.
Stock up on fruits
Keep your fridge stocked with fresh fruit so it can be one of the first things you see when you go searching for a snack. You can even get creative and blend some of your favorites together for a delicious smoothie.
Eat less processed foods
Processed foods aren’t good for you because they contain added sugar, salt and fat. Ramen noodles, bacon, breakfast cereals and frozen dinners are all examples of processed foods you’re better off avoiding.