The holiday season is fast approaching, and if you’re someone who’s in the middle of their weight loss plan or are thinking about trying to start one, these next few months full of festivities and delicious meals may make things a little tricky.
But fear not, because we talked with a few dietitians about what they consider to be some of the best, most effective habits for losing weight, all of which you can start right this moment.
So don’t go canceling all of your holiday parties and potlucks just yet. Instead, continue reading to find out which habits our dietitians want you to try adding to your weight loss plan. And for more healthy eating tips, make sure to check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Eat more fiber and protein.
People sometimes make the mistake of only focusing on a calorie deficit instead of focusing on the types of nutrient-dense foods they’re consuming, which can leave them feeling overly hungry.
But according to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and a member of our medical expert board, getting enough meals with both fiber and protein can help you meet your weight loss goals.
“This combination helps to stabilize your blood sugar by helping you manage energy levels and portion sizes,” says Goodson. “Because both fiber and protein slow down digestion, you’ll be full faster and will remain full for a longer period of time.
Need more fiber in your diet? Incoporate these Popular Foods With More Fiber Than Oatmeal.
Add the right foods.
Sometimes it may be easy to get caught up in what not to eat, but some dietitians say it’s best to focus on what to add to your diet instead.
“Instead of focusing on the negatives, I like to start out by having my clients find clean, unprocessed foods they enjoy that they can practice adding to their diet,” says Courtney D’Angelo, MS, author at Fit Healthy Momma. “From there we can focus on substituting certain junk foods for healthy ones at a later time.
Get really good at cooking.
One of the trickiest parts of weight loss is dining out. When you’re at a restaurant or ordering takeout, it becomes much more difficult to control what you’re eating. This is why D’Angelo suggests cooking more at home.
“Making a habit of doing your own cooking will give you full control of the ingredients you’re putting in your body, like cooking chicken and broccoli at home instead of ordering it for takeout, which would automatically have more sodium, fat, and sugar,” says D’Angelo.
Cooking can also help keep you motivated throughout your weight loss process. D’Angelo says, “when you work to get really good at cooking, you take pride in your food and look forward to trying new recipes, and you’ll most likely save money, too.”
Drink more water.
This is one of the easiest tips to add to your weight loss plan. D’Angelo says that drinking plenty of water is not only good for your overall health, but can also help you avoid drinks like sugary sodas, sweetened iced tea, and other beverages that can sneak in too many calories.
Plus, water can also keep you full longer. A study from Virginia Tech found that adults who drank water before their meals ended up consuming fewer calories and losing more weight over time.
Get better sleep.
“The impact of sleep on weight loss is grossly underestimated,” says Kayla Girgen, RD, LD. “Not getting adequate rest puts your body in a heightened state of stress, which negatively impacts the hormones involved in weight loss.”
Not getting enough sleep can also lead to more snacking throughout the day, and studies have shown that it leads to snacking on foods that are higher in carbs, sugar, and fat.
To get better sleep, “try reading, some gentle stretching, dimming the lights, and ditching the screens about 30 to 60 minutes before bed,” says Girgen.
For more healthy tips, read these next:
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