Rosé, burgers, even delicious fruit smoothies (filled with calories!) all take a toll on your end-of-summer body. But by making smarter choices in the kitchen, you can cut calories while still remaining full and satisfied. The easier the weight loss process, the more likely you’ll succeed and stick with it long-term. Set yourself up for success by making sustainable choices in the kitchen and enjoying foods and flavors that you love. Here are my best tips on how to tweak your diet to get back to that pre-summer body as we get closer to the holiday season:
1. Cut out all liquid calories
We digest liquids a whole lot faster than whole foods, so we’re left feeling hungry sooner and more likely to overeat as a result. And because the food is already in juice form, our bodies don’t need to do that work to process it, meaning we’re utilizing fewer calories during the digestion process. This is a very easy switch to make! Simply eat whole foods and pass on the juices.
2. Keep protein high
It’s very important to keep protein high to help spare muscle while in a deficit. Protein helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, making the weight loss process easier. One easy way to do this if you don’t track macros is to make sure that you’re having protein with every meal. The goal for most people during weight loss is to spare as much muscle as possible while dropping body fat, so be sure to get your protein.
3. Swap out starches
Replace starches like rice or pasta with low-carb and low-calorie options like cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles. They’re very easy to make at home, but you can also buy them already prepared at many grocery stores to save time. Trader Joe’s has cauliflower rice in the freezer section and zucchini noodles in their refrigerator section. They’re delicious topped with ground turkey breast and homemade tomato sauce or garlic and ginger veggies. The possibilities are endless.
4. Dine in vs. takeout
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to cook your meals at home and bring lunch to work with you instead of ordering takeout. You’ll have better control over portions, ingredients, and cooking methods. The other thing I love about food prep is that you don’t need to eat plain and sacrifice flavor when you’re willing to do the work at home.
For example, my mom loves her burgers, so when she came to visit, I made her a 1/2 lb beef burger on a whole wheat hamburger bun for only 370 calories. If we had ordered the same burger at a restaurant, it would have had substantially more calories. Doing food prep is an easy way to enjoy foods you love while still working towards your goals.
5. Watch portion sizes
Use measuring cups and spoons for a few days. See how much oil you’re actually adding to your salad or nut butter you’re putting on your toast. I have clients do food diaries before they start working with me, and they’re always shocked at their portion sizes when they measure. They typically think they’ve been eating one serving of cereal or a tablespoon of oil, when in reality they’re having several. This definitely adds up over time.
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