Rarely do you hear “DO’s” when you’re trying to get healthy and lose weight. Everyone usually focuses on what you can’t have or what you don’t need to eat or do. Here are some things for your “yes” list. This list will focus primarily on what you DO need to be eating, and I have another “yes” list of lifestyle changes you should be making.
1. DO drink LOTS of water…and not just any ol’ water…ICE COLD water!
When you drink ice cold water your body actually has to BURN calories after you ingest it to warm itself back up! It is also really important that before you eat anything in the morning, the first thing you do is drink a glass of water. It gets everything moving and flowing. Drinking 2-3 glasses of ice cold water 30 minutes before you eat will help fill you up so you aren’t mindlessly eating. Also, I always ask for two-three slices of lemon when I’m eating out, and when I’m at home I also put lots of lemon in my water because it has LOTS of benefits. Lemon naturally boosts the immune system, helps balance the body’s pH level, reduces your body’s overall acidity level when ingested daily, and helps promote weight loss. Lemons are actually high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.
2. DO eat what you want—just revamp your recipes to make them more healthy!
Take your favorite foods and find lower-fat alternatives. If you love burgers, for example, you can make turkey burgers or black bean burgers. If you like French fries, make your own and bake them or cook in coconut oil. Bake chicken instead of frying it. Get almond milk and Greek yogurt instead of the higher-fat versions. While you shouldn’t give up fat completely, and in fact, some types of fat are good for you in moderation, it’s important to remember that fat is high in calories (more than twice as calorie-dense as protein or carbs), and lowering your fat intake to a more moderate amount will also lower your calorie intake. Adding fruits and veggies is another good way to lower fat intake, as they take up a lot of space in your stomach without adding too many calories or fat.
3. DO indulge in fat releasing foods.
They should help keep you from feeling deprived and binging on higher-calorie foods. What types of foods are fat releasing?
Honey: Just 64 fat releasing calories in one tablespoon. Drizzle on fresh fruit.
Eggs: Just 70 calories in one hard-boiled egg, loaded with fat releasing protein. Sprinkle with chives for an even more elegant treat.
Part-skim ricotta cheese: Just 39 calories in one ounce of this food, packed with fat releasing calcium. Dollop over a bowl of fresh fruit for dessert.
Dark chocolate: About 168 calories in a one-ounce square, but it’s packed with fat releasing fiber.
Shrimp: Just 60 calories in 12 large.
4. DO eat five or six small meals or snacks a day instead of three large meals.
A 1999 South African study found that when men ate parts of their morning meal at intervals over five hours, they consumed almost 30 percent fewer calories at lunch than when they ate a single breakfast. Other studies show that even if you eat the same number of calories distributed this way, your body releases less insulin, which keeps blood sugar steady and helps control hunger.
5. DO use vegetables to bulk up meals.
You can eat twice as much pasta salad loaded with veggies like broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes for the same calories as a pasta salad sporting just mayonnaise and white pasta.
6. DO avoid white foods.
There is some scientific legitimacy to today’s lower-carb diets: Large amounts of simple carbohydrates from white flour and added sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. While avoiding sugar, white rice, and white flour, you should eat plenty of whole grain breads and brown rice. One Harvard study of 74,000 women found that those who ate more than two daily servings of whole grains were 49 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the white stuff.
7. DO stock your refrigerator with Greek yogurt.
A University of Tennessee study found that people who cut 500 calories a day and ate yogurt three times a day for 12 weeks lost more weight and body fat than a group that only cut the calories. The researchers concluded that the calcium in Greek yogurt triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and boosts the breakdown of fat.