5 Small Changes That Can Make a Big Impact On Your Diet

5 Small Changes That Can Make a Big Impact On Your Diet

Try these quick, little changes that will change your diet in a big way.

By: Amanda Formaro

Let’s face it: It’s a lot easier to put on weight than it is to take off. The lure of a chocolate glazed doughnut can be far more enticing than a bag of celery sticks. Anyone that’s tried dieting knows that diving in headfirst and trying to completely overhaul the way you eat can easily set you up for failure.

But all is not lost! Several easily changed things can have a significant impact on your eating habits as well as your outlook on exercise.

1. Trade Soda For Water
Not sure you can give up your afternoon soda break? Try keeping a reusable plastic cup with a lid and straw built in filled with ice water. If water is too bland, try squeezing in flavor enhancers to make it easier to swallow. If you have a topped-off cup handy at all times, you are more likely to sip it regularly. Not only will this help you work toward your daily water quota, but it could also help suppress your appetite, too.

By kicking the soda habit you not only decrease your caffeine intake, but your sugar and calorie intake as well, resulting in — you guessed it — easier weight loss!

2. Eat Breakfast
You’ve heard the words since you were a child: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” A bowl of chocolate puffed cereal with marshmallows is probably not the best choice, however. Stick with a nutritious high-fiber breakfast such as oatmeal topped with dried fruit and unsalted nuts, a peanut butter topped English muffin, or a bowl of fiber-rich cereal topped with sliced fresh fruit. Scramble an egg and pair it with fresh vegetables such as broccoli or spinach. Regardless of what it is, a breakfast rich in fiber and protein will help you stay satisfied until lunch.

3. Add One Vegetable
Pick something you like but don’t normally buy, and purchase enough for several days’ worth of snacking. Broccoli spears are wonderful raw either plain or with a light dressing for dipping. If you need a quick snack at home, sauté them lightly in a small amount of olive oil for a quick pick-me-up. Radishes are great for dipping, too, but they are also a marvelous substitution for potatoes in a skillet! They make wonderful hash browns for breakfast.


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4. Cut Down On the Salt
Resist the urge to sprinkle salt on everything. If you do, be very conscious of how much you use and try cutting back by at least half to start. Instead of salt, season food with fresh herbs and spices to bring out its natural flavor.

When seasoning a meal, shake the salt into the palm of your hand instead of over your food. Use pinches of salt to season your meal and you’ll notice yourself using less and less.

5. Sweet Substitutions
One of the biggest diet killers is the lack of sweets. To satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your efforts, try sugar-free gelatin and puddings, Greek yogurt parfaits made up of granola and fresh berries, and high-fiber protein or energy bars instead of a candy bar.

Some of our other favorites include frozen grapes — they’re just like candy! — healthy trail mix or a bowl of powerhouse cereal. But if you must have chocolate, go dark. Dark chocolate contains plenty of antioxidants and contains far less sugar than milk or semisweet chocolate.

There are plenty of ways to stay on track, but you have to get started first! Instead of trying to change everything you do in one fell swoop, make small changes that effect many things like these for bigger impact.

Amanda is a mother of four, craft designer and recipe developer who also runs several sites, including Crafts by Amanda, Cooking with Amanda and the Secret Recipe Club. Her work has appeared on SheKnows.com and Family.com as well as in Parents, Redbook and Mixing Bowl magazines among others.

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I have the best diet, Eat what you want when you want it in the right portion sizes. Live your life like you will die tomorrow. Drink plain water. It taste good.

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this is a comment 29/04/2013

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