Step One - Never Skip Breakfast.
A good breakfast sets the precedence for your eating habits that will last the entire day. Eating something high in protein will reduce your urge to snack as well as boost your metabolism. Not only will you have less cravings, but you are more likely to choose healthier food options. Eating a healthy breakfast places your will power on autopilot.
Step Two - Pack a Lunch Each Day.
Packing a lunch each day will not only help you drop pounds, it'll fatten your wallet. Don't forget the weekends. I have a nine-year-old son and before we head out to run errands on the weekend, I pack him a sandwich and grab myself a protein shake for the road. Don't risk having a starving (and whiny) kid which can lead you to McDonald's drive-through. Next thing you know, you're ordering hamburgers and french fries. The key is always being prepared.
Step Three - Keep a Food journal.
I am a strong believer that writing is therapeutic. It can help identify trends in your eating habits. For example, are you eating more during your period? During stressful times? During the weekends or holidays? Once patterns are identified you can establish a game plan. Time of the month approaching? Surround yourself with lots of healthy food alternatives.
Step Four - Go Shopping.
With the money saved from packing your lunch each day, treat yourself to something nice. Go for something that hugs your body and shows off your best assets - great legs, great butt, etc. Plan to wear it at your next big event. The thought of looking amazing alone will keep you fighting off dreadful cravings. Good old retail therapy... Can never go wrong with that.
Step Five - Water, Water, Water.
I know, I know. It's on every eat right, get fit list. Increasing your water intake can be hard and even intimidating in the beginning. However, once you become familiar with drinking the right amount of each day, it's becomes second nature. To ease into things, I usually start by drinking two glasses of water with each meal and one glass with each snack.
Here's a good rule of thumb. Try drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be drinking at least 100 ounces of water per day.
Get in the habit of preparing enough dinner for two days. Sunday dinners should be extendable to Monday dinners. You can also do what I like to call "stock dinners". Stock dinners are dinners prepared the night before and ate the next day. You can prepare the entire meal or just the prep work so dinner is ready in a flash. We are all busy human beings with real lives - let's be realistic. It's not possible to eat before six each day. On those days, opt for a meal replacement or protein shake. The goal is to eat your last meal as early in the day as possible.
Step Seven - Free days!
We are going to indulge. We are going to cheat. Free days allows us to plan for those "cheats." The entire week you are determined to eat well in anticipation of your cheat day. It's our little reward. Since it's controlled, you typically won't go overboard. You have been training your body the entire week to eat healthier so when the day finally comes along your cravings are less severe. You'll see over time the amount of "bad food" cravings diminish.
Just following these seven non diet steps can get you on track to a thinner, more healthier you.
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