If sweet temptation has you struggling to stick a new diet, this guide will fend off those hunger pangs and get you back on track.
Step 1: Pinpoint triggers for indulgence Pinpoint the triggers that lead you to eat too much or to eat unhealthy foods. Triggers may include boredom, depression, stress, or even loneliness. Just being aware of your triggers can help you learn how to deal with them.
TIP: Don't use food as a reward or as a distraction from life's problems.
Step 2: Keep a food journal Keep a food journal and track everything you eat throughout the day. Compare it to your schedule to see where you can make changes and start healthier habits.
Step 3: Ditch the junk food Don't keep junk food at home or in the car; replace chips and cookies with healthy alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Step 4: Plan ahead Plan your meals in advance and prepare healthier choices at home ahead of time to store in the refrigerator and freezer and reheat when you're pressed for time.
TIP: Meals and snacks prepared at home are not only healthier but can also be less expensive.
Step 5: Read food labels Read the nutritional information labels on everything you buy at the grocery store and take the time to learn what they are telling you.
Step 6: Eat slowly Eat slowly at each meal. Take the time to chew your food and enjoy the tastes and textures. Use smaller plates and bowls to control your portion sizes.
Step 7: Pick up a cookbook Pick up a healthy eating cookbook to keep your excitement level high with new recipes and to prevent your palate from getting bored.
FACT: A 2007 University of Pennsylvania study found that the average portion size in America was 25 percent larger than the same meal in France, while vegetable portions were 24 percent smaller.