8 Tips to Help You Diet and Still Eat the Foods You Love

Yes, living a healthy life means making some sacrifices, but you can have your cake and eat it too. Here’s how ...

Yes, living a healthy life means making some sacrifices, but you can have your cake and eat it too. Here’s how:

1. Treat Yourself

If you’re really craving something that’s “off limits”, don’t deprive yourself completely. Worse still is buying the low-fat version, which will only leave you feeling unsatisfied. Instead, find small ways to reward yourself - whether it’s a piece of dark chocolate after a workout or a scoop of ice cream after a week of healthy eating. Celebrating the small victories goes a long way towards reaching your goals.

2. Eat Regularly

If you’re hungry, eat! Skipping meals can send your blood sugar plummeting, which will likely result in bingeing or reaching for an unhealthy snack when hunger strikes.

Nutrisystem’s popular diet plan is built around this premise - that eating smaller meals throughout the day will help dieters feel fuller, longer.  Fueling your body regularly with nutritious food will help stave off those familiar pangs of hunger and will help you make better food choices. And Nutrisystem’s menu (150+ snacks and entrees) has some surprisingly tasty versions of the comfort foods we all crave - like chicken parmesan and lasagna. So when hunger does strike, you’ll be left feeling satisfied.

3. Practice Portion Control

Portion control is crucial to ensuring you’re not overeating and unknowingly taking in extra calories. The Mayo Clinic Diet does a great job of teaching participants about proper portion sizes, healthy cooking and eating the right amount of nutrients, so healthy living becomes a lifelong habit, instead of ending after bikini season.

4. Try the Healthier Version

If you really love french fries, try making yourself some oven baked fries from scratch, instead. Pile on the spices and throw them in the oven to satisfy your fast food craving. Or if you’re in the mood for a sandwich, make yourself a turkey breast panini melt (like this recipe from the Mayo Clinic), which keeps calories in check, but is still plenty flavorful.

5. Reconsider How You Think About Food

Food isn’t a reward or a punishment. It’s the necessary fuel your body needs to function at its need highest levels. Eating healthily doesn’t mean that after each workout you’re entitled to have pizza, nor is it punishment for being unable to lose those last few pounds. Labeling food this way gives it too much power over your day-day-life. Instead, think of food as energy that allows you to live your best life.

6. Keep a Food Diary

Writing down what you eat keeps you accountable, and serves as an active, daily reminder of your goals. If you’re having trouble keeping the weight off, a diary could offer some insight, especially if you enlist the help of a professional.

The Mayo Clinic Diet encourages dieters to keep a food journal, to help take stock of hidden reasons behind unhealthy eating. It’s usually these unknown habits that keep even the most motivated dieter from losing weight.

7. Try to Avoid Binging

Binging could be a sign of emotional distress, so before you reach for your trigger foods, take note of how you’re feeling. Are you anxious? Overwhelmed? Stressed? If so, consult your doctor to discuss some alternative ways address the urge to binge.

8. Talk to the Pros

Enlist the help of a professional who can guide and support your goals along your journey. The Mayo Clinic provides courses, nutritionists, wellness plans and online portals to keep you motivated and succeed in living a healthier life - no matter which stage you are on your journey.

If you're ready to lose weight and want to find a diet plan that can work for you, check out our reviews (link to diet-meals) of the best diet plans and discover the difference a managed solution can make for your weight loss goals.