Many Americans have found themselves packing on a few extra pounds over the past few years, or "waisting" away. This can be attributed to Americans' added stress at work or home, working long and late hours or to the nauseating amount of fast food chains that are seemingly at the end of every street corner. If you feel you are fighting a losing battle with your waist line, here are a few suggestions to help you regain control.
Does your favorite restaurant serve bottomless fries, or start you off with a basket of warm bread and oil? Both sound delicious, especially when you're "starving," but you may be adding hundreds of extra calories to your daily intake every time you say "yes" to a refill. Instead, try drinking water in between every few fries or piece of bread. This may sound silly, but it will prevent you from stuffing your face and help you feel fuller. Also remind yourself of your delicious meal on its way.
Drinking lots of water is very important in maintaining a healthy diet. However, water is just so boring and sometimes you just want some added flavor in your drink, which might make you reach for a soda. Don't. Soda contains more sugar than you would like to believe. If you want to add flavor, try adding fruits or veggies in your water. This offers a great taste and some added health benefits. Some common add-ins are lemon and lime, blueberry and raspberry, and cucumber and mint. Fruit infused water is one of my favorite drinks, and during the summer it is even easier to find lots of fresh fruit and experiment with different flavors.
In the morning, you want to start off with a great meal. I usually hate breakfast foods, but once I started incorporating a healthy breakfast into my diet, I felt so much better during the rest of my day. You can try Greek yogurt and topping it with granola and fresh fruit to make it even more filling. A protein shake or smoothie is also a good option. (Make sure it contains more veggies than fruits so that it is nutritious and filling!) You can try a rice cake topped with organic peanut butter and fresh fruit, or whole wheat toast finished with avocado.
If you are just craving a salty snack during the day and find yourself wandering towards the vending machine, resist! Instead, make yourself kale chips as a snack for work. Lightly coat the kale with olive oil and a little bit of sea salt and then place in the oven until they are crisp and crunchy. This is a great alternative to chips and are much healthier and more filling than a bag of Lays!
Finally, if you come home late from work and just want something quick to eat, try making a protein shake or veggie and fruit smoothie (this is also something you could prep before you go to work). Cereal topped with fruit is always a good go-to (I personally recommend Great Grains cereal topped with raspberries) as well as a sandwich packed with proteins and veggies.
Whatever you do, try to avoid mindless eating and the unhealthy fast food restaurants that pack every street. Always think about what you are putting into your body. Remember that the healthier you start to eat, the better you will feel. Happy snacking!