Track Your Intake
This is really crucial. How detailed you go though, is up to you. It’s important to know how much you’re actually taking in, whether your goal is to drop, maintain, or increase your eight. Nowadays with the advent of mobile apps, it has become rather easy to track food intake. Many mobile apps that accompany activity trackers have a food tracking component, or an connect with a third-party app, such as MyFitnessPal or LoseIt. Try to be as precise as possible in your tracking, especially at the beginning, so as to get an accurate baseline for your intake and progress.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Protein is a critical macro-nutrient. Many people are surprised to learn that their protein intake is often considerably low when compared to recommended healthy levels. On top of being a necessary macro-nutrient, protein can also make you feel more satiated after a meal, making it a bit easier to stop from overeating. According to Health.com, the recommended minimal daily protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram (0.36 grams per pound) of body weight. Active people should aim for slightly higher daily intake, up to double the minimal level for very active users.
Reduce Starchy Carbohydrates, Increase Fibrous Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy, but they are also the macro-nutrient most likely to be the most dominant in your daily intake. All too often, the starchy carbohydrates are accompanied by some unhealthy fats, particularly in the form of fries or chips. Changing from deep-fried potatoes to oven-baked sweet potatoes can make a significant difference in the caloric value. Adding in some fibrous carbs to the mix, such as broccoli, spinach, or peppers, can help increase your daily fibre intake, which can help with your overall digestion and regularity.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
This one is fairly obvious, alcohol is, essentially, pure liquid calories with no nutrients. Something you want to avoid or at least limit if your goal is weight loss. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a cold beer or a nice glass of wine once in a while with a meal, but try to limit the consumption to only a few drinks per week. A nice way to do it is to make it a reward for you, after a good week of keeping your calories in check, permit yourself a drink to celebrate.
Increase Your Water Intake
This one should be no surprise at this point, as recent research has been published virtually everywhere that people need to drink more water. If you accompany your meals with juice or soda, switching to water will make a huge difference in the long run. If you have an issue with the lack of taste, try adding frozen berries or lemon to your water to give a nice refreshing taste. Another tip can be to take a glass of water before every meal can help you limit your food intake by making you feel full a bit faster.
Replace Sauces With Spices
Sauces can bring new flavours to many different meals. However, many of them can be calorically dense and are often added in rather generous portions. Replacing a thick sauce with some simple olive oil and some spices can reduce the overall calories and bring new flavours to your table.
Focus on Macro-Nutrients
Don’t worry too much about the number of overall calories you ingest. Instead, try to focus on getting sufficient macro-nutrients proportions every day, and you’ll likely see your calories fall in line. The main reason is that not all calories are the same. For instance, a daily goal of 2,500 calories can be achieved by a well-balanced nutrition plan, ensuring you have enough protein, carbs, and healthy fats. On the other hand, keeping a slight calorie deficit by eating eight 300-calorie doughnuts will not give you the results you’re looking for.