Healthy Tips


Feeling like your neck hurts? Your screen may to blame. Specifically, your phone. Based on a 2019 study, on average, people spend about 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones, pick up their phone 58 times a day, and cannot spend go longer than 1 hour and 43 minutes without touching their phones. These numbers have likely increased since 2019 due to COVID-19.

Unfortunately, the amount of time spent on our phones has physical impacts. Neck Pain, eye strain, and cramped hands are a few of the all-too-common problems from excessive phone use. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your discomfort through the following phone ergonomics tips: 

Hold your Phone Higher to Stop Tech Neck

Many of us tilt our head forward and down when viewing our phones, resulting in discomfort over time, known as “Tech Neck.” To prevent unnecessary strain on your neck, keep your shoulders relaxed and use your arms to lift your phone higher to view your screen. That way, you can maintain a neutral neck position by having your head directly above your shoulders and your chin parallel to the floor. 

Switch Up Your hands and Relax Your Grip

It’s common to use our thumb or one hand when on our phones. Instead, alternate hands and/or use both hands when holding your phone, and switch between your fingers and thumbs to scroll and type.

Also, to relax your hand when holding your phone, integrate a grip accessory on the back of your device, such as a strap or other attachment. Keep your wrists in a straight, neutral position when on your phone, as angling your wrists causes more strain.

Talk Hands Free

Do you ever find yourself on the phone for long periods of time, either cradling your phone between your ear and neck or holding your phone up with your arm? To take calls with ease, put your phone on speaker or use a headset/earbuds. This will help you maintain neutral neck posture and frees up your hands.

Take Breaks

Lastly, along good posture, make sure to take breaks! Staying in the same position for extended periods of time, no matter how good your posture, is not healthy. If you’re using your phone for more than 15 – 20 minutes, put it down and walk around, get water, use the bathroom – do something to change up your position. Your body is meant to move!

These tips are simple and will help you combat discomfort associated with the phone. If these sounds like a lot, try incorporating one recommendation at a time. With some practice, you can use your technology comfortably and get rid of tech neck!

From pumpkin to apples, fall offers some of the most delicious and nutrient-packed foods. Here are 12 of our seasonal favorites!            

Fall is a favorite time of year for many. The crisp, cool air and turning leaves are wonderful, but another reason to love the season is the delectable fall foods.

It’s harvest time, and that means that there are opportunities to enjoy fantastic foods that feature unbeatable flavor and texture.

When you put these foods on the table this fall, you’ll enjoy a more colorful plate as well as gain all of the benefits of antioxidants, protein and fiber. These foods offer quite a bounty of benefits. 

In fact, many of these items could be classified as superfoods. If you are committed to getting lean, supporting longevity and enhancing physical performance, it just makes sense to add these dishes to your regular nutritional routine.

Let’s take a look at some of the dishes and foods that are the stars of any fall meal plan.

1. Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are fall and winter vegetables that typically grow under the soil. Examples include sweet potatoes, carrots, jicama, and garlic. Root vegetables are packed with antioxidants and fiber.

So, how can you enjoy root vegetables? My favorite way to eat them is to roast them. Roasting makes them tender and caramelized. You can also shred them and make them into healthier hashbrowns. Some root veggies, like carrots, can be shredded and added to fall salads.

You could also try a whole wheat pasta with roasted veggies. What could be more satisfying than a big plate of pasta on a chilly day? The best part is that this pasta is good for you because it’s made with whole grains. That translates to a meaningful serving of fiber, which causes blood sugar levels to rise more slowly, thereby preventing food cravings. Whole wheat pasta also has a slew of valuable phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins. At the same time, it promotes gut health and contains more fiber than regular pasta. If that isn’t enough incentive, consider the veggies. Packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other good-for-you components, they are the perfect complement to a whole wheat pasta meal.

2. Brussels Sprouts

It turns out that there was a good reason why your mom always wanted you to eat your Brussels sprouts. They are incredibly good for you.

Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family, the members of which are rich in items such as vitamin C and folate. Another reason to add them to your list of staple foods is the presence of cancer-fighting compounds. If your goal is lifelong health and fitness, Brussels sprouts can be an excellent choice.

3. Pears

Pears are sweet, crisp, and delicious — what’s not to love about them? Even better is the fact that they are a great source of both fiber and vitamin C. In fact, just one pear offers more than a quarter of your daily fiber needs (based on a 2,000-calorie diet).

Pears help keep hunger at bay thanks to the amount of fiber they have. This fact makes them a great snack in between lunch and dinner. Pears contain a type of fiber called pectin. This type of fiber helps slow down digestion. Studies have found that pectin may help to reduce the risk of heart attack.

Choose firm pears that give with gentle pressure. Store them in a fruit bowl or the fridge if you will not eat right away.

Tip: Splash cut pears with a bit of lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.

4. Butternut Squash

Inflammation is a chronic problem in modern life, but regularly including butternut squash in your nutrition can change that. Additionally, this amazing fruit is packed with antioxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Butternut squash is high in potassium, which is essential for heart health.

Eating squash regularly may even help improve your bone density. That is because it is high in manganese, which is essential for bone health. Manganese may also help promote long-term eye health.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Forget the version of sweet potatoes that you see on the table at Thanksgiving. If you go without marshmallows and other unhealthy ingredients, sweet potatoes are a healthy dish.

Try roasting, broiling, or mashing sweet potatoes as an alternative to the annual Thanksgiving treat. Prepared in these ways, sweet potatoes are a powerhouse food that’s full of manganese, magnesium and fiber. These substances are excellent for your metabolism as well as lowering blood pressure and increasing bone density.

If you have diabetes or are concerned about your blood sugar, you have even more reason to appreciate sweet potatoes. This dish won’t cause your blood sugar to spike the way that regular potatoes do.

6. Pumpkin

Fall is that time of year when everything seems to be flavored with pumpkin, and for good reason. Pumpkin is amazing for your health.

Pumpkins are about so much more than Halloween. With a mega-dose of antioxidants as well as fiber, vitamins and protein, pumpkin deserves to be labeled as a superfood. The main antioxidant in pumpkin, beta-carotene, is believed to reduce your risk of certain cancers, protect you against heart disease, and can even help mitigate your risk of developing macular degeneration.

Looking for ways to enjoy pumpkin? Try pumpkin mini muffins. They make an excellent snack between meals. Roasted pumpkin seeds are also a very tasty snack idea.

7. Broccoli

Here’s another cruciferous vegetable that deserves to be a part of your regular nutritional rotation. One of the main reasons for eating broccoli is the incredible amount of vitamin K that it contains. Essential for the proper functioning of a variety of proteins that help with blood clotting, vitamin K is critical to good health.

Broccoli also boasts a good concentration of folate, which is crucial for producing and maintaining new cells. Don’t forget that this powerful fall vegetable also is packed with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber.

8. Cranberries

What gives cranberries their distinctive, deep-red color? It turns out that it’s a compound known as anthocyanin. This compound is more than just a pretty color. It’s also a valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Cranberries even have a decent amount of fiber, which means they help you feel fuller longer. Plus, regularly including cranberries in your routine supports the health of your bladder and may guard you against cancer of the lung, colon, breast and prostate.

9. Apples

This quintessential fall food is a powerhouse when it comes to fiber. Eating just one small apple gives you four grams of fiber, making it easier to meet your daily fiber goal. When you ensure that you’re eating sufficient fiber, you are lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and colorectal and breast cancer.

Make sure you eat the apple’s peel because it’s packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that guard you against the oxidative stress that is a precursor for many chronic diseases.

10. Leeks

Leeks are one of the most underrated foods. They have a milder flavor compared to onions but pack all of the same nutrients. Leeks are packed with antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.  They are also fiber-rich.

Wondering what to do with leeks?  These slim vegetables are a great substitute for onions. You can add them to your favorite pasta dish.

Tip: Choose a pile of leeks that are crisp. Make sure you wash them carefully before cooking.

11. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are perfect when you need something to enhance your meal. Earthy mushrooms pair perfectly with so many foods. A good source of vitamins B and D, mushrooms are a great addition to everything from pasta to salads because the texture is similar to meat.

12. Radishes

Radishes are often ignored but they shouldn’t be. They are packed with nutrients including vitamin K, calcium, and potassium. The tiny radish is a versatile veggie that you can add to any fall dish. They are especially good with chicken street tacos. The radish adds a nice crunchy bite.

Let’s Recap

Thanks to the beautiful fall colors, changing leaves, and abundance of healthy and tasty fall vegetables, fall is one of the best seasons of the year!

Scrolling through Instagram and other social media sites, you’ll discover a variety of conflicting nutrition advice. Carbs are good for you. Carbs are bad for you. Red meat will lead to an increased risk of a heart attack. Red meat cuts the risk of a heart attack.

It can be hard to know what to believe. In this article, I will debunk some of the most popular nutrition myths.

#1 It Takes Too Much Time To Prepare Nutritious Meals

For most people, it just isn’t possible to cook heavy meals from scratch every day. When your time is taken up with work, kids, school, and other obligations, it can be impossible to find the time to find a healthy recipe, chop up vegetables, and cook the meal. Luckily, all of this is not necessary to eat healthy foods.

If you’re short on time, there are lots of ways to eat healthier, including utilizing meal delivery services. You can get fresh meals delivered right to your home. This totally eliminates prep and clean-up and makes it easy to fit eating healthy into your hectic schedule. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy a nutritious, tasty meal.

#2 Healthy Food Is More Expensive

The idea that healthy food is more expensive is something that you believe. I know that it’s certainly something that I hear a lot. But, it’s just a myth that it costs more to eat nutritious food. In the short run, it may be more expensive to eat healthier foods. However, this cost is extremely small compared to the health costs of an unhealthy diet, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

Over the long run, poor nutrition costs much more. That is because diets high in sodium, saturated fat, and refined sugar are linked to a variety of health issues, including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. These issues result in increased medical costs across a person’s lifespan. According to public health research, poor diets are linked to more than $50 billion in health care costs in the United States.

So, how can you save money on healthy eating? Healthy meal delivery can save you money on nutritious food if you use it in the right way, such as using it on a regular basis to replace trips to the grocery store. That alone can help you cut down on the costs of gas.

#3 Snacking Is Really Bad for You

Organic strawberry chia pudding

There are a lot of mixed opinions when it comes to snacking. Snacking gets a bad reputation. But, then others say that it’s not that bad. There is even research that indicates that it can actually reduce the likelihood of overeating at meals. So, who is right?

The truth is that snacking can be either good or bad. It can work for or against you. It depends on how you snack. On one hand, it takes the edge off your hunger and can supply the beneficial nutrients that your body needs. Snacking can be problematic if you choose highly processed cookies and chips from the vending machine which will ultimately cause your blood sugar to crash.

However, if you choose snacks that are nutritious, they can actually boost your nutrient intake. For example, this organic strawberry chia pudding is high in dietary fiber and protein, both of which are essential for a healthy diet. Both fiber and protein can help keep you full longer.

#4 Red Meat Should Be Avoided At All Costs

You have probably read the headlines: “Red meat is bad for you!” But, is it true? The answer is that it depends. There are many health benefits of eating red meat. However, the benefits boil down to what type of red meat you eat, how much, and how often.

There is evidence that eating certain types of red meat, especially processed meats, like sausage and bacon, are not good for your health. However, other types of red meat, including leaner cuts of steak are very nutritious. Eating these on a regular basis can help ensure that you get adequate amounts of protein in your diet.

# 5 I Take Supplements, I Don’t Have To Pay Attention To Nutrients 

Supplements can’t replace the nutrition that you get with healthy, fresh foods. According to WebMD, when you eat whole foods, you are getting food in its natural state, which is more likely to result in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals remaining intact in the food.

Studies have shown that eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a better way to get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs compared to taking supplements. Getting your nutrients from supplements can even be harmful to your health. That’s because some supplements can contain vitamins in excess of daily nutritional needs. However, scientists say that exceeding the daily nutritional limit of vitamins by eating whole and fresh foods didn’t show the same risk.

#6 There Is A Specific Diet That Is Perfect for Everyone

You’ve heard the praise: A ketogenic diet is best or perhaps a low-carb diet is best. In truth, every diet wants its fans to believe it is the one that they should be following. But, there is no such thing as the perfect diet for everyone. The best diet is the one that works best for you.

The perfect diet for you should be one that provides a variety of nutrients and that you enjoy. This may be a keto diet, low carb, low GI, or plant-based. It just depends on what you like to eat and on your specific dietary needs.

#7 Eating at Night Will Make You Gain Weight

So, does eating at night cause weight gain? According to conventional wisdom, it doesn’t matter what time you eat. A calorie is a calorie, whether you eat it at 8:00 AM or 8:00 PM. However, there are lots of studies that have shown that eating late at night does, in fact, can lead to excess weight gain.

So, what is the truth? The bottom line is that you are no likelier to gain weight from calories eaten at night. The problem is that people who eat at night are more likely to choose higher-calorie foods and they are also more likely to overeat. That is because you are more tired at night and it becomes harder to make good decisions. The tendency is to grab whatever is available.

The most important factor is that you stay within your daily calorie needs. A good way to do this is with a meal plan that counts the calories for you. Choose a plan that includes a variety of nutritious foods, as well as snacks. That way, you can eat anytime you’d like as long as you stick to the plan.

#8 Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart

It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol. However, the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t cause cholesterol levels to skyrocket in the same way that foods high in saturated and trans fats do, according to The Mayo Clinic.

Eggs are nutrient-dense and are a great source of protein. In fact, one egg alone has almost six grams of protein. Eggs also contain all nine essential amino acids. This is an important fact because your body needs amino acids but can’t make them by itself.

Final Thoughts

It’s time to put the above common misconceptions to rest. Hopefully, this advice will help you integrate better nutrition into your life every single day for a healthier, happier you!

Eating healthily for newbies can be a daunting task. Eating healthily for a newbie that has health complications like managing a chronic disease, living with a restrictive diet, and managing other elements of their life can feel like an impossible task. That is unfortunately why some people fall victim to fad diets, yo-yo dieting, and end up worse than when they started. 

But how does one manage to put themselves in any sort of restrictive lifestyle themselves while dealing with medical, social, and psychological pressures? Navigating daily life while trying to achieve a healthy and fitness goal can get pretty complicated. These are just some of the reasons someone should seek the help of a dietician. 

Dietitians are the experts in the area of Nutrition & Nourishment. Most of us may think of them as someone that treats people with obesity and weight issue, but there is so much more to it. 

A dietician can not only help you navigate healthy foods but also help you navigate healthy foods based on your pre-existing conditions. This may involve managing a chronic disease, re-storing your gut health, managing inflammation, and optimizing your lifestyle so your look and feel your best. We now know that what you eat on a day-to-day basis along with your other daily habits like exercise and meditation have a direct impact on your long-term health.

There are many things in life that we can’t plan for except our health. There are many studies and articles that support a balanced diet and exercise plan leading to a healthier lifestyle. However, it’s hard to put into practice without a plan.

Seeking advice from a Dietitian can help:

1. Create a Customized Plan

Customized meal plan tailored for your specific requirements is the first step to your weigh loss journey.  A customized meal plan takes into account food allergies, caloric intake, protein requirement, food preferences and food intolerances. It gives you the freedom to enjoy foods that you love and make it easier to build a habit around it.

2. Meal Prep

Having a roadmap helps with meal prep, giving you a chance to have have better control of your weight loss. It decreases the time you spend for meal prepping and opens the door for variety foods.

3. Save Money

A customized meal plan saves you time & money by making planning and shopping easier and purposeful.

4. Metabolism Boost

Regular meals and snacks ensure that you have a balanced diet reducing cravings and hunger. It is a great way to reboot the metabolism and creating a healthy habit.

5. Accountability

The continual support/ coaching & guidance helps to keep you accountable and as a result have a better success.

6. Community Building

Being a part of a healthy community is the best part. People are often inspired to achieve their own goals by seeing examples of similar individuals that are further along in their journey. 

Former competitive weight lifter and personal trainer Laura Khoudari turned to weight lifting to help her cope with trauma. Let’s take a look at how it can help.

In her book “Lifting Heavy Things: Healing Trauma One Rep at a Time,” former competitor Laura Khoudari details the benefits that she got from strength training after experiencing a trauma that left her with PTSD symptoms.

So, is lifting the best way to unburden yourself from a heavy emotional load? It turns out that weight lifting can do more than just keep you physically fit. It may also play an important role in mental and emotional fitness. Researchers have found that weight lifting can actually help people to deal with trauma.

While the official term for using weight lifting as part of a wellness plan in collaboration with a professional is called trauma-informed weight lifting, the truth is that anyone can tap into the potential benefits of lifting to overcome powerful emotional hurdles. The idea of lifting for mental health isn’t all that radical once you consider the relationship between physical activity and mental health.

A 2019 study found that three weeks of high-intensity resistance exercise is a feasible intervention for post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) reduction in non-treatment-seeking adults who screen positive for PTSD and anxiety.

Is it time to find a new way to handle trauma that is limiting what you can enjoy, experience, and accomplish in your life? Learning about the ways that lifting helps to rewire the mind and body is the first step.

Take a look at the role weight lifting can play in healing trauma.

Understanding the Physical Effects of Trauma on the Body

While many people connect the idea of trauma with things that are happening in the brain, the truth is that trauma is often a whole-body experience with whole-body aftershocks. When we’re in a state of dealing with trauma, the nervous system is overtaxed. As a result, it becomes less resilient against stressors. This should sound relatable to anyone who has ever dealt with trauma.

When trauma responses kick in, it can be difficult to focus on tasks, relationships, personal hygiene, and other life responsibilities. It’s also very common to experience pain, sickness, low energy, digestive issues, and general feelings of being unwell when in a state of trauma response.

While it may be tempting to dismiss these symptoms as simply being psychological responses that begin in your head, the reality of trauma is that it depletes the nervous system to the point where people are much more likely to be susceptible to pain, illness, and injury.

Trauma doesn’t necessarily have to be “fresh” to create intense pain response in the body. Researchers have known for a long time that there’s a distinct connection between adverse childhood response and chronic pain.

Why Is Weight Lifting Such a Powerful Tool for Managing Trauma?

The key behind why weight lifting is such a powerful tool for managing trauma comes down to resilience. Trauma is often closely linked with feelings of helplessness. A person who is in the midst of a trauma response may feel that they are not safe. They may also feel powerfulness against the thoughts, fears, and vulnerabilities that surround them. In addition, people with trauma often feel disconnected from their bodies. In some cases, dissociation serves as a defense mechanism for trauma survivors to escape the discomfort and uncertainty of being present in their own bodies. Weight lifting can help to address many of the core needs of people suffering with trauma.


While it’s easy to think of the brawn associated with weight lifting, the truth is that lifting is actually a mindfulness activity at its core. During a lifting session, awareness, vagal tone, and parasympathetic nervous system activation are heightened. Weight lifting forces a person to focus on the present state of their body in a way that helps many people to reach a state of self-regulation that they can’t easily reach on their own.

People who lift weights must pay attention to the feeling of every muscle fiber, skin cell, and nerve involved in the process. In fact, being completely attentive during weight lifting is essentially “forced” simply because paying attention is essential for safety.

For someone who has spent time disconnecting from their body, this can be a very centering experience. Weights make a person aware of their body in an undeniable way. For instance, a person who has experienced abuse or violence may unknowingly walk around disconnected from the areas of the body that were involved in the abuse experience.

When a person interacts with a weight or barbell, they are often able to reconnect with that part of the body while coming from a place of strength instead of reacting from a place of helplessness. In many ways, weight lifting can be a reclaiming of bodily autonomy for people who have felt violated.

The lack of distraction required during weight lifting can also have a very centering effect. People dealing with trauma will often use distractions to try to avoid the emotions, thoughts, and sensations that cause discomfort. A lifting session provides an opportunity to focus intensely on a single task without any distractions.


Lifting in a trauma-informed way also fosters resilience. Many people with trauma feel weak. While lifting may feel intimidating at first, it’s actually the difficulty of this task that creates the reward of confidence. The truth is that every person can benefit from trying new things. That’s because the thrill of getting over fear and reluctance to try something new triggers a rush of endorphins and dopamine. This fact alone is a good enough reason to try out lifting if you’re struggling with trauma. However, trauma-informed lifting provides the added benefit of increasing a person’s sense of agency.

For someone struggling with trauma, the empowerment that comes from using their body in a powerful way to achieve something hard helps the brain to rewire itself to create positive relational connections with the self.

Lifting as part of a trauma-focused group of people who have gathered together to empower one another can increase the benefits of these positive connections by extending them to include others. People who have struggled with “opening up” to others may find that the bonding experience of lifting while vulnerable in a group helps them to feel more connected to others again.

Of course, the actual physical strength that is gained through continual lifting has all kinds of implications. First, many people suffering from trauma find that watching their bodies become physically stronger through lifting helps them to turn their bodies into manifestations of self-trust.

Rediscovery of Goals and Curiosity

For someone who has been living in survival mode due to trauma, the idea of being curious, ambitious, or driven by goals can seem foreign. Trauma sufferers have often lived so long in a state of merely trying to avoid triggers that they abandon all of the optimistic, vulnerable, and future-focused aspects of life. Lifting can give those things back to them.


Knowing that you’re expected at the gym can be an incredible motivation for showing up. When people make lifting a priority, they are driven by a purpose that can be seen, felt, and measured. Having a sense of purpose isn’t just about feel-good Hallmark sentiments. According to research, purpose is actually a matter of survival. A study published in 2019 found that having a sense of purpose is linked with a lower risk of death.

Should You Consider Weight Lifting for Trauma Healing?

There’s some really promising work being done right now on the relationship between trauma healing and weight lifting. However, lifting shouldn’t be seen as a “cure” for trauma that should replace any of the existing work you’re doing with a trauma-informed therapist. It’s also important for people to avoid placing pressure on themselves that will leave them feeling as though they’re doing something “wrong” if lifting doesn’t work for them. It’s not a replacement for therapy.

The reality is that a lifting session at the local gym is not enough to unfurl years of deep trauma that have drastically altered your nervous system. However, trauma-informed lifting can be part of a process of healing that allows a person to help regain resiliency and self-trust by connecting with their body in a positive, mindful way.

Finally, it’s important to have realistic goals when going into lifting. You should know that it can take people years of training to reach goal weights. Always prioritize your health and wellness above “wins” in the gym.

If you’ll be changing your workout routine as part of a wellness plan for your mental health, make sure your dietary habits are up to speed with your new needs. That means lots of healthy fats, lean proteins, leafy greens, fruits, and legumes. In addition, you’ll need to keep your hydration levels on pace with the new demands you’re placing on your body. Make a plan to compensate for all fluids lost by your body through sweat with extra water. Preparing for healing through lifting can be an important part of the self-care aspect of the process!

Is it possible to eat healthy when you’re busy? When all know the way that “the crunch” of life can leave us reaching for something crunchy and sweet. While snacks and comfort foods can feel like self-care at the moment, they often leave us feeling tired, irritable, and less productive after the rush wears off. This creates an unhealthy cycle of continuously reaching for processed foods for “quick energy” before crashing again.

How Do Busy People Manage to Stay on Top of Their Healthy Eating Habits?

It takes accountability, planning, and a willingness to get creative when it comes to powering through the common pitfalls that make smart food choices fall to the wayside. The truth is that being too busy to eat healthy foods isn’t just an excuse. This is a real challenge that many people face daily as they try to juggle work and home life demands. Luckily, there are some tips that can change everything.

Take a look at the life hacks people use to eat healthy even when there’s no time.

Start Every Single Morning on the Right Track

From a psychological standpoint, getting back on track can be very hard once you start the day in the wrong place. Breakfast sets the pace for the choices you’re going to make for the rest of the day.

First, there’s the mental impact that the first bite of the day makes. If we’re reaching for a big, sugary, sticky bun because it feels like an easy choice, we may feel that trying to eat healthy for the rest of the day is “pointless” because we’ve already gone off track.

The wrong breakfast can also sabotage us on a physiological level. The truth is that a dessert-like breakfast will send us on a downward crash just a few hours after breakfast. That means we’re likely to be hungrier than we would have been with a breakfast choice that provided steady energy.

How do you fix the breakfast trap? Protein is great for this! You’ll also want to focus on breakfast items with fiber that will help you stay fuller. Some breakfast items that can help you to feel full and satisfied in the morning without setting you up for a crash include egg scrambles, overnight oats, and whole-egg frittatas.

Carbs aren’t necessarily off the table just because you’re focused on avoiding the spike that often comes from eating bread and cereals in the morning. It’s all about how you balance the right carbs with protein. For instance, avocado toast, banana pancakes, and a bagel topped with salmon and cream cheese can create sustained energy.

Never wake up surprised! What that means is that you should always have your breakfast planned a day in advance to avoid the “panic” of having to find something healthy to eat in a pinch while trying to get out the door. Don’t go to bed without having breakfast waiting in the fridge.

Don’t Undereat

One common mistake people make when trying to eat healthy on a very tight schedule is to undereat. This often leads to overeating later in the day. For example, you might rely on a restaurant near your office because it’s the “easiest” way to get lunch. You settle for a flimsy salad that consists of little more than lettuce, some cucumber slices, and a handful of tomato cubes because you’re trying to “eat healthy.” The problem with this is that you’re simply not eating enough of what your body needs for fuel. Have a real lunch when you’re having lunch! This could mean a quinoa salad, chick-pea salad, Korean BBQ wrap, chicken fajita, or Buddha bowl.

Keep Your Kitchen Organized

While the status of your kitchen may seem unrelated to your health, the truth is that you can’t know what to eat unless you know what there is to eat. We often lose track of the healthy ingredients we’ve stocked away because they aren’t in our direct line of sight.

A highly organized fridge is one of the ways that many healthy eaters stay on track. One tip is to reserve an organized area of your fridge specifically for meal-prep foods that are labeled by day. This eliminates the potential for making an impulsive choice because your meals have been carefully planned for you based on what day it is. You won’t have to dig through the rest of your fridge to put ingredients together because it’s all waiting for you in a designated spot.

Eat Plenty of Unprocessed Foods

Making a commitment to focus on unprocessed foods is one of the best ways to stick to a healthy eating plan. Prioritize whole grains, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts over other types of foods. These foods add fiber and nutrients to your diet that can help to promote weight loss, maintain bowel health, keep blood sugar levels in check, and lower cholesterol levels.

Eat the Same Portions Every Day

Consistent portions help you to keep your appetite regulated. When we change up portion sizes, we are often left feeling either “bloated” or “peckish” when a meal is over. While this doesn’t mean you need to eat the same thing every day, it does mean that trying to stay in the same portion range every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can help you to enjoy consistent rates of fullness each day.

Eat at the Same Time Every Day

This next tip goes along with keeping the same portion sizes for each meal. Eating meals at the same times each day helps you to work healthy eating into your daily routine. This can be especially important during times when it feels like long, busy work weeks are sweeping us up in a wave that we can’t control.

Don’t work through dinner! Scheduled mealtimes help to create a sense of control and balance during times of intense busyness. In addition, having a set mealtime means planning each meal intentionally instead of waiting until you’re overly hungry to decide what to eat.

Make a List

Never underestimate how much being busy can cause you to get off track with even the simplest things in life. Once you find a meal that works for your tastes, be sure to write it down as part of a list of go-to favorites you can recreate weekly. You’ll appreciate having a list to refer to instead of trying to find the names of meals online again. This list can eventually become your meal plan for healthy eating.

Be Consistent Enough That You Can Afford to “Cheat”

There’s no need to make healthy eating feel restrictive. For many busy people, meals with other people happen pretty frequently. One of the best ways to find balance is to plan to control every meal you can control while simply making the best choices possible when you don’t have control. What does this look like? While you may only be able to plan breakfast and dinner on your own before heading out to a “work” dinner, you’ll at least have the structure in your diet that comes from staying consistent during two out of three meals a day.

Planning breakfast, lunch, and dinner for healthy eating during the week will leave you with many options for “splurging” on the weekends without feeling like you’re getting off track. When you have a weekly plan, you always know that you’ll be back on your path of healthy eating by Monday.

Use Professional Meal Planning and Delivery

There comes a point when we all have to admit that healthy eating takes commitment. Maintaining a healthy diet that also leaves you satisfied simply isn’t something that you can pull off without some planning. This is where using a professional meal planning and delivery service comes into the picture. The reason why meal planning is so popular at the moment is because many busy people have done the math on the value of their time versus the amount of time it takes to plan, create, and pack healthy meals for an entire week.

Eating healthy when you lead a busy lifestyle isn’t easy. In fact, eating habits often begin to slide when tight deadlines, long nights, and busy weekends full of commitments all fuse together to leave you with a full calendar that doesn’t leave much time for planning, cooking, and storing your meals.

While it can be easy to let busyness become an excuse for not eating the best foods possible, proper planning is the key to enjoying the health benefits that come from keeping yourself accountable for your nutritional choices.

No, your weight plateau isn’t all in your head. It’s also not necessarily a reflection of your effort. However, you still have the power to turn it around.

Plateauing can be one of the most frustrating aspects of weight loss. In fact, the plateau period is considered a “danger zone” in a weight loss journey because many people abandon their regiments after feeling like all of their efforts are “for nothing.”

The good news is that there are ways to keep your mind, heart, and body in the game even when plateaus slow you down.

Here’s a simple guide to pushing past plateaus when trying to lose weight.

Why Do Plateaus Happen During Weight Loss?

Plateaus can feel incredibly frustrating because they occur after what seems like a successful start. Suddenly, the brakes get hit on consistent weight loss. All of your “old tricks” stop working. Why? One theory is that weight plateaus happen because your body has finally “caught on” to your plan to lose weight. Your body then adjusts to protect itself against further weight loss. However, some researchers reject this explanation. They chalk weight plateaus up to the fact that most people begin to relax their diet plans after a few months. There’s also the glycogen explanation.

What does glycogen have to do with weight plateaus?

During the first few weeks of cutting calories, it’s very common to see rapid drops in weight. This phenomenon happens because the body is getting the energy it needs by releasing your stores of a carbohydrate called glycogen found in the muscles and liver. Something interesting about glycogen is that it releases water when it’s burned for energy. This is precisely why a lot of the “weight” that is lost very early on during a diet is actually water weight. However, this isn’t why weight loss eventually plateaus. The reason for the plateau has to do with the fact that you lose both fat and muscle when glycogen is burned. Muscle burns more calories than fat. That means that inevitable losses in muscle mass that stem from weight loss will actually begin to slow your metabolism over time, even if you’re sticking to the same diet that helped you to seamlessly drop those initial pounds.

What does this mean for your weight loss journey? It’s time for a pivot. For some people, the answer may be to stick to the same approach to maintain weight loss instead of trying to lose more weight. Others may feel that they want to keep on going. This may require you to increase physical activity, decrease calories, or do some combination of both.

Pushing Past Plateaus: Practical Tips for Continuing to Lose Weight

The good news is that you are unlikely to go backward in your weight loss as long as you stick to the regimen that helped you reach your plateau weight. The big thing is to avoid the temptation to allow the frustration of a plateau to cause you to backslide. There are also many changes you can introduce into your current plan that will help you bust through the walls of your plateau to resume weight loss. Take a look!

#1 Confirm That a Plateau Is Really a Plateau

The first step is to do an audit of recent habits to verify that you’re experiencing an authentic plateau instead of simply seeing the results caused by relaxing your habits. Research shows that “off-and-on” loosening of diet and exercise plans can contribute to plateaus. If your weight loss has slowed down due to poor habits, you may only need to establish a goal of getting back on track with the rules you were following.

#2 Reduce Calories

You may not need the same amount of calories you needed in the beginning if you’ve lost fat and muscle. Of course, calories should never be restricted to dangerous levels. Eating fewer than 1,200 (women) to 1,500 (men) calories per day is too low for most people and can result in various adverse side effects, including headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Also, less than 1200 calories may not be enough to keep you from constant hunger. However, reducing food intake if your calorie needs have changed can help you get past a plateau. 

How do you know if your calorie needs have changed? It is a good idea to calculate your today daily energy expenditure. There are many online calculators you can use to calculate TDEE. These will give you an idea of how many calories you need to consume to lose weight at your current activity level. You can create a calorie deficit by subtracting from this number.

Reducing isn’t always recommended for fighting plateaus for one simple reason. If your calorie intake is already consistent with your TDEE for weight loss, then the plateau may just be temporary. In that case, the focus should instead be on relying more and more on healthy, nutrient-dense foods that allow you to feel satisfied, provide energy for workouts, and make it easier to avoid “snack traps” caused by feeling famished. Make sure you’re giving your body food it can use instead of packing in food that can easily be stored as fat.

#3 Increase Your Workouts

Most experts agree that ramping up exercise is one of the best ways to get over a plateau. It’s not just about exercising more. Switching to more intense forms of exercise can help you get more dramatic results without a more considerable time commitment. A person who usually walks or jogs might consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts instead. Weightlifting can also be an excellent way to push past a plateau because building muscle will put you in a position to burn more calories. It might also be time to simply think about ways to live a more active lifestyle that builds more “natural” exercise into your daily life. This can mean ditching the car in favor of a bike during the morning commute, taking a walk during your lunch break, or scheduling an extra gym session into your daily plan.

#4 Get Enough Sleep

Yes, poor sleep can sabotage your weight loss plans! In studies, consistent amounts of adequate sleep were linked with improved weight loss outcomes. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in the production of a hormone called ghrelin, which is often referred to as the “hunger hormone.” An increase in ghrelin is why we are often compelled to reach for “comfort foods” after a night of poor sleep. While improving sleep quality and duration is the most important way to fight off the effects of ghrelin, it’s also essential to have high-protein, satisfying breakfast options waiting for you on those mornings when you know you’re going to be waking up to a feeling of deep hunger.

#5 Reduce Stress

Taking steps to reduce chronic stress can help you to reach your weight loss goals more quickly. In fact, research links stress with obesity. Managing stress can help you to avoid the phenomenon of “stress eating” that causes so many people to absentmindedly grab for chips, candy, or soda when stressful meetings, tight deadlines, or conflict throw the central nervous system into a tailspin.

Reducing stress isn’t always easy when so many external factors are at play. However, practicing meditation techniques, taking daily walks, and avoiding high-sugar foods that spike blood sugar can all help you to maintain a sense of calm that stops spiking stress hormones from throwing your body out of whack.

#6 Add More Fiber to Your Diet

Fiber has been credited with helping people to break through weight loss plateaus. Soluble fiber is beneficial because it helps to slow down the movement of food through your digestive system to help you feel fuller longer. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are all great sources of soluble fiber. However, the list of superstar foods for soluble fiber includes oats, avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, and black beans.

A Plateau Isn’t the End of the Story

Don’t let a plateau stop you in your tracks. A weight loss plateau shouldn’t be seen as an obstacle. It should instead be viewed as a signal that it’s time to readjust your method to give your body an updated plan for what it needs for this next leg of your fitness journey. It’s more than possible to emerge from a plateau stronger, fitter, and more determined than ever before. Of course, moving forward fully prepared to fight off the cravings that cause most people to get crushed by plateaus is the most important thing you can do. Meal preparation that anticipates your needs is essential for getting the fuel needed to stay the course, thrive in your daily life, and avoid letting a plateau turn into a full backslide into your former habits.

There’s a good chance that you’re already dehydrated if water is on your mind. The good news is that increasing hydration levels is one of the easiest ways to change how you feel. It can even help you to look better, reach your health goals, and protect your brain against cognitive decline as you age. Yes, “simple” water really can do all that.

While most of us know that we need water to be healthy, a shocking number of people still allow themselves to become dehydrated. What’s even more shocking is that many people don’t recognize the signs of dehydration. This means they’re walking around feeling tired, sluggish, and weak without realizing that they don’t need to feel this way. 

Have you ever wondered what not drinking enough water does to your body and brain? 

Check out some facts that will inspire you to start counting every sip on your way to better health.

Shocking Fact: It Only Takes Two Hours to Feel the Effects of Dehydration

Don’t be so sure that your body is all set just because you chugged water a few hours before starting a workout. New research reveals that we can become dangerously dehydrated in just two hours! A study released by the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in 2022 found that just two hours of vigorous activity in the heat without drinking fluids or eating can significantly affect concentration.

The Symptoms of Dehydration

Could your general feelings of malaise and tiredness actually be caused by dehydration? It’s not out of the realm of possibility. That’s because dehydration produces a wide range of symptoms. While some symptoms are felt immediately, others take long-term tolls on your health. Here’s a look at the common symptoms of dehydration:

  • Feeling Thirsty: Yes, you’re already dehydrated if you feel thirsty. The goal when staying hydrated is to stay ahead of thirst cues.
  • Dark, strong-smelling Urine: Urine that’s a dark-yellow color is a sign that you’re dehydrated. Clear, odor-free urine is a sign that you’re properly hydrated.
  • Feeling Dizzy or Lightheaded: Feeling weak is a telltale sign of dehydration. Not every case of dizziness is due to dehydration. However, seeking help is essential if you feel you are about to pass out.
  • Tiredness: It’s common to feel exhausted when you’re dehydrated.
  • Dry Mouth/Cotton Mouth: Is your tongue feeling a little cottony? It’s a sign that you’re dehydrated to help restore saliva production in your mouth.
  • Dry Lips and Eyes: Your body is probably telling you it’s running out of moisture if you feel dryness on your lips and eyes.
  • Headaches: It’s very common to get a headache from dehydration. One of the best ways to test if your chronic headaches could be caused by dehydration is to see if your headache goes away after you drink a large glass of water.
  • Constipation: Dehydration is a common cause of constipation that few people know about. If the water receptors in your colon cannot pull water from the body, you end up with hard, dry stools.
  • Lackluster Skin: All the facial creams in the world can’t hydrate your skin from the inside. You may be dehydrated if you’re suffering from dry, dull skin. Many people find that radiance, plumpness, and elasticity begin to return once they get more consistent with water intake.
  • Brain Fog: If you’re constantly feeling confused and unfocused, a lack of water could be to blame.
  • Weight Gain: Yes, chronic dehydration can lead to weight gain. The most straightforward reason behind this is that people often mistake thirst cues for hunger cues! This means that they reach for snacks when their body actually needs water. Research shows that increased hydration is associated with weight loss.

Many people stay chronically dehydrated for so long that they think these symptoms are part of their “normal” life experience. While the answer isn’t always as simple as just drinking more water, the truth is that improving hydration is a great place to start. The importance of staying hydrated doesn’t just come down to feeling better at the moment. Chronic dehydration can have severe consequences for a person’s health and well-being. 

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Not Drinking Enough Water?

Your brain and body crave water. In fact, you may be living at much less than full speed if you’re not getting your full water intake daily. Let’s not forget that the human brain comprises 73% water. One study found that dehydration following exercise impaired both mood and concentration. Another study found that dehydration was detrimental to working memory. It also left people with feelings of anxiety and fatigue. 

 People perform at reduced capacity when they’re dehydrated. They also feel worse. While this information should be enough to inspire anyone to want to focus on drinking more water, the stakes go much higher. It turns out that chronic dehydration can cause brain cells to shrink! While this won’t happen overnight, it’s common in older adults living with prolonged dehydration. 

People who aren’t drinking enough water often live for years in a constant state of brain fog that makes it difficult to achieve focus, concentration, and mental clarity. This ultimately creates a situation where brain cells are negatively affected irreversibly.

Not Drinking Enough Water Can Hurt Your Immune System

You may already know that not drinking enough water can cause headaches, sluggishness, and weight gain. However, there’s an even more significant risk of staying dehydrated. Hydration is critical for a healthy immune system. The immune system is highly dependent on the nutrients in our bloodstream. As you may already know, the human bloodstream consists mainly of water. When the body lacks the proper amount of water, it becomes difficult for the bloodstream to properly transport nutrients to organs and tissue. This is actually why muscle cramping is so common when we’re dehydrated. However, a lack of water makes it impossible for the bloodstream to clear out detoxification pathways tied to lymphatic draining. That means that waste materials and dangerous invaders aren’t cleared out. Yes, that means that the immune system can become compromised over time.

Pursuing a More Hydrated Way of Life: How Can You Remember to Drink More Water?

Don’t forget that much of the daily hydration that the human body needs can come from foods. A person who consumes lots of fruits and vegetables with high water content will naturally consume more water without necessarily drinking more. In addition, teas, smoothies, and fresh-pressed juices can also provide extra hydration. The real trick is that you may not have to drink more water to stay hydrated. 

It’s still important to focus on drinking enough water even if your diet contains lots of “watery” foods. The amount of water needed daily for good health can vary. Most adults need between 11.5 and 15.5 cups per day to stay healthy. While a person eating a balanced diet can expect about 20% of that water to come from the foods they eat, there’s simply no way around the fact that you’ll need to sip water throughout the day. A person who exercises will almost always need more water than the “average” person. Here are some tips for drinking more water:

  • Start your day with a full glass of water within minutes of waking up. Cold water in the morning can boost your alertness level!
  • Download an app that reminds you to take sips.
  • Buy several refillable water bottles that you can leave at home, at work, or in the car to ensure that you never get stuck without a way to drink water.
  • Drink a full glass of water with each meal.
  • Drink a full glass of water after every bathroom break.

The bottom line is that you never want to wait until you get thirsty to drink water! You’re already dehydrated if you’re feeling thirsty. That means you’re already on your way to headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, decreased mood, lack of focus, and potential long-term cognitive impairment. Make hydration a part of your overall healthy meal plan to live the vibrant life you want to live!

Do you feel like you are doing everything you can but are still not losing weight? Wondering what is going on? The answer might have to do with insulin.

Insulin could be what is preventing you from reaching your weight loss goal. Most people completely overlook insulin in weight loss because they assume that it’s something that only people living with diabetes need to worry about. Nothing could be further from the truth. Insulin is something that anyone who is trying to lose weight needs to pay attention to.

What Does Insulin Have To Do With Weight Loss?

Insulin is a hormone that’s produced in the pancreas. The role of insulin is to regulate the body’s blood glucose levels. When your insulin levels rise, any fat burning that your body is doing stops. The release of insulin encourages the storage of your incoming calories. Typically, the body will resort to storing those new calories as fat.

Why is this a problem if you’re trying to lose weight?

The constant signal to store fat from incoming food means that the body never gets a chance to begin burning off its own stored fat.

Which foods make insulin levels spike? Typically, foods high in carbohydrates are the worst culprits for elevating insulin levels. Being strategic with your blood sugar when planning meals can be a great way to ensure that insulin levels stay stable. Besides helping the body burn fat, stable insulin levels will also help you avoid the highs and lows of sugar crashes.

Let’s take a look at some tips for how to lower insulin levels for weight loss.

The First Step: Know Which Foods to Avoid

Which foods make insulin levels spike? First, it’s essential to know that an insulin-minded diet doesn’t necessarily have to be a “no carbohydrate” diet. It’s all about balancing your diet with the right types of carbohydrates to avoid spikes. Pairing carbs and protein can help you stay fuller longer without your body “holding on” to the energy instead of burning it off.

Generally, you’re trying to avoid any foods that have what is referred to as a high glycemic index when planning your meals. Having a high glycemic index means that a food is digested very quickly and easily by the body. You can understand what that means by thinking about how quickly you’re famished again after polishing off a big, fluffy wheat muffin for breakfast.

Some foods that are known to raise insulin levels include:

  • White grains. These include white bread, pancakes, muffins, bagels, pastries, and pasta. Choose whole-grain foods instead.
  • Sugary, sweet juices and sodas. Even diet sodas can be problematic as some sweeteners in diet soda have been found to cause insulin spikes in the blood.
  • Refined carbohydrates. Consuming too many refined carbohydrates can raise insulin levels. Examples of these include pizza, white rice, and breakfast cereals. 
  • Foods with added sugars. Avoid things like pies, cakes, cookies, and donuts.
  • Limit fast food. Popular foods from places like McDonald’s and Wendy’s often have high levels of sugar and saturated fats, which cause insulin levels to shoot up quickly.
  • Avoid large servings of starchy vegetables. Examples of these types of vegetables include potatoes and corn.

Generally, most kinds of candy, cookies, and desserts contain high levels of carbohydrates and sugars. Even some foods that are naturally insulin-friendly foods can cause spikes if they are prepared using sugar and additives. An excellent example of this would be anything ordered off the menu at a fast-food restaurant. While a grilled hamburger with some potatoes might be great for keeping insulin levels stable in a normal situation, the way that fast food is prepared means that everything from the bun to the burger probably contains high amounts of sugar.

Of course, cutting out refined carbohydrates doesn’t mean you have to only eat protein. There’s room in an insulin-friendly diet for tons of vegetables, fruits, dairy products, coffee drinks, and other things you don’t want to live without.

Be Aware of the Sleep Connection

Woman sleeping
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Did you know that sleep deprivation causes blood sugar to increase? Most people don’t know this! The spike in blood sugar that happens when we don’t get enough sleep leads to increased insulin secretion. If you’re struggling with weight management, the problem may have at least some connection to your sleep schedule. Most people need anywhere between seven and nine hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to function at their optimal capacity.

Just a single night of sleep deprivation can induce insulin resistance in healthy subjects, according to a 2010 study. It’s crucial to guard your sleep as though your health depends on it.

While it’s very common for people to try to “steal back” hours by staying up late, the truth is that sleep deprivation makes all of the work you’re doing with dieting and exercise less effective. Claiming time for sleep helps to make the time you spend on your health create more significant results.

Embrace the Low-Carb Life

Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy. Research has shown that following a low-carb diet can help reduce insulin levels. However, carb-heavy foods can raise insulin levels quite dramatically. Eating low-carb foods can also help decrease hunger, helping you feel satiated and making losing weight easier. 

Low carb diets have other benefits that go beyond lowering insulin levels. There is evidence that low-carb diets may help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. One large study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined the impact of a low-carb diet on the risk of heart disease in people who were overweight and obese. Study participants who ate a low-carb meal plan showed significant improvements in their cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Tip for going low-carb: The critical thing to remember is that any diet that you follow has to be sustainable for the long term. It’s essential to avoid plans that are too restrictive. Choose healthy meals that you enjoy eating that consist of plenty of protein and healthy fats.

Exercise Regularly

Athlete stretching
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Yes, exercise is terrific for regulating insulin levels naturally. Most of us know we should exercise using cardio and strength training several times per week to burn calories and build muscle. However, what many people don’t realize is that exercise can help with weight loss beyond these two benefits.

During exercise, the body burns a form of glucose called glycogen stored in the muscles. The body then needs to restore glycogen levels following exercise. It gets that new glycogen by taking glucose stores from the bloodstream in a way that helps to improve insulin sensitivity. The benefits increase as exercise intensity increases! Some great ways to balance insulin levels for weight loss include walking, running, resistance training, and strength training.

The Bottom Line on How To Lower Insulin Levels Naturally for Weight Loss

Focusing on insulin when planning your diet just means looking at your diet from a hormone-based perspective. Knowing how to lower insulin levels for weight loss requires awareness of how different foods affect the body. Ideally, you’re focusing on foods that help to stabilize blood sugar levels instead of creating constant spikes.

💡Important To Remember: Refined carbohydrates create a constant cycle of spikes and falls that can cause you to eat more than intended. That’s because spikes cause us to go from feeling full to feeling famished with very little “stabilization” in the middle.

How To Avoid Refined Carbohydrates

One of the best ways to avoid excessive refined carbs is to plan your meals ahead of time.

It’s easy to reach for what’s easy and delicious when we are hungry. This fact is especially true when it’s time to finally think about dinner after a long work day. Carbohydrate-heavy foods are easy to prepare quickly. However, they don’t offer the benefits of whole grains, lean protein, and leafy greens that you get from a carefully balanced meal.

If you’re worried about the connection between insulin and weight loss, it may be time to consider creating a formalized meal plan to get your body in the right cycle for burning fat instead of storing it. One way to get on track is by using meal prep to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options offering perfectly balanced nutrition. Waking up to a filling, protein-rich breakfast bowl instead of feeling like you have to reach for sugary cereal can set the pace for a completely different kind of day!

Lastly, it’s important to remember that “hacking” your insulin levels to lose weight isn’t just an issue of vanity. It’s truly a matter of getting your body in optimal condition to burn fat, have more energy, and feel better than ever. Plus, the same benefits that help you to lose weight when you’re taking insulin into consideration will help you to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

Yes, you can enjoy delicious restaurant meals if you are trying to lose weight. Here’s how.

You’ve probably heard time and again that you should avoid eating at restaurants if you are trying to lose weight. But is eating out at restaurants off the menu just because you’ve committed to a diet plan? Not at all! It’s crucial for any diet plan that you choose to work as part of a well-rounded real-life experience. That means there needs to be room for the occasional lunch date, night out with friends, or splashy celebration at your favorite restaurant.

The case for eating out gets a little more challenging when you’re talking about ordering from restaurants every single day when trying to lose weight.

However, there are ways to eat out without gaining weight if you’re willing to be mindful.

There’s no magic formula that changes the fact that you have to pay attention to what you’re eating when you dine away from home. Here are ten smart tips to help you do just that!

Tip #1: Look at the Menu Ahead of Time

When it comes to eating healthy when dining out, it’s essential to prepare in advance. It’s not uncommon to have to wait for a while before eating, especially if you are dining out on the weekend. This leaves plenty of time for you to become famished, even if you were not hungry when you left the house. You are more likely to overeat when you are really hungry. Also, when you are hungry, it’s harder to concentrate. So, you might have trouble making healthy choices. Therefore, take a look at the menu online before going to the restaurant. Find out what is available and think about what options might fit into your diet so that you are ready to order when you get there. If you use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your nutrients or calorie intake, you can plug the information into the app ahead of time for your meals.

Tip #2: Know What to Avoid

Nobody is saying that any food should be considered “forbidden.” Part of having a healthy relationship with food is feeling empowered to choose what you want to eat. However, anyone aiming to lose weight while enjoying the restaurant experience should try to avoid three common pitfalls. These pitfalls are sugar, alcohol, and deep-fried foods. This tip alone will help you avoid unnecessary fat and calories that will slow you down. What’s more, the truth is that nobody really ever feels great after loading up on these things anyway.

Tip #3 Eat a Healthy Snack Before You Go

Before you leave for the restaurant, munch on a healthy snack. It can take a while to get your food when eating out. If you are ravenous by the time the bread comes out, you may very well end up sabotaging your diet. A great way to prevent this is to eat a high-protein, high-fiber snack before you go. Protein and fiber help tame hunger hormones, which can help you feel more satiated.

Tip #4 Choose Unsweetened Drinks

Sure, water is the best choice to keep you hydrated. But, if you are craving something more, you might be tempted to give in and order a soda or margarita. Unfortunately, most restaurant drinks are packed with sugar. If you have been trying to figure out what you can drink, here are a few options: sparkling water, unsweetened tea, and water with lemon. Sipping on unsweetened tea or sparkling water can help you stay hydrated and help prevent overeating.

Tip #5 Don’t Stigmatize Salad

You might dislike the idea of ordering a salad at a restaurant because it screams that you’re on a diet. However, the truth is that many restaurants make spectacular salads. This can be both good and bad when trying to lose weight. The good news is that you can get an outstanding balance of protein and fiber-filled greens if you know how to order a salad the right way. Grilled chicken, grilled fish, lean steak, avocado, boiled eggs, and nuts can all offer healthy protein and fat. The bad news is that some salads have more calories than something like a sandwich simply because of all of the add-on ingredients. You want to be more careful when it comes to salads that toss in bacon, breaded chicken, or other “heavy” items that are likely to be fried in grease. Lastly, ask for olive oil and vinegar on the side instead of a creamy dressing.

Tip #6 Focus on Grilled Vegetables

One of the best low-calorie options when eating out is a plate of grilled vegetables. You’ll enjoy that you feel like you have a lot to eat without feeling like you’re filling up on greasy, fried foods. If you want to lose weight by eating out, consider vegan restaurants that prepare thick eggplant, portabella mushrooms, or zucchinis in ways that are similar to how other restaurants prepare cuts of meat. This allows you to enjoy a healthier meal that still has plenty of flavor and interesting texture.

Tip #7 Don’t Assume That a Portion Is Really a Serving

Know the difference between a portion and a serving size when eating out. Many restaurants pack plates with portions that represent anywhere from two to three or more servings of food. Create a visual of how much of your plate actually represents an appropriate serving before your fork digs in. This will allow you to eat at the right pace for how much you intend to consume. Another option is to ask for a to-go box when you receive your meal and pack up half right away. There’s no shame in boxing up the rest for home!

Tip #8 Avoid Sneaky Calories

A few slices of bread before your meal, an overflowing margarita, and that slice of raspberry cheesecake that you see as “extras” can easily exceed the number of calories in your actual meal. If you eat out often, you’ll generally want to avoid these things if you are trying to lose weight. However, indulging every once in a while is fine. One good strategy is to make a bargain with yourself that you’ll choose just one indulgence to add to your meal.

Tip #9 Make Fish Your Signature Dish

One of the best hacks for losing weight when eating out is to make fish your go-to dish. The reason why is because restaurants tend not to offer huge portions of fish. That means that you’ll get a very appropriate cut of a delicious fish that is rich in healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. The flavor and richness of fish are likely to leave you feeling too satisfied to overindulge in side dishes.

Photo by Dana Tentis from Pexels

Tip #10 Rein In Your Sweet Tooth

Finally, don’t let your sweet tooth derail all of the effort that you have put into eating healthy while dining out. Instead, wait until you get home and end your meal with something healthier. Most restaurant desserts are enormous and easily more than one serving. If you decide to order dessert, share it with one of your friends or family members.

What’s the Best Strategy for How to Lose Weight by Eating Out?

The best strategy for losing weight when eating out may be to eat at restaurants only occasionally. For many people, eating out is a way to save time. However, there is another option that most people don’t think about — made-to-order, fresh foods. We are talking about foods that are prepared fresh using healthy ingredients like ginger soy chicken breast. These meals rival those you’ll find in restaurants, as they are prepared fresh.

Choosing meal delivery is a great option that is between relying on restaurant meals and cooking everything yourself. Many people use professional meal prep services to have healthy meals waiting in the fridge.

There’s another reason why you might want to focus on planning meals ahead of time instead of walking into a restaurant or takeout place. According to a study conducted by the United States the Department of Agriculture (USDA), each meal eaten at a restaurant adds 134 calories on average to a person’s daily intake. The number of added calories was even higher per day for people who were considered obese. What’s more, eating out was associated with eating nearly a quarter fewer servings of leafy greens, fruits, and whole grains.

The beauty of meal prep is that you can enjoy delicious, restaurant-quality foods without feeling like you’re getting derailed from your plan. When eating out, one problem that’s easy to run into is feeling “trapped” by a menu. Being in a rush means that many people settle for whatever they can get instead of prioritizing nutritional value. The best part is that getting serious with meal prep means that you’re covered for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks without any feelings of deprivation.