If you are working through a weight loss diet plan, and you are like many people, then you may struggle with feeling highly overwhelmed with everything.
The truth is that in a world where there are a million and one different ways to go about a diet, it’s easy to not really know what’s right and what’s wrong.
Most people start making their diet far more complicated than it really has to be, which is only going to cause more problems over the long haul.
So how can you get past this so that your diet isn't hindering you?
Let’s look at a few of the most important factors to remember. If you follow these simple rules as you move through your approach, you can uncomplicate your diet and see faster results overall.
1. Use The Plate Rule
First, if you’re like most, you hate, hate, hate counting calories. While it is easier to do today than it has been in the past with all the latest calorie counting applications out there, it’s still something that is going to take time out of your day – time that you may just feel you don’t have.
So rather than counting calories all the time, you may want to instead consider using the plate rule. This means dividing your plate up into four different quarters.
The first quarter should be a lean source of protein. The second segment should be a form of complex carbohydrates if you’re entering a time period where you are going to be more active (such as first thing in the morning or right before a workout session) and if not, then a healthy fat. On the last half of the plate, fill it with vegetables and occasionally a small amount of fruit.
If you follow this rule and eat three meals and three snacks a day, you should be on track for your calorie intake.
2. Rate Your Hunger
Second, always make sure that you rate your hunger before you eat each meal or snack. If you stop and really assess how hungry you truly are – and of course be honest with yourself, this could reduce the chances that you eat for reasons other than hunger.
Most people don’t take the time to check in with themselves as they go about their diet plan and this leads to eating when they really shouldn't. Do this too often and you can rest assured you will be taking in more calories than you need to be.
If you’d like, keep a journal of these hunger ratings so you can track patterns over time. If you always seem to be eating at a certain point during the day even though your hunger rating isn't all that high, look into the reasons behind this.
3. Eat Only Single Ingredient Foods
The next simple strategy that will help you immediately improve the quality of your diet plan is to eat only single ingredient foods. What does this mean?
Basically, before eating any food, ask yourself how many ingredients that food contains. If it’s more than one, put it back on the shelf.
Foods that contain more than a single ingredient have gone through some form of processing before reaching you, so they aren't going to be as healthy as a single ingredient food.
The healthiest foods in the human diet are those that do just contain a single ingredient. For example, broccoli is a single ingredient food. Strawberries are a single ingredient food. Chicken breast – single ingredient once again. Bread? Not a single ingredient.
If you fill your diet full of single ingredient foods, you can rest assured that you will be eating healthier than you ever have before.
4. Avoid Calorie-Containing Beverages
The next thing that you want to make sure you’re doing is avoiding calorie containing beverages. If you’re filling your diet full of drinks such as fruit juice, fruit smoothies, gourmet coffee, whole milk, alcohol, soda, and anything else containing calories, chances are good that this is also contributing to your weight gain or inability to lose weight.
The fact is that when most people take in beverages that contain calories, they are not going to make up for these additional calories consumed by reducing back on their food intake. Instead, they eat as much as they normally would have, but then are also taking in these additional calories through beverage form. This means their daily total calorie intake goes up dramatically, which then means they will have trouble losing body weight.
Beverage calories simply are not filling and more often than not, are not the healthy calories that you should be putting into your body. The only exception to this perhaps may be if you’re drinking skim milk, which can be a good source of calcium as well as protein.
5. Stay Hydrated
Finally, the last tip to remember to improve your nutritional intake and see better results with your diet plan is to make sure that you are staying well hydrated. If you are not hydrating properly, this can also lead to greater feelings of hunger as you go about your day, increasing the chances that you take in more calories than you need to.
Furthermore, being in a dehydrated state will reduce your energy levels and cause your metabolism to slow, so those two things as well will hinder the fat loss process.
Hydrate yourself with water, herbal tea, or green tea, which is even better since it has metabolic boosting effects and you will notice a difference in how you feel.
So there you have the primary tips to remember if you want to make your diet more simplistic and easy to follow. Do this and you’ll find it’s much easier to stay on course without suffering the stress that most traditional diets bring.