How many articles have you read that talk about weight loss – probably close to about a couple thousand since you’ve been born. “Lose 10 pounds in 3 days by only eating kale,” “Only eat foods that start with C and you’ll be skinny in 10 days,” or “Lose weight fast by working out 5 hours a day.” Friends, friends, friends, I really hope that you don’t think these diets will really work.

I know I preach and I preach about living an overall healthy lifestyle, but it’s totally true. Before you can start seeing results with your body, you’ve first got to work on the inside. Now, I’m not a certified nutritionist, but going by experience, getting in shape is roughly 35% working out and 65% what you eat and drink. Now those percentages can change once you’ve hit your goal, but in order to lose weight you need to change your eating habits.

Here are four quick tips on how to get your eating in check:

  • Make substitutions to your favorite dishes: Pizza, pasta, lasagna, brownies, muffins, pumpkin bread – are any of these your favorite dishes? You can still enjoy them in a healthier way by making a few adjustments. For example, instead of using pasta, create vegetable noodles using a sweet potato, zucchini or spaghetti squash. Check out my recipe Sweet Potato String “Pasta.”
  • Eat often throughout the day: What, I’m telling you to eat more often, but you are trying to lose weight, how can that be? When you eat healthier smaller meals more often throughout the day, you are more likely to snack less and make better choices. We’ve all grown up eating 3 meals a day, but if you are looking to lose weight and are working out more than you usually do, eating 5-6 small meals a day will help you to keep on track and no find yourself “starving….”
  • Plan your meals ahead of time: We’ve all fallen victim to forgetting to pack breakfast or lunch and end of grabbing something that is “easy” and most likely “unhealthy.” People like to make fun of the “meal prep” photos you see on Instagram, but you bet your butt, those people are more likely to stay on track than someone who is winging their meals from day to day. Also, bonus, it helps you save money. You can usually make four meals with the purchase of some chicken breast, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts – where if you eat lunch out everyday, you could spend roughly $8-$15 per meal.
  • Don’t deprive yourself: “Wait Delia, you were just telling me to make healthier choices, now you are telling me I can treat myself?” And the answer is yes – but in moderation. Pick only one or two days a week where you can treat yourself in a small way. I’m not saying to hit up the closet Chinese buffet, but if you want to have a brownie, make a healthier batch using a recipe like Fig Brownies via the Mediterranean Paleo Cooking Cookbook. The more and more you say no, the more and more you are going to want that not so healthy treat!

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Got any tips that have worked for you? Share them in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading.