Eat More Greens & Veggies
From the outside, it seems like the Atkin’s and Paleo diets are all about cutting out your favorite foods. Don’t eat bread, don’t eat cake, don’t eat pasta. If you diet with this approach, chances are it won’t be sustainable. Once you begin to eat “normally” again, you will regain all of the weight.
Instead of focusing on eating less of the bad stuff, we should be focusing on eating more of the good stuff.
If you stack on the veggies first you will feel fuller, and you will be less inclined to go after the dinner rolls. Enjoy a salad before your main meal, or try oven roasted vegetables as an appetizer and you will find that you won’t need as much of the heavier, more calorie-dense foods to feel full. Using veggies (and fruits!) as snacks throughout the day helps you replace higher-calorie, processed snacks, reducing your overall calorie consumption and ultimately contributing to weight loss.
Eat More Protein
Lean protein is another food that will fill you up with substantially fewer calories than processed food options. Meats like turkey and chicken breast are great options for omnivores. Lower fat meats have less calories per serving than higher-fat red meats, but eating higher fat meats in moderation can leave you feeling fuller and less inclined to snack mindlessly. Some people have luck with protein shakes and nutritional bars as snacks as well because it leaves them feeling full for longer than snacks like chips or popcorn.
There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options to get in more protein as well. Eggs and cottage cheese are great for lacto-ovo vegetarians. For vegans, you can go after soy products like tofu and tempeh. Dried or fresh peas are also very high in protein, and there are pea, hemp, and soy based protein powders that you can use as well.
Protein is not only vital as a nutrient to build and maintain muscle and energy, but it will help you feel fuller than simple carbohydrates you might be eating otherwise. Don’t focus on cutting out the carbohydrates, but instead focus on eating a bigger serving of protein before eating your simple carbs, and you will naturally be inclined to eat less of the bad stuff.
Drink More Water
Focusing on drinking more water will also help you cut calories overall. Drinking more water will consume space in your stomach, so you will not feel as hungry throughout the day. If you stay amply hydrated with water, you will also be less inclined to drink away your calories throughout the day with soda and juices.
Carrying a water bottle that holds at least 20oz will help you remember to drink more. Keep it in your purse when you are running errands, and on your desk at work. Ideally you should have it visible at all times so that you are constantly reminded to drink more.
Adding flavor to your water may also be a good motivation for drinking water regularly. Lightly flavored, zero calorie drinks will inspire you to drink more, filling you up without the calories. You can also make your own flavored waters by adding cucumber slices, fruit, or herbs to your reusable water bottle.
Remember, the most successful diet will focus on all of the great foods that you can eat. Don’t focus on what you can’t eat– just fill up on the good stuff first to help you enjoy treats more moderately.