I am not one for going on a "diet." Diets tend to restrict your eating. They usually are eliminating carbs, eliminating sweets, and increasing protein. Sometimes they are unrealistic and hard to stick with, very expensive, and/or time consuming if you need to learn and make all new recipes and the list goes on...then, if you stick to it and then go back to normal eating, it can be a huge waste of time because the weight goes right back on...especially if you were depriving yourself of necessary nutrition...Who has time for all that??
Now, I know that some people could argue and say a diet like that has worked for you. These diets I am sure scientifically work if you follow them, but I think for anyone that is busy, who does not have time to live in the gym or to stay home cooking all day, losing weight can feel very difficult. Having more of a custom eating plan designed for you specifically can make losing weight do-able! It has to be something you can easily do and stick with! In being very busy myself and also trying to be healthy I have come up with a modification eating plan that has worked for me so I wanted to share!
It's very simple:
1. Eat 5 times a day (Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner)
2. Drink water all day
3. Modify your normal diet
If you modify what you typically consume, you can continue eating as normal but save calories here and there.
Let me give you my own example of ways I have cut down on calories:
-Instead of 2 eggs for breakfast with cheese and a slice of wheat toast,
now I have 2 egg whites with only 1 yoke and a slice of whole grain toast.
-For lunch instead of a ham and cheese, turkey and cheese or tuna sandwich,
now I will have an open faced sandwich (1 slice of bread), or the same sandwich on a whole grain wrap (typically you save about 80 calories here depending on the type of wrap you buy), or I will have a salad with protein on it with dressing on the side.
-Dinner is where I typically eat what I would normally eat but I cut down on my carb portions. I would eat a whole baked potato in the past, now I will just have half, or a smaller scoop of rice than before.
-For snacks instead of having junk food or foods high in calories, typically I will have some raw almonds for 1 snack and a chobani yogurt for my other snack.
And there you have it...eating 5 times per day can seem like a lot but when the portion sizes are small it isn't that much and keeps your metabolism going all day! These are all small modifications I have made over time and I feel that it makes a huge difference. If you pair modified eating with fitness you will see a difference in your body.
Do you have questions about ways you can modify? Here are some more examples of easy trade offs:
Do you drink soda or juice during the day? Then eliminate it. If you feel you cannot eliminate it, cut down. If you cut back you will save those calories.
Do you get bored with water? Add lemon, mint and/or cucumber to give your water a fresh flavor. You can infuse overnight and have water for the whole day. Lemon helps boost metabolism too so its a win win!
Are you hungry for a snack? Have fruit, veggies with hummus, raw almonds or a chobani yogurt instead of chips, candy, cookies or other foods high in calories and sugar.
Do you HAVE to have dessert at night? Then go for something healthier. Frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Or try out my personal favorite here: http://fitfunlifestyle.blogspot.com/2013/09/easiest-and-best-pb-cookies.html
Do you like fried chicken? Make grilled instead.
Do you like salad dressing on your salad? Put it on the side and dip rather than saturate your salad with it.
Do you love fries? Make your own baked potato fries and season yourself or have sweet potato fries.
Don't get me wrong, I typically have a cheat day (and by cheat day, it's usually a MAJOR cheat day). I'll eat pancakes for breakfast, pizza for dinner....if I know I am cheating I usually go all out! Usually I regret it the next day, but there is nothing wrong with indulging now and then if you are consistently eating healthy.
So...there it is! A super simple way to cut calories if you are trying to shed a few pounds. Pair it with burning calories through exercise and you will see a difference in no time!
Do you have any specific questions on ways you can modify your own eating? Let me know, I am happy to help! Any other ways people have found effective? Hope this is helpful information! It has been super helpful for me :)