The Non-Diet Diet

I have a confession to make: I am terrible at maintaining any kind of healthy diet. This could be due, in part, to the fact that my birthday is in the summer and ice cream sundaes are mandatory, all year ’round. I balance this by staying active and drinking lots of water and trying to practice healthy eating habits whenever possible.

There's nothing like fresh bagels to kickstart a busy weekend!
There’s nothing like fresh bagels to kickstart a busy weekend! (at Brooklyn Water Bagels)

Keep reading for my top tips to staying in shape without suffering from foodie F.O.M.O.!

Some food just feeds your soul & that's the way it's supposed to be.
Some food just feeds your soul & that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Always eat breakfast 

Mornings are busy and sometimes you barely have enough time to brew coffee. It’s very important to not do what’s easy and do what’s right which, in this case, is refueling your body after many hours of no food. Take this opportunity to set your healthy eating plan in motion by selecting meals that are healthy and keep you fuller longer and will reduce a possible case of the munchies later in the day.

Be active everyday

If the idea of working up a sweat everyday seems like an impossible thing to fit into your schedule, remember that not all physical activity is created equal. Skipping the subway in favor of a walk to the office or using the stairs instead of taking the elevator helps gets that little bit of cardio in to kickstart your metabolism.

Drink more water

The minute I think I want a snack, I try to reach for a glass of water. Sleepiness and snacking is often the result of dehydration. In the vent that I need something sweet, I’ll add a slice of lemon or a few fresh raspberries for some light and refreshing flavor.

Eat more (often)

Losing weight happens when you take in fewer calories than you burn. This can be hard if you get hungry and want to snack. Try spreading out your meals over four or five breaks with lighter meals and heartier snacks.

Enjoy yourself

Being healthy shouldn’t be a punishment. Life is too short to not eat delicious food. If you’re super serious about eating healthy but miss eating what you want, balance at least ⅔ of your weekly meals with the non-salad options you crave. The key is moderation, not limitation.

A little fresh fruit goes a long way.
A little fresh fruit goes a long way.

Get some protein in your diet

Believe it or not, protein is more satisfying than carbs or fats. Seafood, lean meats, egg whites all count so don’t think you need red meat all the time to take advantage of the number one tool to keep you feeling fuller longer.

Make the switch

When possible opt for vegetables over pasta, brown rice over white rice and sorbet over ice cream. You’re still getting a satisfying meal just with more health benefits.

Pack it up

Having ready-to-go meals makes everything easier. Once I learned to pre-pac my lunch for work, I was less tempted to buy lunch and started saving more money. Here’s a list of things to have on hand to help you out:

Frozen vegetables, whole-grain pasta, reduced-fat cheese, canned tomatoes, canned beans, pre-cooked grilled chicken breast, whole grain tortillas or pitas, salad greens

Smarten up about snacking

If I absolutely need to eat something after dinner, I try to keep the treats to a minimum after 7. Fresh fruit, sorbet, crunchy nuts are all great alternatives to candy, ice cream and chips that so often seem appealing when you need a little something.

Spice things up

Eating well doesn’t have to be boring. Adding some flavor can kickstart your metabolism and make you less likely to want to eat more when your meals ware satisfying.

For more on life tips I’m reading, what inspires my East Coast style & commuting necessities, follow me on Tumblr, Twitter & Bloglovin’.

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xo, Vanessa


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Vanessa M. Gatlin

-Blogger, dancer, fashionista -Self proclaimed "political junkie" with a strong interest in international affairs -2011 graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston

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