It’s human nature to always want to figure out how to do something faster, easier and more efficiently. This philosophy has always been present in the minds of millions of people who want to find a faster and easier way to lose weight. We know all calories are not created equal. However I’ve always believed that too many people over-complicate the path to achieving successful, long-term weight-loss. It’s really very simple. Losing weight requires us to burn off more calories than we take in over a period of time.

Despite knowing what’s required to lose weight, people continue to have a difficult time with it. Imagine someone giving you a detailed map of how to get from one destination to another, but you continue to take another route in the opposite direction that leads nowhere. This is what millions of people do every single day with regards to their attempts to lose weight. They continue to take a path that never gets them to their ultimate destination.

Here are 4 easy things that should become routine with your eating habits if you want to lose weight and feel better.

Eat a healthy breakfast every day

Breakfast eaters typically weigh less than those who skip breakfast, eat a more nutritionally balanced diet, possess more strength and endurance, have improved concentration levels at work and school, and are less likely to snack on foods higher in fat and sugar during the day. Breakfast eaters also have lower cholesterol levels and are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.

Practice portion control

Serving sizes have gradually increased over time. We’ve come to acquire a “bigger is better” mindset. Super-size portions and all-you-can eat buffets have become the norm with our eating habits. It’s easy to consume 3-4 servings of a food product if you’re not mindful of the serving size. Invest in a small food scale and utilize measuring cups to insure that you stick to the recommended serving sizes of food at your meals. This habit takes very little extra time and can make a big difference in the total amount of  calories you consume each day. The cumulative effects of practicing portion control over many months and years can go a long way in keeping your weight under control.

Drink plenty of water

It’s free, easily accessible, keeps the joints cushioned, regulates body temperature, helps the body rid itself of toxins and wastes through sweat and urination and reduces the risk of kidney stones. H2O helps concentration levels and mental focus, reduces hunger, and fluid retention, aids in digestion, improves skin complexion, and helps boosts immune system in fighting colds and flu. Water prevents cramps, sprains and some head and back aches caused by dehydration. And it’s cheap! Even if you prefer drinking bottled water, you can buy an entire case of 24 16 oz. bottles for as low as 12-16 cents per bottle. Most people should consume at least half of their bodyweight in ounces of water each day. So if you weigh 200lbs., your goal is to drink 100 ounces of water a day.

Eat a Whole Foods Diet

Whole foods are foods that contain one ingredient: the food itself. They are unprocessed and unrefined, and are as close to their natural state as possible before being consumed. The human body was designed to eat these, which include things like whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. One ingredient means just that; that nothing else is added to the food in terms of preservatives and chemicals. A grilled skinless chicken breast is a one ingredient food, because it’s just chicken. The same is true with sweet potatoes, salmon or asparagus.

Eating whole food does not mean you have to eat a bland diet without any flavor or taste. You can get as creative as you want by using any number of fresh herbs, seasonings and spices. Be careful to keep the sodium low, and use salt-free products such as Mrs. Dash, garlic, onions, cilantro and other healthy seasonings to flavor your food.

By incorporating these four dietary habits on a regular basis you cannot help but to lose some weight, feel better and have more energy.

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