food-journalKeeping a food journal and writing down everything you eat can be helpful too. Both quality AND quantity of food are important – putting highly processed, high carb foods into your body is like putting very poor quality gas into your car and then expecting it to run well or for a long time. Stop when you are satisfied, not when you’re full. Learn what that feels like – you should never feel bloated or uncomfortable after eating. Eat frequently, every 3 to 4 hours, or 4 to 5 times a day. Hunger leads to poor eating practices. Frequent eating helps you control your blood sugar and manage your appetite. If you feel hungry and it’s not time to eat yet, try drinking a full 8 oz of water first to see if you are really just thirsty. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water (the best option) or unsweetened beverages,download because thirst is sometimes confused with hunger and extra fluids can help take the edge off your appetite. It is ok to drink tea or coffee sweetened with Splenda or stevia, just don’t overdo the caffeine. Do NOT drink juice, sweet tea, regular soda, or sugary electrolyte/energy drinks. Start the day with breakfast. This is an important step to get your metabolism going and to help you perform better at work or with exercise. Include protein and healthy fat to improve satiety. Weigh yourself regularly – about once or twice a week – to keep track of how you’re doing but don’t obsess about the number. You may try following your waist circumference too – it is often a better indicator of health status and weight loss.