A blog by runners. For runners.

Tips for a healthy lifestyle (and losing weight without dieting)

Diet. It’s a dreaded word. I remember wanting to diet quite young. And the way I went about it was not the smartest. Full out restricting the types of foods you eat is never a good idea.

These days, though, I’ve embraced a more balanced approach to eating — moderation is key. Here are five tips to help you embrace a healthy lifestyle and lose weight — without dieting:

  1. Figure out what it feels like to be full. This was always a mystery to me. Was I full or was I just afraid of eating too much? If you are a constant dieter, it can be tough to understand fullness. It takes time and practice but figuring this out will help you stop — or continue — eating.
    Get healthy idea: Try using a number scale at each meal, where 1 equals starving and 10 equals so full you could roll out of your chair. Ideally, you want to be at a 6 to 7 at the end of a meal
  2. Drink water. Sometimes we confuse hunger for thirst. So drink up! Nothing else provides you with what your body needs like water. Tea, coffee, and juice can always be part of your diet but not until you’ve had enough water. Soda should be consumed in extreme moderation.
    Get healthy idea: Calculate how many glasses of water per day your weight requires (You can use a calculator like the one here). Purchase a water bottle with a third of that amount and drink three bottles throughout the day. (More hydration tips for runners.)
  3. Eat variety Restricting yourself to protein or low fat foods can mess with your body chemistry. Sticking to a diet that includes protein, fat, and carbohydrates will provide you with energy all day.
    Get healthy idea: Simplicity is the way to go!
    Breakfast: egg + whole wheat toast + spinach with olive oil
    Lunch: grilled chicken + lettuce + tomato + carrots + balsamic dressing
    Snack: raw almonds + 1oz cheese
    Dinner: grilled fish + brown rice + steamed broccoli
    Dessert: Greek yogurt +  berries
  4. Include vegetables in every meal. And this includes breakfast. The fiber keeps you full and the nutrients (once again) give you energy. Try to vary the types (and colors) of veggies you eat.
    Get healthy idea:
    Breakfast: mushrooms + kale + spinach + tomatoes + peppers (Perfect to add to eggs.)
    Lunch: salad with a variety of lettuce and mixed with your favorite fresh, in-season veggies
    Dinner: try asparagus, peas, or brussel sprouts.
  5. When craving something unhealthy, substitute a fruit first. Before indulging in that brownie or bag of chips, try snacking on a piece of fruit. You might just be hungry and a low-cal fruit could eliminate your desire for the sweet or salty. Still craving? Then go for that treat! Just keep your portions in control.
    Get healthy idea: Snack on sliced bananas and strawberries or chopped apples and pears with a touch of cinnamon.

Always consult your physician or make an appointment with a registered dietician when considering weight loss.

Written by Danielle Bressoud

Related: