Staying on track with your weight loss goals can be challenging at times. Sure, you meet with your coach on a regular basis, but we get it, it’s easy to get caught in a rut sometimes. No worries, that’s normal. Here are some helpful tips and tricks for preparing food, staying motivated and staying on track.
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Tip #1: Gooey chocolate crispy square
Want to create a gooey and delicious treat? Make the best out of your chocolate crispy squares by microwaving them. Depending on how strong your microwave is, 10 to 20 seconds should do the trick. Warming your square means you’ll have to eat it with a fork which helps ensure that you’ll slow down and enjoy your dessert-like creation.
Tip #2: Soy sauce - low sodium or regular?
What do we recommend you choose? Contrary to what most would think, we prefer regular soy sauce. To lower the sodium levels in the soy sauce, sugar may be added so keep an eye on the nutrition labels.
Tip #3: Peppers: did you know?
Did you know you can flip a bell pepper over to check its gender? If it has four bumps, it’s a female. They are full of seeds, but sweeter and better for eating raw. Male peppers have three bumps and are better for cooking.
Tip #4: Cook for yourself
Sure, dining out is easy and convenient, but when it comes to dieting, eating out isn’t ideal. Most restaurants are notorious for excessive meal portions, and accurate ingredient and calorie counting can be impossible when you aren’t preparing your meal. Studies have shown that even with the best of intentions, special order dinners typically amount to an average of 300 to 800 more calories than expected. It’s easier to maintain your diet when you are in charge of the preparation of your food and it’s also cheaper than dining out.
Tip #5: Veggie prep
Meal prep vegetables in one of three ways:
- Pre-chop and store in the fridge as a meal component. They can be used in salads, sandwiches, wraps, sheet pan meals, etc.
- Pre-cook as part of a complete meal. They can be re-heated and enjoyed throughout the week.
- Freeze – Freeze on their own or as part of a crockpot, skillet or oven recipe.
Tip #6: Start small on your weight loss journey.
You DO NOT have to prep all your meals ahead of time in order to feel the benefits. Start with one meal that pains you. Breakfast, lunch or snacks are a great place to start.
Tip #7: Brush and floss your teeth right after dinner.
Who wants to eat after that? It is also a mental trigger to say that's it for the day.
Tip #8: Having a hard time getting in your veggies?
Try some baked zucchini, radish or cucumber chips. Slice the veggies thin and lightly oil. Then, add any seasonings you would like. Bake at 225 degrees until most of the liquid/oil has cooked off.
Tip #9: Eat the rainbow!
Switching up your vegetables ensures you’re getting a variety of antioxidants, phytonutrients and vitamins that make your body feel great on the inside and out. An easy way to get the rainbow in is a stir fry with bok choy, bamboo shoots, any color bell pepper, broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas and yellow squash. Mix up the veggies for different color combinations and add in a protein for an extra filling meal.
Tip #10: H2 Oh no!
Having trouble getting your water in every day? Try adding one of our water enhancers to your water bottle. With tasty flavors like black cherry and raspberry lemonade, you can say good-bye to plain water. If you find yourself forgetting to drink water throughout the day, set a timer every hour to take a big sip and get hydrated.
Tip #11: Zoodles of fun
Try zucchini noodles. Bulk up your favorite Ideal Protein meal, like the vegetable chili mix, with some zucchini noodles as a low carb alternate to pasta to get in those extra veggies.
Tip #12: Take a breath.
If you find yourself stressed out or anxious during the day, find a quiet room or even a bathroom and take some deep breaths. Follow the 4-7-8 technique: inhale for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. This breathing exercise can help clear your head, re-center your mind and reduce stress and anxiety.
Tip #13: Go to bed, sleepyhead!
Lack of sleep affects our hunger-regulating hormones, oftentimes leading us to choose foods higher in sugar, fat and sodium. To help get some good Z’s, establish a sleep schedule and stick to it, avoid caffeine before bed and try listening to relaxing music.
Tip #14: Get a few more steps in during the day.
Try parking farther away whenever you go to the grocery store, work, school or wherever. It’s a great way to get some light activity in during the day without overexerting yourself.
Tip #15: Didn’t think you could have chicken nuggets?
Well, think again! Grab some of our garlic parmesan croutons and crush them up. Then, beat one egg. Cut up a chicken breast into 1-inch cubes, dip them into the egg, and then roll in the crushed croutons for a “breaded” chicken nugget. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. For some added crispiness, turn on the broiler the last minute or two.