Contributed by: Michelle Baglio, RD, LD

If you feel like you need to give up your weight loss goals to enjoy your summer, think again! More often than not, it doesn’t take a massive diet overhaul in order to lose weight. What does matter is implementing healthy nutritional habits into your daily life consistently so that they become part of your normal routine. These three habits will increase the nutritional quality of your diet, rev up your metabolism, and help you release fat from your body.

1. Eat half your plate in vegetables at every meal. When you add vegetables to your meal, you increase the volume of food you are eating while decreasing the calories. You also get a high amount of nutrition and fiber to feel full. Focus less on starchy veggies (such as corn, peas, and potatoes), and more on the many other veggies like salads, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, tomatoes, green beans, and zucchini. You can also add 2 cups of greens to your favorite smoothie recipe.

2. Eat 3 to 5 meals and snacks daily. When weight loss is your focus, there are several great reasons not to skip meals. If you are eating less or lower calorie foods at your meals, eating regular meals and nutritious snacks keeps you from getting too hungry and making poor choices. It also naturally makes your body burn calories, so eating throughout the day helps to naturally boost your metabolism!

3. Hydrate with plenty of water. A general rule for most healthy individuals is to drink in ounces of water about half your body weight (in pounds). That means, a 160-pound woman should drink about 80 ounces of water. You can also include decaffeinated coffee, herbal tea, and other similar no-calorie beverages. Water helps you lose weight in many ways, as it boosts your energy, helps you identify if you’re truly hungry, makes you burn calories, and maximizes your workouts.

Start by adding one of these habits to your day this week. Once you feel like you can do it without thinking too hard, add another habit. Also remember that you don’t have to do it all on your own! Join me and other like-minded people this Saturday, June 16 at 10 am for the JKFITNESS Weight Loss Support Group! Each month we discuss your successes and challenges while gaining accountability, perspective, support, and encouragement on the journey to a healthier you! Be sure to stop by the studio or call us at (210) 388-0989 to register!

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