Hi! Welcome to Fit, Food, and Fun Fridays! Today we’ll talk about weight loss strategies for convenience eaters. If you’re a convenience eater, you need a diet that works with your lifestyle. Our culture is inundated with the message that you must eat fast and on the go (snacks and, in some cases, food “on the run”). This approach to eating is not only bad for the waistline, it also can lead to health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A person who is a “convenience eater” (this can be defined as anyone who eats out of hunger and occasionally eats quickly and out of habit) is more likely to suffer from disordered eating and weight problems.
Not all convenience-eating is the same. While some of us may snack out of habit, for others it’s a fast-food habit. If you tend to drive-thru more than order in, if you stop by a fast food place for lunch instead of cooking, or if you get one of the side items with your burger, you might be a convenience eater.
If you’re like me, you’re often too busy to cook every night. You just want some quick, healthy food that is satisfying, but not heavy. And you don’t always have the time to plan ahead. As a convenience eater, you don’t want it to take all day to make healthy choices for dinner. Today, we’ll show you some simple, healthy quick food options for that don’t involve cooking every day.
Fast and easy meals and snacks can be lean and delicious if you learn to plan ahead. Use these techniques to eat light at home and dining out even on your busiest days.
Weight Loss Techniques To Use At Home
1. Stock up on nutritious foods.
Replace frozen dinners and instant soups with whole foods that are better for you. Toss fresh pasta with extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts. Dip baby carrots in your salsa instead of corn chips.
2. Master simple recipes.
Many satisfying meals can be prepared in 10 minutes or less. Browse online for easy recipes or borrow cookbooks from your local library.
3. Cook ahead.
Use weekends or evenings to cook a batch of chicken breasts or black bean chili. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers to use in the days or weeks ahead.
4. Work as a team.
Your kids are likely to pick up on your eating habits, so set a good example. Take turns making breakfast or brown bag lunches for each other. Talk about the importance of eating whole grains, fresh produce, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Weight Loss Techniques For Eating Out
1. Search for alternatives to fast foods.
Look around your neighborhood for places that will serve you healthier foods just as quickly as your usual drive through window. Collect take out menus from ethnic restaurants or assemble a fast meal at your supermarket salad bar.
2. Bring along snacks.
Carry cut vegetables and whole grain cereals with you instead of relying on the office vending machines. Keep a small cooler in your car with yogurt drinks and soy nuts.
3. Learn to spot healthy keywords on menus.
It’s easy to order lighter dishes if you master a few common terms. Look for entrees that are steamed or grilled rather than fried. For dessert, choose the sorbet instead of donuts.
4. Ask your server for advice.
With so many people trying to lose weight, many servers are experts at guiding you to the leanest choices. Let them count calories for you.
1. Drink water.
Get a steel water bottle and keep it filled up so you can sip water all day long. Staying well hydrated will help you feel more energetic and suppress your appetite.
2. Eat more frequently.
Many convenience eaters get caught up in other activities and forget to eat. Small meals and snacks throughout the day will make you less vulnerable to overloading when you suddenly notice you’re starving.
3. Analyze your favorite convenience foods.
Figure out what attracts you to your favorite fast food and you can usually find a substitute with fewer calories. Sprinkling a little cinnamon in your cafe au lait could make you forget about powdered hot chocolate.
4. Make exercise a habit.
Physical activity is essential to losing weight the healthy way. Develop an exercise routine you can stick with. Maybe you need a trainer or gym buddy to remind you to stay on track. You may also want to sneak more exercise into your daily routine by climbing stairs or doing leg lifts during TV commercials.
5. Manage stress.
A fast paced lifestyle may expose you to higher levels of stress. Meditation and other relaxation techniques help lower stress hormones so you metabolize foods more effectively and store less fat.
If you’re a convenience eater, you need to personalize your diet. There are plenty of healthy, fast and easy meals and snacks that can be lean and delicious – if you learn to plan ahead. The key is to never go hungry and to keep moving forward.
Indulge your love for convenience eating while you reach your weight loss goals. Make your diet easy to follow so you can break the fast food habit. As a bonus, you’ll probably save money and enjoy eating more.
In conclusion, if you’re a convenience eater who is following a healthy weight loss plan, you no longer have to choose between convenience and healthy eating. You can have your cake and eat it too
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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