Weight Loss Strategies For Convenience Eaters

If you’re a convenience eater, you need a diet that works with your lifestyle. 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.

Additional Suggestions

  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.

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.

Affordable Spring Break Fun for Families

There are lots of free and inexpensive activities for families looking for affordable spring break fun. These are some ideas for getting back to nature and enjoying the warmer weather with your kids.

Indoor Spring Break Activities:

1. Do crafts. Crafts are always a constructive way to entertain children, giving them an opportunity to express their creativity and develop their motor skills. For a seasonal theme, make a May Day basket or paint Easter eggs.

2. Redecorate. Give your home a new look after you get rid of the clutter with a spring cleaning. Removable wall decals are an easy way for kids to personalize their bedroom. For affordable touches in the kitchen and bath, let kids help pick out dishtowels and novelty soaps with flowers and birds or other spring themes.

3. Prepare healthy meals. Spring produce makes it easy to eat lighter. Take your kids shopping for colorful vegetables and fruits like baby carrots, beets and strawberries. Small children can shuck corn and shell peas while older children can learn to cut radish roses.

4. Develop a nature library. Visit your local bookstore for guidebooks about the flora and fauna in your region. Spend time reading together. Start your own journals about the species you’ve observed and add them to your home library.

5. Conduct your own science experiments. The change in seasons may make your kids curious about how flowers grow and what causes rain. To get ideas for science experiments you can do at home, visit your local library, websites like PBS, and local science museums.

6. Plan your summer vacation. Get a head start on your summer vacation by giving your kids research projects. If you know your destination, they can look for kid friendly activities in the area and local museums and parks.

Outdoor Spring Break Activities:

1. Start a garden. Introduce your kids to the fundamentals of gardening. You can grow your own vegetables and flowers. For young children, break tasks down into simple steps and get them their own child size tools to keep it fun.

2. Go for a picnic. The first picnics of the year always feel special. Let kids help plan the menu and prepare easy salads and sandwiches. Bring along a Frisbee so you can get some exercise.

3. Play ball. Check out your local youth sport leagues or just put up a basketball hoop in your driveway. Look for free or inexpensive venues in your hometown where you can play tennis or golf.

4. Celebrate Earth Day. Plan something special for Earth Day on April 22. Browse through community calendars for organized events or design your own family celebration. You could plant trees or decorate your compost pile. Take a field trip to a recycling center or a bird rescue sanctuary.

5. Become nature artists. Spring is a great time to enjoy the beauty of nature and develop your artistic abilities. Take a walk and bring a sketchpad along. You can make quick drawings of the plants and animals you see and use them to develop your own comic strip. Collect interesting objects like stones and seashells.

6. Volunteer together. Volunteering is a great way for families to spend time together and give back to their communities. Look for opportunities through your church or school, or consult a volunteer clearinghouse. You could help build homes for low-income families or clean up your local park.

Your family can enjoy spring break without having to spend a lot of money. Focus on spending time together and enjoying activities that enrich your lives and improve your community.