Keep a food diary
Start writing down everything you eat (yes, even the last two bites of your kid’s last chicken nugget or the 12 jelly beans from your coworker’s desk). “Look at what foods you’ve been choosing that are holding you up and what are the quantities,” says Amari Thomsen, MS, RD, LDN, dietitian and founder of Eat Chic Chicago. Seeing every morsel written out will help you pinpoint the problem behind your weight-loss plateau, whether it’s the food you eat or their portion sizes. Check out these nutritionists’ best healthy-eating tricks.
Make a plan—then mix it up
Planning can mean the difference between packing a healthy lunch and grabbing the first thing you see when your stomach starts rumbling. But if you always go for the same standbys, you could get sick of your healthy choices, says Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS, senior bariatric psychologist at the Bellevue Center for Obesity & Weight Management and clinical assistant professor, department of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. “Make it interesting so you’re not getting bored,” she says. For instance, salads are easy and convenient, but rotating your protein between chicken, hardboiled eggs, and tuna could keep your taste buds happy, she says. Here’s more on how to have a healthy, happy lunch break.
Cut down—even on the healthy stuff
Just because you buy your snacks at a health food store doesn’t mean you can eat them with abandon. “They’re associated as being healthy because of where they’re purchased and they have healthy ingredients,” says Danielle Pashko, author of Breaking Your Fat Girl Habits: Weight Loss Mistakes Even Healthy Chicks Make! But “health” foods like veggie chips, granola, and dried fruit—while fine in moderation—won’t keep you full for long, she says. If you eat the whole bag before feeling satisfied, you could be chowing down on hundreds of calories. Pick up an individual, portion-controlled fruit like an apple or nectarine instead, she says. These inspirational weight-loss stories will motivate you to reach your goals.