Calorie counting shouldn’t be a full-time job
You may want to ditch the habit and instead focus on good-for-you foods, Frank Lipman, MD, integrative and functional medicine physician and founder of New York City’s Eleven Eleven Wellness Center tells Health. Instead of how many calories you’re consuming, ask yourself where the food came from and if it’s nutritious. “Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will keep hunger at bay, help maintain stable blood sugar levels, minimize cravings, and help your brain signal your belly when you’re full,” he says. In other words, you don’t have to go through all the trouble of counting.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also says that counting calories all the time is unnecessary. However, in the beginning of your healthy eating journey, the tactic may help in determining how many calories you regularly take in. A food diary might be helpful with this.
Make your “boring” food exciting
Nutritionists are always saying to eat more vegetables, so cook them in a way that takes them from ho-hum to yum. “I even think that steamed veggies can be very boring!” Ilyse Schapiro, RD, a nutritionist serving clients in the greater New York City-area, tells Health. Always incorporate high-flavor add-ons to jazz up veggies, like sautéing with olive oil and garlic, or spraying them with olive oil before throwing them in an oven with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. That way, you don’t equate “healthy” with “tasteless,” a mindset that will knock you off the veggie bandwagon fast. Another tip: buy a spiralizer and make zucchini noodles. Topped off with a rich tomato sauce, you’ll feel like you’re eating pasta.