The word “diet” can really seem like a four letter word to some people. You may have been considering starting a diet plan for some time now but perhaps have felt intimidated at making significant changes, or you simply don’t know where to begin. Here are some tips to give you some guidance.

Start with Less Sugar

Sugar has long been known as one of the biggest culprits of unwanted weight gain. Some obvious foods packed with sugar, such as soda, candy, or chocolate, should either be eliminated from your diet, or reserved for rare occasions. However, other common food items are an often surprising source of sugar, such as barbecue sauce, juice, or dressing. Be sure to always check the nutrition facts to check for hidden sugariness in your foods. If your coffee is often loaded with sugar, start working your way towards drinking your coffee black.

Turn Your White Carbs Brown

Starchy carbohydrates process into sugars in the body and cause spikes of glucose and insulin. This results in excess fat, shorter lasting energy, and less maintained satiety after consumption. Consuming carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice, or oats gives your body sustained energy for longer periods of time, along with aiding in digestion. This may not seem like a very fun switch for most people, but it is quite easy to do. Simply reach for the whole grain bread instead of the plain bagels, or grab yourself some brown rice instead of white rice.

Skip the Drive-Thru

Drive-thrus thrive off of people's feverish schedules and promote themselves as the best solution for a convenient meal on the go. The reality is that falling to this temptation is entirely avoidable if you make a couple practices the norm. Throwing together a protein shake can often be quicker that waiting in a drive-thru and you can put in exactly what you want to nourish yourself for that part of the day. You can also anticipate rushed moments by prepping meals throughout the week. For instance, instead of going through a drive-thru in the morning to get a grease soaked breakfast sandwich, make yourself a healthy breakfast burrito the night before and take in on the fly instead.

Change Your Meat Eating Habits

No, you don’t have to become a vegetarian. However, you likely could benefit from decreasing the size of meat portions during meals, along with switching to buying organic meats. Organic meats are free of harmful chemicals that are found in most meats, and have more Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids along with less saturated fat. Increasing the consumption of fish will supply healthy fats as well while providing the necessary protein to build and maintain muscle.