1. Get some good sleep. I know that getting kids into bed at a decent time is hard and when you do you really want that extra time at night for yourself, but trust me! Good sleep does help you body rejuvenate for the next day and will give you the energy to keep up the next day. And well you are well-rested and energetic, you have an increased desire to eat right! Tried and tested, people! By me.
2. Only eat carbs at breakfast. What? Huh? How? Easy! Think protein and veggies. That's it. You might feel hungry the first couple days but your metabolism will adjust and you will feel light, healthy and see the pounds shed. Why breakfast only? Well, hopefully you are working out and need those carbs to burn for your workout!
3. Don't snack after dinner. If you are a night-time snacker like me this takes some SERIOUS determination! Don't do it! Find something else to do like knit, read, paint your nails, sip tea. Whatever you find that works. If you're STARVING then grab something light like an apple, carrots, nuts.
4. Remind yourself that food is fuel not a stimulant. Unfortunately we are trained to eat something because it tastes good and because it "feels good" too. Nope. That's not why we eat actually, yes that can be a plus with certain foods...hello, I love ice cream but its good to switch the flip off and remember that you are eating to fuel your body and to give it nutrients to stay healthy, strong and balanced. Does that mean we eat bland, plain, gross dirt-food? No. Nature itself has made food pretty beautiful and delicious. You'd be surprised that once you train your taste-buds to eating clean, whole foods...how wonderful it takes compared to your salt-induced high-fake sugar crap. When you make this mental adjustment, sweet=fruit, savory= a sweet potato; the cravings for artificial disappear. This has been the HUGEST difference I have seen in myself. I could honestly write a whole post about this...or teach a class but I'll save you and keep it basic.
5. Count your (healthy) calories. Look up and see what a person at your age should be eating depending on how active you are. You'd be surprised that most women should be eating around 1400-1600 calories a day. If you eat 4 small meals a day (that's what I do) that balances out to 400 calories a meal. But Laura, that doesn't seem like a lot...well, you're right. Guess what? A lot of us overeat....trust me, you'll be just fine! You might feel deprived the first few days but things will adjust and you'll notice that you can eat that much and feel completely satisfied.
**I don't like to bring up calorie counting a lot because people do this wrong and actually abuse the system. Eating under your normal/average calorie range is actually hurting your body more than you might think. I don't agree with starving yourself to lose weight and don't take what I'm saying to mean that you should. If you are hungry, eat just make it the right thing. I'm trying to make a point that most people overeat and don't even know it! I was for months and had no idea until I started counting my calories and once I reached my desired weight, I stopped. By then I'd "trained" myself well enough anyway.**
And last but not least. Tell yourself 3 things you like about your body everyday! Postive attitude can also make the biggest difference!