The struggle is real.
Do you constantly try and eat healthily, but always end up overeating because you're still hungry? You're not alone. Well, let me tell you that it's possible to stick to a healthful diet, simply by rearranging the order in which you consume the items on your plate. Now I won't lie to you, rearranging your fries and nuggets from McDonald's isn't likely to produce the kind of results that you're looking for; but if you're open to just a little bit of adjustment, this trick will act as a force multiplier and make healthy eating easier than you ever thought possible.
Drink 8oz-16oz of water about 10 or 20 minutes before eating.
I know I threw a lot of numbers at you in that headline but don't sweat the details. Just drink a glass or two of water before your next meal. Drinking water before meals has been shown to aid digestion and it fills up some space so that you don't dive into your meal like it's your last.
Eat your vegetables first (with a high-quality fat)
I have a confession to make. If I don't eat my vegetables before the rest of my meal, there is no way that I am going to eat them at all – and I like vegetables! The easiest way to ensure that you get your veggies in, is to eat them first and make them delicious.
Choose a few nutrient dense vegetables (not corn) that you like and rotate accordingly. I love spinach, kale, and brussels sprouts. If these don't appeal to you try some others; there are loads of options. Just make sure you load up on at least a whole serving (need help with serving size? This guide doesn't suck). Then add a high-quality fat: Dressing (make sure there isn't any sugar added) for a salad; extra virgin olive oil or even grass fed butter are all fantastic ways to add healthy calories to your veggies and fill up more space before you even get to the main course
Eat at least 20-25 grams of protein per meal.
Protein is a tricky thing. We all know we need it, yet it's difficult to know just how much. Unless you're involved in high-intensity workouts – if you are, Mazel Tov! – then chances are 20-25 grams is a good amount for you. If you're unsure what that looks like, this handy dandy infographic is pretty awesome for eyeballing the right amount of protein you need. Now it's time for the fun part…
All bets are off. Time for carbs.
Once you take a few bites of protein, then – and only then – feel free to ravage whatever carb you've chosen. Now, I can continue to preach to you about the pros and cons of rice vs. bread or which legumes you should be eating more of – but you've waited long enough, enjoy your carbs.
It's About Fool-Proofing...
...and trust me, we're all fools – I mean that with love.
Here's the trick with this reordering of your meal: it's not about relying on self-discipline to eat better or eat less, it's about filling up on good stuff first, and making it more difficult to fall into bad habits. Self-discipline is overrated and unreliable when you're first starting out on achieving any goal. The important thing is to find what works for you and stick to it. I hope this tip helps you in the same way that it's helped me. If not, drop it and find something better. You'll get there!