Here are some recommendations:
1. A food that is labeled “low carb” or “low calorie”, or is a small size, does not necessarily mean it’s healthy (such as a muffin, granola, candy). Be sure to read nutrition labels and pay attention to total calories, fat grams (about 20 -30 per day is ideal), and sugar/carbs (fewer is better when you have a choice between two products like light and regular yogurt).
2. A food that is labeled “healthy” does not necessarily mean that it actually is healthy (such as granola, soy milk, rice). There are very loose restrictions on labels claiming healthy, low fat, etc.
3. Watch your fat intake. This is probably the most important and easiest way to considerably improve your diet. Fat has 9 calories per gram, compared to just 4 for either carbs or protein.
4. Increase your protein intake. Recent studies have shown that people who eat more protein tend to eat less than those eating higher carbohydrates and fat. Choose low fat & low carb sources like lean meats, white fowl, any fish, low fat cheese, and avoid dressings like mayonnaise and high fat salad dressing.
5. Don’t hesitate to ask for food without ___. My mantra at the fast food places is, “grilled chicken without any sauce or cheese.”
6. Having said that, don’t eat out any more than is necessary. People who eat in restaurants consume many more calories than individuals who prepare healthy meals at home.
7. Cut out/down on beer and other alcholic beverages. They contain a lot of empty calories
8. Keep a food diary. People who write down what they eat are more likely to maintain a healthy diet. Just the simple act of writing things down really helps people eat better.