Change your eating habits and lose weight

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There are a lot of fad diets out there, and if you do them, you'll probably see a drop on the scale, but you might not keep the weight off. The other problem with fad diets? They often require serious willpower that could cause you to burn out and give up that new year's resolution. Instead, changing your habits could change your health and appearance.

When Laura Conely thought about losing weight, she thought what a lot of us think.

"I was thinking my diet had to be more complicated," says Conely.

But according to Chews Food Wisely Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Nicole Fennel, simple habit changes like slowing down and making time to eat could make a huge difference.

"There is a little bit of a disconnect between our brain feeling full and our bellies feeling full," explained Fennel.

"Our enzyme secretion - breaking down food - is hindered when we're eating too quickly and not paying attention to our food," adds Fennel.

By taking 15 to 20 minutes to eat, our body will absorb more nutrients and reduce bloating and even reflux.

Next, fill your plate with half veggies.

"This is probably the most effective and easiest tip to tell clients," Fennel told ABC13.

"You're getting all of the antioxidants and nutrients from the greens, and then the protein and energy from the carbohydrates," she added.

Finally, Fennel teaches clients like Conely to make better choices by becoming menu detectives.

"There's so much marketing - on the billboards as I call them - the front of packages, but what I teach is to look past that front label and turn the package around and look past the nutrition facts and look mostly at the ingredients and make sure they are ingredients that you recognize and what to put into your body," explained Fennel.

Conely said these simple nutrition tips, along with exercising changed her life.

"Learning those things in the last 10 years gave me the confidence that 1) I'm an athlete and this point in my life and 2 - that I could adopt a child at 47. I felt young enough, strong enough because of what I learned here," said Conely.

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