Healthy Eating Tips & Tricks
Goal: The goal is to feel good and have the energy to do our daily tasks and enjoy life!
Plan for Success: There are no quick fixes! Change is gradual and takes time and commitment. Along with healthy eating think of water and exercise as food groups in your diet.
Everything in Moderation: Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you love. You can still have that chocolate you’ve been craving but consider a dark chocolate and make it a small bite to satisfy the craving. Don’t overindulge! Watch your portion control – this is what your plate should look like.
Know your Body: It’s all about how you eat too! Slow down, enjoy your food and listen to your hunger and fullness cues. By paying attention and being mindful, we will consume less calories. It’s also important to eat breakfast; often referred to as “the most important meal of the day!” because it is! It jumpstarts your metabolism and helps curb your appetite throughout the morning. It’s also important to avoid eating late at night! Try asking yourself these three questions each time you grab for food: “Am I hungry?” “Is it smart?” “How much do I need?”!
Fill up on Colorful Fruits & Veggies: Choose red, orange, and dark green vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Eat fruits with your meals or as a dessert after your meal. Fruits and vegetables should take up half of your plate. They contain vitamins and minerals that we need to keep our bodies healthy!
Can Fast Food be Heathly?
Our latest No Fast Food Challenge, got me thinking can fast food really be healthy?
It seems like the truth is; it’s really hard to follow a healthy diet when you regularly eat at fast food restaurants. However, I don’t believe people must avoid it all together. Fast food is ok every once in awhile, but to stay healthy you shouldn't make it a regular habit. It is the same as eating out at any restaurant; it is all about the choices we make. We all realize that the triple cheeseburger is going to have more calories than the single burger. That the salad without bacon and crispy chicken is worse than the salad with grilled chicken and light dressing. Most fast food places have nutritional information available- even McDonalds has calories on their menus.
Calories are important but so are the other ingredients. High sodium is a real problem in fast food, and a leading contributor to cardiovascular disease. Adults should eat less than 1500 mg of sodium per day, and never take in more than 2.300 mg a day. It is really hard to stay in those guidelines even with the healthy choices at a fast food restaurant. Even the so called healthy oatmeal that I order sometimes when I am in a hurry in the morning has 160 mgs of sodium. After checking into the ingredients I also found that there are 11 weird ingredients, things that I know that you and I don’t keep in our kitchens!
Is fast food even faster? After some thought, I realized I sit in line at the drive thru when I am in a hurry. Why not take 5 minutes at home and make real oatmeal ( not even instant)? I think my body will thank me and I might actually start getting to my destinations on time.
Instead of a Fad Diet, Check out These Tried and True Tips
Successful weight loss happens when you make becoming healthy your goal, such as healthy nutrition choices. Healthy eating will do more than help you lose weight. It will also:
- Increase your energy
- Lower your risk of developing high cholesterol
- Decrease your risk of developing type II Diabetes
- Help maintain a healthy blood pressure
Moderate exercise 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week will help you lose weight and maintain that weight loss. Moderate, consistent exercise will also:
- Increase your energy
- Increase your ability to do daily tasks
- Increase your quality of life
Making a Lifestyle change:
There are no shortcuts to successful weight loss. Change should be done in small steps that will build a foundation to a healthy lifestyle.
Here are a few pointers to help you make healthy life decisions:
- Make small but measurable changes (ex: no eating after 8pm)
- Take time to make a meal or exercise plan
- Enjoy the process; make your lifestyle changes fit you
- Include exercise; you don’t have to run a marathon, just do more than you are doing now!
- Set realistic goals and expect small set backs
- Your overall goal should be to increase the quality of your life
Fast Food Facts
Fast food is something that has a place in the lives of most families in the modern world. When the day gets a bit too busy, fast food is there to help us shave a few minutes off our schedules. However, while fast food is not overly harmful in moderation, check out some of these facts that may affect how family friendly you view fast food...
- 40% of American meals are eaten outside the home
- In 1972, we spent $3 billion a year on fast food – today we spend more than $110 billion
- Only seven items on McDonald’s entire menu contain no sugar
- You would have to walk for seven hours straight to burn off a Super sized Coke, fry, and Big Mac
- Each day, 1 in 4 Americans visits a fast food restaurant
- Most nutritionists recommend not eating fast food more than once a month
- Before most children can speak, they can recognize McDonalds
- One in every three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime
- Diabetes will cut 17-27 years off your life 69 percent of all Americans are either overweight or obese
- Left unchecked, obesity will surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in America
My Fad Diet Program
Fad Diets is a topic that is close to home for me. Having been heavy most of my young adult life, I have tried them all. To me, fad diets not only include the well known ones (like Akins, South Beach, and all the others we have seen come and go over the years) but also diets that restrict calories under 1200 or eliminate food groups. I've even heard of a trending diet plan that tells people they should not exercise. Really!
Fad diets are often designed with losing weight as the primary objective, but in truth, sustainable weight loss is more often a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle. If an individual's singular goal is to lose weight rather than be healthy, then what often occurs is that the person goes off the “Diet” and gains the weight back once the goal is met. Making the goal about functional capacity and the ability to do task, (in other words, quality of life) is a much better way to approach weight management. I mentioned above that I was heavy my young adult life. As a matter of fact, I have had to be conscious of my weight my entire life. My high was 260 lbs and my low was 160 lbs (in my Ironman days). I have kept the weight off for over 30 years. I believe my success in weight loss and maintenance is because losing the weight was never the goal. It was always about being able to achieve more physically.
In the 30 years I have been in the wellness business, I’ve seen a lot of people lose weight. The trend I have noticed is that the faster the weight was lost, the faster it came back! We need time to adapt to a new lifestyle. Be patient and enjoy the new behaviors (eating and exercising). As a matter of fact, I believe that if you don’t enjoy your new habits, you will not be successful in the long run. Make healthy decisions fit you and your life.
I cannot tell you how many times I have run into a client who has lost weight, and I ask them, “How did you do it?” The answer: “I cut down on what I eat and exercise!” Yes!