Most of us have heard that eating healthy is important while few of us can articulate why exactly this is. The reality is that eating healthy promotes feeling better today and often results in living a longer life. Our quality and quantity of life can improve by recognizing that what we put in our mouths really does matter. Before we get to what IS good for our bodies to eat, let’s look at what items to cut out of our diets to feel better and even lose weight!
- Don’t drink your calories. The reality is that if we have a high calorie drink we rarely eat less at our next meal as a result. Drinking pop regularly (especially true for children) is highly linked with obesity. Unfortunately, diet pop is not a healthy alternative as it has been linked to weight gain and other health problems.
- Avoid eating “the white stuff’. Examples of this are white bread, white rice, and white pasta. These foods contain high amounts of sugar and little nutritional value. The white stuff actually causes a person to feel hungry sooner (known as a sugar crash) than their alternative which is whole grains.
- Run far away from foods that contain Trans Fats. This type of fat is used in a lot of our processed foods and is linked to causing high cholesterol.
If you cut out the above, don’t be surprised if you begin to notice weight loss and feel more energetic as a result.
The following are suggestions re: what TO eat:
- Always, always eat breakfast. Studies show that eating breakfast regularly can help to loose weight and keep the weight off. Those who eat breakfast tend to consume fewer calories during the day than those who skip this important meal.
- Try and eat protein at every meal. This does not have to be meat. Nuts and Eggs are great sources of protein as well. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is another that’s jam-packed with protein.
- Eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. You can begin to add these to your diet by eating at least one fruit or vegetable at every meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and replacing the late night snack with fruit.
- Consume whole grains. Not only do they leave you feeling fuller longer, they are a great source of fiber which has been linked to lowering bad cholesterol and assisting in weight loss. Beans are also an excellent source of fiber and very filling!
- Dairy is a great source of calcium, just don’t over-do it. Unfortunately, dairy is often very high in fat. And we aren’t even talking about ice cream! Milk (skim or 1% ideally), greek yogurt and cheese are better ways to obtain your daily dose of dairy.
Changes in eating habits are not easy and they rarely happen over night. If you are feeling overwhelmed pick 1 of the 3 suggestions re: what to avoid (see above) and start cutting that out today. Also, don’t forget to pick at least 1 of the 5 that are healthy to do and begin this asap.
Make sure to tell someone that you are attempting to eat a healthy diet. Those that have someone to encourage them along the way often do better with healthy eating!
If you’d like more resources, check out the following:
1) myfitnesspal.com (this has a smart phone ap as well). Here you can record your daily food consumption and any exercise, as well as networking with other members in the same boat.
2) Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal by Readers Digest. A great resource for learning more about the specific foods that we consume and how they help or harm our bodies.
3) www.100daysofrealfood.com Lisa’s family of 4 eat zero processed foods and they don’t break the bank doing so. This blog is a great resource for learning about processed foods, how to switch to natural foods and finding recipes. Sign up for Lisa’s 10 Day Challenge if you dare! 🙂