Hoping you all enjoy your holidays!! Before you read this post, I just want to invite you to LIKE and share my Nutrisavvy FB page. I enjoy sharing healthy posts and receiving your input. And its fun to host discussions pertaining to health and wellness. Your feedback is welcomed at anytime – here and on my FB page.
Here are some Healthy Lifestyle Guidelines:
1. Make breakfast an important part of your day.
- Start your day with protein and carbs for concentration and energy. (Don’t forget to hydrate with water – fresh fruit does help!)
- Set the tone for healthy eating – all day long.
- Prevent overeating later on! Skipping breakfast sets the brain up to seek fat: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19962588
[Need some more reasons? — concentration/memory, immunity, improving your mood, helps regulate insulin levels, helps in maintaining healthy weight]
2. Add a little protein to your snacks.
Not only is protein necessary for muscle, tissue – building and repair, it also helps to keep your blood sugars even and get your appetite under control. Yes, protein is satiating and can be a tasty addition to your snacks. Healthy Tip: Spread some heart-healthy peanut butter onto your bread, include a bit in your smoothies or enjoy on sliced apples.
Look for natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt, no added sugars or fillers) or opt for Almond butter (same thing, all natural)!
“A study of 22 men who changed the amount of protein in their diets for 18-day periods showed that those who ate the least protein were the most likely to report being hungry.” -everydayhealth.com
3. Eat Frequently (but be choosy)!
Eat small, frequent meals! Don’t wait until you are famished and be prepared with a snack if it is a long time before your next meal or snack.
Healthful tip: Think protein or whole grain + fruit or vegetable (any smaller version of your breakfast choices – ie: 1/2 PB sandwich + 1/2 banana = protein + starch + fruit or vegetable) Remember we are not making a whole meal. But it is good to have a balance so you are not eating mainly starchy carbs. (bread, muffin, corn on cob, sweet potato)
Not all fruits are created equal – some have more natural sugars (watermelon has a lot of natural sugar, so do oranges!) than others – good idea to balance fruit with fiber and /or protein to keep blood sugars level. An apple is just fine alone for on the go (plenty of essential nutrients, antioxidants and a source of dietary fiber to keep you satiated).
4. Cook up your own healthy meals and snacks.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. This way you’ll know exactly what’s in your meal and you can keep it light, lower in sodium and with less added sugars and without excess fats. If you are a parent, you can set a healthy example for your kids – get them involved!! Experiment, take notes from your friends or experts you may know, read healthy cooking mag’s and get on your way to cooking up health. Save your restaurant dates for special occasions and keep it that way. It is easier to control your intake when you prepare you own meals (restaurants often use more salt to appeal to the general publics ‘taste’ and it is easier to be tempted by rich, fattening appetizers and desserts).
5. Get plenty of water! Sure, you’ve heard the recommendation – “Drink 8 glasses per day.” But the new recommendations suggest to EAT your water, too! Read here for more on hydrating through foods (and other strategies to improve your health):
- fruits & veggies naturally contain water + benefit of phytonutrients (watermelon and cucumber are 90% water and contain antioxidants).
- oatmeal and cooked quinoa are dishes that soak up water
- enjoy brothy soups as an appetizer/snack or with your meal
6. Control your portion sizes.
- Opt for smaller dishes – behavioral research shows that environmental cues (larger plates and super sized cups) encourage us to drink more. So instead of going crazy with the measuring cups, just use smaller cups (and plates).
- You don’t always have the option to choose your cups, plates when on the go or out with others. That’s ok. Gage your sizes. (show hand chart)!
7. Don’t judge! Don’t label “bad” foods or have “forbidden items” – this only leads to desire and bingeing later on. Never use food as a reward, this also leads to increased desire.
Allow yourself a treat and schedule it in. That way you can keep track of how much of the ‘junk’ you are eating.
8. Exercise is recommended, but don’t use as an excuse to eat more!
Don’t justify a dessert, a larger portion or an extra helping because you’ve exercised. Not everyone has the same metabolism. Even with guidelines on (burns X amount of calories), it is much easier to control weight loss via calorie deficit. It is best not to get into the habit of splurging or allowing ourselves a second helping because we’ve burned some calories via exercise.
Exercise for your fitness, tone, mood and well-being. Eat to nourish your body.
Here’s an interesting article on why we may tend to crave more of the sweet stuff: http://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/0920/cant-stop-eating-m-and-ms.aspx?xid=nl_EverydayHealthDietandNutrition_20121002
9. Be happy!
An optimistic attitude can make both yourself and others feel good. When we feel good about ourselves we are more likely to make good choices AND refrain from “comfort binges”. Besides, who wants to be around a BAH HUMBUG??
10. AND finally, get some sleep!
Researchers have found sleep deprivation affects the metabolic process. It decreases of the ‘fullness hormone’ leptin (which increases your hunger). Not surprisingly, this is associated with weight gain. Sleep-deprived individuals eat almost 300 calories a day more than when they are well-rested. If 500 cal/day for a week adds up to 1 lb. you can see how chronic sleep deprivation can pack on the pounds in as little as 2-3 weeks. And the cravings are often for sugary, fattier, more calorically dense foods. So it is not only weight promoting but also a deficit to your health. A new study shows that ice-cream is the food of choice of sleep deprived individuals.: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/health/story/2011/03/Sleep-deprived-people-eat-300-more-calories-a-day/45227686/1