Fit & Happy: 7 Tips for Healthy Eating!
By: MEREDITH NIXON, March 14, 2014
Having a healthy diet is sometimes easier said than done. Between family, work or school, you are probably balancing a hundred things at once and it’s tempting to turn to less healthy food choices because they might be easy to get or they satisfy a craving. Taking time to eat a healthy meal sometimes falls last on your list. But you should know that it isn't hard to make simple changes to improve your diet. With just a few tips and taking the time to prepare your meals, you will see how simple it is to find a diet that meets your lifestyle!
First, you MUST ignore all those get thin quick fad diets and to take pride in yourself and your nutrition, and learn to enjoy eating right. It is more expensive to buy healthy, natural food, but by doing so you might eat less. Yes, processed and refined foods are less expensive and convenient, but they come with a higher price than you think. I encourage you to move the grocery bill up on your financial priority list. Optimal nutrition is essential for our overall fitness and health. Something, you can’t put a price tag on.
1: Avoid Overeating
Focus on finding a balance of hunger and fullness as you eat. Stop eating when you are no longer hungry, not just when you are full. Be mindful that every time you eat those extra bites, they are not going to make you feel better. They will probably make you feel worse and a little guilty.
2: Eat Like a Caveman
Simply put, food is energy for your body. No more, no less. Think about your food before you eat: "Why am I eating this?” “Do I really need this?" This will help you focus on eating enough to keep you moving, and choosing foods that will give you more energy. Sugar, is the WORST thing for your body. It provides glucose instantly to your system resulting in a quick burst of energy. However, we all know the crash that comes soon after. Once the glucose is gone, your body is back to craving sugar which is only a fake, cheap source of energy.
3: Eat Natural
Natural foods are not processed and are a healthier option. Focus on things that come from the earth, not a factory. The best advice is, when shopping at the grocery store, stay along the outside walls where you find fruits, vegetables, beans and lean sources of meat. This helps keep those processed foods and sugar-packed snacks, all of which will kill your metabolism, out of the cart. Also, leave the white starches such as potatoes, behind. Your body converts these foods (pasta, grains, and white potatoes) to sugar almost immediately with little work and the inability to burn. Stick to slow burning complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa) as your body is able to use them for energy and burn them effectively.
4: Eat Clean
Buy organic whenever possible. If you can’t afford or find organic foods, no problem, frozen is the next best thing. Avoid canned and packaged fruits and vegetables as the preservatives are usually going to work against you.
5: No Chemical Toxins
Sticking to eating clean includes avoiding artificial sweeteners because they can slow down your metabolism. These are most often consumed in diet drinks and “sugar-free” products. Think of them as toxins (because they are) that slow down your body’s metabolism. Ideally you should drink water as your main beverage (64-128 oz. per day).
6: Control Your Portion Size
Portion control is vital to maintaining a healthy diet and to controling your weight. Use small coffee mugs to eat your cereal in the morning, try smaller plates and cups as well. Eat slowly, chew your food completely, and try to eat slower than the slowest eater at the table. You will find it doesn’t take as much as you think to feel satisfied and your digestion will be much more effective.
7: Take Your Time
Good nutrition is a lifestyle. Don’t make the mistake of trying to change everything overnight. Take it step by step, gradually making changes. After two weeks of a consistent change, you have made it a habit. Pick two or three of these tips to start. Each week make note of the changes you’ve made and how you feel. You will no doubt feel and see great changes which will give you the motivation to tackle more effective, nutritious and delicious lifestyle changes. Get Fit & Happy and Eat Healthy!
This column sponsored by:
Meredith Nixon is a fitness enthusiast with a passion for motivating and inspiring others.
She uses her personal experiences from achieving her own weight loss goals to understand her clients and motivate them to love themselves and to be happy, healthy and fit. She teaches people how to live a healthy lifestyle and keep weight off forever with life changing results both inside and out.
Since 2007 Meredith has been the sole proprietor of her own health clubs. The Fitness Company for Women in Mashpee, The Fitness Company (coed) in East Falmouth , and most recently, FitCo Weight loss & Wellness Center of Cape Cod.