Tips On How To Eat Healthy
About a year ago I went on a diet to lose 30-40 lbs. I’m in my mid-thirties and usually a slim person, but I had let myself go for a while and needed to get back to normal. I went on a crash diet for a week that was 1000 calories a day. It was very difficult and I was constantly agitated; and I didn’t really lose much weight to boot. It wasn’t until I started doing a few simpler things that I started to lose the weight I wanted and I felt much better. The good news was that I didn’t worry so much about what I was eating or how much, and I lost 40 lbs in less than 10 months! Here are a few tips that I’ve followed:
1. Zero-Calorie Sodas: Soda really isn’t that good for you, but if you are used to drinking sodas on a regular basis and can’t get by without it, the best way to deal with it is to drink zero-calorie sodas. Most soda has 100-150 calories per every 8 oz. and most of us drink at least twice that per serving. That’s pushing 300 calories every time we have a soda. Zero-calorie sodas have 0% sugar, carbs, fat, and 1—2% sodium. So if you need one have the zero-calorie one.
2. Fruits and Vegetables: Eat fresh vegetables and fruit the day you buy them or at least within a few days. Most people I know who try to eat healthier go to the store, buy a bunch of fruit or vegetables, put them in the fridge and never get around to eating them. After a week they go to eat them and they’ve gone bad. The best thing to do is if you are going to buy fruit, eat it soon. I.e. a bushel of apples; eat one a day, every day. For vegetables, eat them for dinner the day you buy them.
3. Use Whole Wheat Flour When Baking: Many people feel that they can’t have cakes or cookies when they are trying to eat healthy. But if you use whole wheat flour instead of All-purpose flour, it not only is healthier, but it has a great flavor. The only exception for me is if you are making a pound cake: I made a pound cake with wheat flour and it tasted more like a sweet dinner roll than a cake.
4. Eat More Fish: Fish is very healthy and when made right, need very little additions. It has omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins D and B2. Simply a little oil, pepper and some lemon juice. This cuts out fattier sauces.
5. Eat More Chicken: chicken can be a prefect substitute for beef, have less fat and more protein. And you won’t feel lethargic and eating. Also if you can find it, ground chicken is good for burgers and pastas.
6. Ground Turkey Instead Ground Beef: you can use turkey for beef for everything; hamburger, pasta sauces, meatloaf. Also has less fat and higher protein.
7. The Simpler The Better: When baking chicken, don’t drown it in a thick sauce. A little seasoning and it's good to go.
8. Eat Stone Ground Wheat Bread: when making a sandwich, healthier choices in recent years is wraps, but with you use stone ground wheat it has a great taste and super high in fiber, and because it is a heavy as it is, it helps speed up your metabolism.
9. Whole Wheat Pasta: pasta usually is made with plain flour which is just starch. Whole wheat has more fiber and a richer flavor. Tastes great with a healthy homemade red sauce.
10. Whole wheat tortillas/wrap: same asthe pasta. Adds to the flavor of a good chicken or fish burrito.
11. Tea Instead Of Coffee: Coffee has about 5 calories per serving (8 oz.) tea has zero. Tea also has anti-oxidants.However; if you just have to have a coffee, limit yourself to one cup a day with just cream and sugar, no mochas with extra whipped cream and 5 shots of raspberry syrup.
12. Butter: Use unsalted butter; we all eat too much salt, but some of us don’t realize that it is in our butter. Using unsalted butter is just a way to keep tabs on you salt intake. Don’t bother with margarine; it’s just oil. Butter is at least dairy and healthier.
13. Sour Cream: Sour cream usually has a lot of fat in it, but you can get low-fat, or even better NO- FAT sour cream. Prefect for a sour cream cheesecake, pound cake or a topping for mashed potatoes or cabbage rolls.
14. Cheese: If you’re going to eat cheese eat real cheese, not cheese food. Cheese food slices are cheap but mostly oil. And if you want shredded cheese, buy a block and shred it yourself. Pre-package shredded cheese is coated with oil to keep the shreds from sticking together. You don’t need to extra oil.
15. Store bought sweets and candy: Read the back of the package and see the serving size. Many times we think that the calories listed are for the whole package or candy bar. I read one that had two pieces in it. But it said it was three servings.
16. Fat: Fat is one of the things that keep us feeling full when we eat. Many diets cut out fat all together. The best thing to do is simply cut back on it instead of removing it completely. The low fat cottage cheese or sour creams or helpful.
17. Salt: Salt is used for two things: preserving food longer and intensifying flavor. Many boxed and processed foods are high in sodium to give them a longer shelf life. Salt can fry your kidneys and dehydrate you. That’s why we should be eating more fresh foods, and less boxed or canned.
18. Fiber: we all know we’re supposed to eat more fiber, but not really why. Fiber “cleans” us out. It helps our digestive track and our metabolic rates. 40% of our daily intake should be fiber to help keep us regular. That’s why I suggested more whole wheat breads, flour, and tortillas.
Have you tried similar dieting tips? If so, has it helped?
I noticed that once I stopped worrying about every little thing I ate, I actually ate less and was happier. Portion size is the key to everything. Eat as healthy as you like, but if you eat 3 servings at a time, it all backfires. Many things that we eat have a placebo effect. So things like the zero-calorie soda and no-fat sour cream, let us feel like we’re not dieting, when we actually are. Remember that you need to have a “free day” or a reward day. Have one day a week when you let yourself indulge a little, but make sure you stick to your regiment the rest of the week.
I hope these tips are helpful; I know they worked for me. I have a naturally fast metabolism, so I don’t know how well it will work for everyone else. Remember being on a diet and eating healthy doesn’t mean the end of happy eating. Eat healthier and you’ll be happier and it makes those times you do indulge in red meat or sweets taste even better.