Life is busy for everyone these days, which makes it difficult to make the right food choices for our bodies. These 10 easy tips and lifestyle changes can get you on the road to better nutrition.
- Say No to Salt.
These days most of the foods we eat are loaded with sodium, which let’s face it, makes things taste better. Unfortunately, along with that good taste comes water retention and health risks, such as high blood pressure. Opt for fresh spices and herbs to flavor your food. Your body will thank you.
- Limit Dairy Intake.
Dairy is good for your bones and teeth, so cutting it out completely may not be a great idea, but limiting your intake is a smart move. Dairy tastes great but can really pack on the pounds and also clog arteries. Steer toward low fat dairy products or dairy alternatives like soy, coconut and almond milk.
- Fried is Not Your Friend.
We all love a good piece of fried chicken or a side of hot fries, but they don’t love our waistlines. Choose grilled or broiled foods. If you are on the go and have to eat fast food, choose a salad or side of fruit instead and omit the fries. Most fast food restaurants are jumping on the fitness bandwagon with healthy alternatives.
- Petite Portions Please!
Portion sizes in the U.S. are huge compared to other countries. Avoid overeating by cutting your serving in half and saving the other half for later. Avoid traps like all you can eat buffets. Make only two trips. One to load up a salad plate and the other for your dinner choosing lean meats, fish and vegetables. If you cut your portion sizes consistently, you’ll definitely start to see a difference in your waistline and will have an overall feeling of great health.
- Switch to Whole Wheat.
Watch out for products that don’t say 100% Whole Wheat, and Check labels for the word enriched. According to wholegrainscouncil.org, you can trust a product if it says 100% whole grain. Beware of products that say whole grain with little or no details.
- Cut Back on Over Processed Foods.
The labels on your foods will tell you everything you need to know. If there are a bunch of ingredients you can’t pronounce, just put it back on the shelf. Look for foods with whole ingredients that are as close to raw form as possible.
- Squash the Sweet Tooth.
No one loves a big piece of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream more than me, but if you make a habit of it, plan on buying a bigger pair of pants. Keep fresh fruit on hand or if you must, mini candy bars to get your fix. Avoid buying whole cakes and large quantities of cookies and candy to keep in your home. If you have left overs, take them to work to give to coworkers or throw them out.
- Learn to Love The Lean.
Start switching to lean meats. Substitute turkey for ground beef and white meat for dark. Choose skinless chicken and avoid fatty cuts of red meat. Also, limiting your intake of red meat is a good way to cut out cholesterol and fat. Eating fish high in omega 3’s, preferably wild caught, due to the content of this being higher, two to three times weekly is recommended by healthcare providers. Watch out for fish high in mercury though. Salmon is a great choice
- Say Yes To The Fresh.
Keep lots of fresh fruits and veggies on hand to incorporate into your recipes. Steaming veggies for a side is easy, cheap, and healthy. Many fresh veggies have antioxidants and a plethora of vitamins, like cucumber, which contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. Whfoods.com.
- Pass on White Potatoes.
Choosing sweet potatoes over white can benefit you in many ways. Sweet potatoes provide 400% of the daily vitamin A requirement and are also higher in vitamin C and fiber than white potatoes, according to health.clevelandclinic.org. Try cutting them up to make baked sweet potato fries or baking them whole with a little light butter.
All of these tips are sure to get you on your way to a better body and lifestyle. Remember, moderation is key. If you just have to have that piece of cake or piece of fried chicken every once in a while, then go for it. Just work that much harder the next day! Add a solid workout regimen by checking out Fitness 19 in combination with these tips and watch the pounds fall off!