Eat A Balanced Diet
First of all, throw away the food pyramid. From “balanced” we mean a balance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and protein (preferably non-animal based). Approximately half of your diet should contain a wide variety of different types of whole grains. Another 25 percent of your diet should consist of fruits and vegetables. Majority of the protein should be from non-meat sources such as soy, yogurt, cottage cheese, almonds, grains etc. Virtually all meat is high-fat. Even the leanest chicken contains more fat than any of the non-meat protein sources.
- Eat more positive foods and limit the amount of negative foods.
- Eat a low-fat diet. Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils at all costs. Margarine and shortening are two examples of the fats that should be avoided. A 15-20% reduction in fat is highly advisable.
- Eat a nutrient-dense diet. Avoid empty calories from simple carbohydrate snacks and carbonated beverages. Your brain requires many nutrients on a daily basis for optimal functioning.
- Eat regular meals. Eating regular meals avoids blood levels of glucose from becoming extremely low. Your brain requires a constant supply of glucose for optimal functioning. The best way to avoid hypoglycemia is to eat a sensible diet rich in complex carbohydrates and proteins.
- Eat raw, unprocessed food. Processing of foods removes essential nutrients, and adds various preservatives to prolong the shelf-life. These preservatives and other chemicals, such as food colors, can trigger headaches.
- Drink plenty of water. Water is the real elixir of life. Limit the amount of carbonated drinks, whether they are regular or “diet” sodas
- Take nutritional supplements.
- Eat only when hungry and not to the extent of overeating. Thoroughly chew your food so that the food is well-mixed with the saliva, which contains digestive juices. The amount of saliva produced is in direct relationship to the amount of chewing. If there is inadequate chewing, the subsequent gastric and intestinal digestion is affected.
EAT WELL AND BE HEALTHY
F- Freshen up your food life. Keep fresh fruit, veggies, whole grain products, nuts, nonfat milk and yogurts in your refrigerator or pantry on hand and at home. Fresh foods are always a better option than canned or packaged foods that are filled with sodium and refined sugars.
R- Recognize barriers. It is difficult to say "no" to dark chocolate fudge and cheesy artichoke dip. Know your splurge foods and enjoy them in small quantities. Moderation is key. Serve yourself and use a smaller plate (you can trick your mind into thinking that you are still eating as much food as you usually would eat on a larger plate).
E- Enjoy the taste of eating well! Some foods actually help in weight loss and maintenance (i.e. broth based soups, veggies, fruits and whole grains fill you up without filling you out!) Get your antioxidants in by eating brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Try different foods to ensure adequate intake of all your vitamins and minerals.
S- Start new habits. Keep track of your daily food and beverage intake, as well as physical activity regimen with a diary. Become more familiar with portion sizes to avoid overeating. Try fitting at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
H- Have a plan! Eat a hearty breakfast daily. It's the most important meal of the day and it will give you the energy you need to start your day and refuel from your overnight fast. Schedule time to take a walk, bike, swim, or do yoga. If you're going to a potluck, bring a salad or vegetable side dish. If you overeat one day, exercise and cut back on what you eat the next day. Keep a healthy snack on hand or in your car to hold you over so that if the munchies hit, you will not have to go to a fast food restaurant or nearest convenient store. Remember, successful long-term weight control is a balancing act! It will not happen overnight.
*Energize your eating. Skipping meals is like forgetting to put gas in your car. Eating small, frequent meals helps prevent an energy crisis and mood swings through stressful times. Stress can also increase your blood sugars, and increase fat storage.
*Liquid energy. Maybe you feel fatigued because you're dehydrated, which can cause tiredness and slow down your metabolism. 8-10 glasses of water per day or other unsweetened beverages are recommended. (Note: fruits and vegetables contain water and count towards your total daily fluid intake as well).
*Nightcaps may lead to nodding off the next day. A night of holiday cocktails may make it easy to fall asleep at night, but studies show that alcohol can prevent a deep sleep and disrupt sleep patterns that can lead to fatigue the next day. Keep it in moderation and avoid caffeine-containing mixers such as soda or energy drinks (red bull).