What should you eat?
The answer to the question “What should you eat?” is actually pretty simple. But you wouldn’t know that from news reports on diet and nutrition studies, whose sole purpose seems to be to confuse people on a daily basis. When it comes down to it, though—when all the evidence is looked at together—the best nutrition advice on what to eat is relatively straightforward: Eat a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; choose healthy fats like olive and canola oil; and eat red meat and unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans fats, sparingly. Drink water and and limit sugary drinks and salt. Most important of all is keeping calories in check, so you can avoid weight gain, which makes exercise a key partner to a healthy diet.
Here are 10 “rules” for food intake. If you follow them, you should achieve and sustain a decent level of health and wellness. Remember, if you have food allergies and/or food sensitivities you should work with a Registered Dietitian to insure a proper and safe meal plan for you.
1. Always have water available. Take a drink while you think. It will help to prevent poor decisions and decrease calorie intake.
2. Have convenient foods available (frozen meals (IFS approved = Kashi, EVOL), healthy food bars, microwavable foods, Steamed Veggies) for when you are in a hurry or have not planned and are hungry. For a more filling and healthier frozen meal – add veggies to it. This method will prevent over-eating due to being unprepared and overly-hungry.
3. Plate your food. If you stand while you eat or eat while you prep, then eat again you can expect your calories to skyrocket and weight to steadily creep up.
4. Try eating your vegetables first. Add them to your plate first (half the plate) and commit to consume them prior to your other meal items.
5. Minimize Liquid calories (hot beverages, teas, sports drinks, juices etc…). Often, they are simply sugar filled, calorie-laden, unnecessary items. You would be better served by skipping the calorie drinks and actually eating more food.
6. “Don’t let perfect get in the way of better”. You will not achieve perfection and you will make poor food choices. One bad meal or bad day does not “blow it”. For many, the 80/20 rule of eating healthy foods 80% of the time allows for “Life’s little pleasures” and will actually allow you to remain consistent instead of being derailed.
7. Focus on what you can do, not on what you cannot. Health, Wellness and Weight Loss is a lifelong process. Take it one step at a time.
8. Know WHY you are eating what you are eating. Are you feeding your body based on its’ needs or are you eating based on habit or emotion? Slow down. Take a breath. Think.
9. Know that you are doing good things for yourself. Focus on what you are gaining, not on what you are losing. What does eating “better” add to your life?
10. Have two goals in mind when planning and preparing your food choices – Satiety (Will this fill me up?) and Satisfaction (Will I enjoy what I am eating and not immediately look for more/different food?).
11. Is what you are doing sustainable? Are you following a cleanse or a diet? Or, are you making changes to your habits? Do you have an exit strategy for your new method, or, can you turn these actions into sustainable habits? Hint – if there is a 7,10,14 or 30 day end point to your method – you WILL lose weight. Do not be tricked into thinking that it will be sustainable. You are smarter than that.