To change pace a little bit I asked my friend and health guru Amelia Winslow Williams to add a post to my blog about lifestyle changes through diet. She has a fantastic website http://www.eating-made-easy.com where you can subscribe to receive updates on recipes, health tips, and more. She is on both facebook and twitter too! Definitely check her site out and subscribe for updates if you like the information she shared with us below! Thanks Amelia!!!!
This is the time of year when people tend to crash diet. While dieting may help you lose weight, the loss won’t last. So rather than starving yourself or forgoing carbs, focus on a few healthy habit changes that you can actually maintain, without wanting to die. Because after all, even Melissa will tell you that looking good is worth nothing if you don’t feel good.
Nine Tips To Live By
1. Focus on Vegetables and Fruits.
• At every meal, fruits and/or vegetables should be present in large amounts. The other stuff should be present in smaller amounts.
• Do yourself a favor and buy a few fruits & veggies each week, then prep them when you get home from the store so they’re ready for easy cooking and snacking. And always keep some frozen F&V in the freezer for quick meals & sides.
2. Don't deprive yourself of foods you love…or of any particular food group.
• Instead, pick and choose your indulgences. If you love ice cream, skip the donuts in the break room and the 4pm birthday cake for your co-worker, and then serve yourself a little bowl of the good stuff after dinner.
• Indulge once per day. This does not mean a burger, fries & a shake for lunch – it means one enjoyable, moderately-portioned treat, that you’ve planned and waited for. Whether it’s a glass of wine, a piece of warm sourdough bread with butter, or a handful of Cheetos, it’ll be that much more enjoyable if you haven’t blown it already on things you don’t even love.
• Portion control is key when it comes to indulgences. If you have a portion problem, don’t keep treats in the house; just enjoy them when you’re out.
3. Don’t drink your calories.
• Get calories from food, not beverages. Drinks are an easy way to quickly slurp down lots of calories, without getting the full sensation that eating food gives.
• Limit alcoholic beverages. For tips on how to do this, click here: http://eating-made-easy.com/2010/04/23/can-you-drink-alcohol-and-still-stay-slim/
4. Keep track of what you eat by writing it down.
• Becoming aware of everything you’re eating now is the first step to getting trim. You’ll probably be surprised by a few things you see when it all on paper. This is a great way to find easy places to tweak what you’re eating by just a little bit – and little bits really add up. It takes 3500 calories to lose a pound, so even if you make a few changes to cut 100 calories/day, you’ll lose a pound every 35 days. (Sounds slow but that’s 12 lbs a year, and 100 calories/day is nothing – you won’t even notice).
• There are tons of free calorie-counting websites out there, as well as iphone applications. Check ‘em out if you don’t want to take the pen & paper route.
5. Grocery shop regularly and keep healthy food on-hand.
• You can’t binge on unhealthy snacks if you don’t buy the unhealthy snacks in the first place.
• Make a meal plan and a list every week, and grocery shop when you’re not hungry – these two things will help you avoid impulse buys.
• Buy what’s in season and on sale, which keeps healthy eating interesting.
• Make it healthier (and more filling) by throwing in an equal part of fresh or frozen veggies.
• For more tips, check out How to Be An Expert Grocery Shopperand How to Be Your Own Personal Chef
6. Pick a time in the evening (at least 2 hours before bedtime) that you will stop eating.
• If you get hungry after that designated time, have a cup of hot tea or a piece of gum. If you’re always hungry after that designated time, you may have set the time too early, or you may not be eating enough during the daytime. Check out your food diary to find out.
• Brush your teeth once you decide you won't be eating anymore that night – the minty taste will make it easier to forgo eating.
• If you find it hard to watch TV without snacking, time to find a new evening activity, like reading or playing a game.
7. Drink plenty of water.
• There’s not a certain magic amount, but a glass at mealtimes and at least a glass between meals is a good goal.
• Often people mistake thirst for hunger, so when you notice yourself craving a snack, chug some water and then see how you feel.
8. Hang out with people who like to eat healthy and be physically active too.
• This is called “social support,” and virtually no one can succeed without it. Your family members and friends have to be on board in order to make healthy changes sustainable. And sustainability is what it’s all about, because anyone can lose weight. It’s the keeping it off part that’s hard.
• Make healthy eating a family affair. Don’t buy junk foods for other family members, thinking it’s for them and not you. Make your house a Healthy Eating Zone.
9. Practice liking yourself as you are now.
• There is no time in your life where you’ll look in the mirror and say “Yes! I’ve achieved the perfect body and life will be good from here on out!” Just writing that sounds funny, because women always worry about losing weight, and even when they get to a weight they want, they worry about gaining weight back. So, the only real solution to this is to practice being comfortable in your own skin. Something to try: Look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say something like “While it’s not what I view as perfect, this is the body I have, and I am going to respect it today by doing the best I can to eat well and be active. If I fall off the wagon, I’ll get back on track at the next meal, without being too hard on myself. Because just like everyone else, I’m just doing my best!”
For more practical ideas for integrating healthy eating into your busy life, check out http://www.eating-made-easy.com