Tips for Healthy Eating
At the beginning of every year many people make losing weight one of their New Year’s Resolutions. While this is a great goal to have, it is important to realize that there is more to losing weight than working out and dropping pounds.
This is especially true for those who are interested in keeping the weight they lose off.
That’s right. It’s not all about how many times a week you go up to the gym and work out (although exercising on a regular basis helps tremendously). It’s also about learning how to eat healthy.
Losing weight and keeping it off isn’t a goal that can be achieved in a matter of months. It requires a lot of discipline and a lifestyle change. The biggest change that you will have to make is in regards to your diet.
And, contrary to what many people believe, going on a strict diet isn’t necessarily the best way to get the results you want. Sure, you will drop pounds, but if you lose weight too fast, you are more likely to put it back on just as quickly when you go off of the diet.
Therefore, it’s better to approach dieting in a more natural way. A good goal to have is to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. And the best way to do that is to start tracking the amount of calories you eat each day.
My Fitness Pal – If you have an iPhone or Android then this is a wonderful free app to download. If you don’t have one of these two types of phones, then you can sign up online with My Fitness Pal and track your calories that way.
This app allows you to go in and customize your profile by inputting your current weight and activity level is and, finally, selecting what your weight loss goal is. Based on this, the app will tell you how many calories you should be eating each day.
The cool thing about this app is that you can enter any type of food that you eat and it will tell you the calories. Once you eat something, enter it in the diary portion of the app and your daily calorie amount will be adjusted.
If you do any type of exercise or strength training, you can also enter this into the app and it will calculate the number of calories you burned, which will also factor into the amount of calories you are able to eat.
For instance, if you burn 300 calories on the treadmill and have 1200 calories remaining, once you enter the exercise, your calorie limit will go up to 1500. As long as you stay under your calorie limit, you will begin to lose weight.
This app is great for helping those who wish to eat healthier because it tracks everything. Once a person begins to enter in various types of foods, it becomes easier to make healthier food choices because they are generally less in calories and better for your body.
Tracking your daily calories is just half of the battle to eating healthier. The other half is finding the time to prepare healthy foods.
It’s just way too easy to stop at a fast food restaurant on your lunch break and grab a hamburger and fries.
It’s just as easy to pop in a frozen pizza for dinner when you come home after a long day. So, how can you better ensure that you are going to have the time to fix a healthy dinner?
Slow Cooker Meals – Using your slow cooker (aka crock pot) two or three times a week is a great way to ensure you have time to prepare a healthy dinner. You will have to plan your recipes ahead and get up earlier, but it is well worth it.
You simply, put the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and let them cook during the day while you are at work and then, when you come home, dinner is ready.
In addition, preparing meals in the crock pot often means that there will be leftovers, giving you a healthy lunch to take to work with you the next day!
If you are interested in cooking healthy, low-fat recipes in your slow cooker, one of the best books is the Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly: Healthy, Low-Fat Recipes for Your Slow Cooker cookbooks by Phyllis Pellman Good. You can also find healthy recipes online also.
As you probably know, they say that the most important meal is breakfast. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to prepare a healthy breakfast.
Mornings are generally the busiest for most people since they’re getting everyone ready for the day. This is probably why pop-tarts are so popular.
However, these lovely little pastries are high in calories and low in nutrition, meaning you’re going to be hungry in just a couple hours after eating them.
So, how are you supposed to fix a healthy breakfast when you’re so busy?
Quick Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Fruit is one of the quickest breakfast foods available and the best part is that it’s healthy!
Whether it’s a banana, apple, orange, grapefruit or some other type of fruit…its healthy and going to give your body the right kind of nutrition. Plus, it’s low in calories!
Oh, and did I mention that you can grab it on your way out the door?
If you want to give the fruit a little something extra, buy the individual sized cups of peanut butter and bring for dipping.
You can also cut a few slices of cheddar cheese to eat with the fruit too.
• Sweet Potato Pancakes:
It’s understandable that you don’t have time to fix pancakes every morning for breakfast, especially sweet potato pancakes.
However, if you take a little time on Saturday or Sunday morning and fix a batch of pancakes, freeze the pancakes you don’t eat.
Then, when you get up in the morning, pop the frozen pancakes in the toaster oven while you put your makeup on.
All you have to do next is add the sugar-free syrup and enjoy before running out the door.
So, why sweet potato pancakes? They are just as good as the regular pancakes but a lot healthier for you as they have virtually no cholesterol and almost half the calories of regular pancakes. Here’s a good recipe for sweet potato pancakes.
• Fruit Smoothie:
If you’re really on the run in the mornings, then pop your favorite fruits in a small blender, add a little 1% milk and blend up for a yummy fruit smoothie to enjoy on your way to work!
Oatmeal is an incredibly healthy breakfast option. Not only is it quick and easy to prepare, but it’s filling too.
If you don’t like your oatmeal plain, then add a little brown sugar and a banana for a little extra flavor.
Oatmeal can literally be fixed in about 5 minutes and eaten in less than 10. That only requires you to plan an additional 15 minutes to your morning routine (if you don’t like to eat while you get ready).
The majority of people plan their days around three meals. While it’s great to get in three meals a day, it’s also important to get in a couple of nutritious snacks too.
Eating small, healthy snacks between meals not only gives your body a little extra energy to get through the day, but also keeps your metabolism going which aids in weight loss. Below are a few healthy snack ideas.
Healthy Snack Ideas
Nuts are a great source of protein and an excellent snack choice. The key to eating nuts is not to eat too many. When nuts are eaten in large quantities, the body takes in extra fat as nuts are high in fat.
Therefore, make sure you read the serving size on the nut’s container and only eat 1 to 2 servings for a snack.
Yogurt is another great option for a quick and healthy snack. There are so many different types of yogurt available that you are sure to find the flavor you like as well as one with the right number of calories.
One tip though…make sure you eat yogurt with live cultures as it’s better for your body.
• Chips and Salsa:
If you enjoy chips and salsa, then there’s no reason you can’t have it for a snack.
Salsa is healthy for you and very low in calories. The thing you have to watch out for are the chips.
Make sure you read the serving size of the chips and don’t eat more than one serving. Just remember that this is just a snack.
The amount of calories should not equal (or exceed) the number of calories you eat at a meal.
Losing weight is a great goal to have for yourself, but remember that the key is learning how to eat healthy.
If you incorporate the ideas mentioned above into your daily routine, then you will be off to a great start!
And, it’s also important to note that learning how to eat healthy is something that takes time. It isn’t something that you can just start cold-turkey.
So, take it easy on yourself during the first week or two as you get used to the new routine. If you have a bad day, it’s okay…just start over the next day!
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Cheers, Helene Malmsio
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