Eating a salad when the person sitting the next cubicle or at the next table is eating a double bacon cheeseburger with a side of chili cheese fries….not easy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a challenge – a daily task of choosing to properly nourish and fuel your body. Here are some tips to help keep you on track:
1) Never skip breakfast.
– When I began to diet, a big mistake I made was “skipping” meals. This not only leaves you hungrier (and thus, more likely to overeat) when you do finally eat a meal, but it also works against your objective. Your metabolism runs more efficiently when it receives a steady intake throughout the day – skipping meals will actually hinder your metabolism. Start your day right, fuel your body, and jump start your metabolism by always eating breakfast.
2) Eat multiple small meals throughout your day.
– The reason behind this echoes the reasoning in item #1. By eating several smaller meals throughout your day – you are providing your metabolism with a steady stream of fuel and preventing overeating during one or two big meals in the day. You might also start to notice your cravings for unhealthy foods decrease – whenever I would skip meals, I would be much more likely to crave fast food or junk food when I finally did eat.
– By keeping up on your water intake, you will keep your body functioning at peak levels. Juice, soda, and other high calorie/high sugar drinks may be okay as an indulgence on special occasions – but water should be your go-to source of hydration. It is calorie free, too!
4) Don’t drink your calories.
– From the beginning of my dieting and healthy lifestyle excursion, I would always choose to eat my calories over drinking them. A cup of juice that is 120 calories is never going to keep you as full and satisfied as a 100 calorie banana or cup of yogurt. This is one tip I will always share with family/friends when they ask for dieting tips or weight loss advice. Most juices and smoothies (two things that SOUND healthy) are actually very unhealthy for you – they are full of sugar and typically very high in calories.
5) Familiarize yourself with the food you eat.
– There’s a lot that goes in to keeping your body healthy and nourished. It is important to pay attention to what you’re putting into your body – so that you can ensure you are keeping a well-balanced diet.
Trivia: Did you know that the average American consumes approximately 2,700 calories a day?!
6) Familiarize yourself with the needs of your body.
– Quite a few websites exist these days that can break down your nutrition needs for you. One, for example, is MyFitnessPal. A great website, and if you have a smartphone, a great app as well. After plugging in your information, it’ll break down the recommended amount of calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein you should be consuming – and will even calculate your needs based upon how much weight you are trying to lose.
Knowing the nutritional needs of your body is an important part of keeping a healthy and balanced diet.
7) Allow yourself to indulge…wisely.
– One thing that my friends and family ask me is how I resist the temptation to eat “junk food.” Here’s my dirty little secret: sometimes, I don’t. The key here is to allow yourself a cheat day/cheat meal/or my favorite….a “cheat treat” every once in a while. It’s good for your psyche – you can temporarily indulge in your cravings! Healthy eaters don’t eat perfectly ALL the time…they indulge every once in a while. But the difference here is that they don’t make it a daily habit.
8) Pay attention to portion sizes.
– I was absolutely shocked, when I first started my healthy lifestyle, to learn how many servings of my favorite foods I was actually consuming in one sitting. That one bowl of cereal usually contained at least 2 servings. Drinking that 20 oz. Sprite, was actually 2.5 servings. It quickly became clear to me that I needed to start paying attention to serving sizes – and it was easy to see how I was over indulging and adding to my calorie count by not doing so.
9) Forgive yourself for a bad day.
– I have had many friends and family members come to me seeking advice for their eating habits. One thing that is common is, when someone has a bad day of eating-where they overindulge all day-this often makes them feel as thought they’ve failed and causes them to lose hope and sometimes give up. Trust me – I know how hard it is to get back on the “healthy” eating train when you’ve recently stopped at the “junk food station.” But, in the end, you have to find the willpower and the strength to get back to your good eating habits. If you made a mistake or had a bad day of eating – move on. Start anew tomorrow.
10) Never give up!
Sometimes, despite all attempts and efforts at a healthy lifestyle, a person experiences little to no weight loss at first. Be patient with yourself and your body – it isn’t a perfect science and no one eats a perfectly balanced diet. The key is to not give up – keep your goals in mind, keep track of your progress, and you’ll reap the rewards sooner or later. Promise!
What are some of your healthy eating habits?
What are some things you struggle with?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Happy (and healthy) eating!