For better health follow these simple healthy rules to cut down on your daily calories:
1. Don’t skip breakfast.
One the major mistakes people make is to skip breakfast thereby setting their body systems and hormones into chaos. By starting your day with a meal you will have energy to function and will kick your metabolism into high gear to burn calories throughout the day. No one leaves on a car trip with an empty gas tank. Make sure your “tank” has fuel in the morning too.
The CDC Improving Your Eating Habits warns skipping meals is one of the common eating habits leading to weight gain. When your body has been fasting over night and you don’t eat, your metabolism thinks food is unavailable and powers down. On the other hand, by eating breakfast this indicates to your body food is plentiful and it has as many calories to burn as it can. However, ingesting a big meal at the end of the day sits on your body over night.
Learn to live by this maxim: "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper.”
2. White don’t bite.
Instead of bleached white, think brown as in: whole grain bread, brown rice, and whole-wheat tortillas. Brown is food’s natural form packing fewer calories, more vitamins, and more fiber thus taking your body longer to digest. The results are you eat less, and feel better with less health problems. Start your children out eating brown multi-grains so they will prefer them throughout their lives.
3. Go with green.
When you go with green vegetables you can’t go wrong: salad, spinach, zucchini, green beans, cucumbers, peas, kales, and so on. Go for the greens and eat plenty of them. They are loaded with fiber, minerals, and vitamins but are low on calories. Fill your stomach up with greens first such as a salad. Yet go light on the dressing, which is high in calories. A better choice is olive oil and vinegar.
4. More veggies please.
Discover how easy it is to fill up with veggies first. Discover different ways to serve vegetables. For example, some of the many different ways vegetables can be prepared is baked, braised, raw, roasted, or steamed.
5. Do snack.
Modify your view of a snack and load up on fruits and veggies as a replacement to processed foods. Munch throughout the day on healthy snacks of carrots, celery sticks, raw veggie crudités like red pepper strips and broccoli florets, or fruits instead. This lets your body know food is readily available and there are accessible calories to burn. With a full stomach you will eat smaller portions at meals. Eating healthy snacks throughout the day is the best way to control overeating and weight problems.
6. Water far and wide.
Do you know your body is made up of two-thirds water? Water is an essential nutrient involved in every level of functioning in our bodies. Eliminate all caloric drinks out of your diet including sodas, juices, and alcohol. For example, Elisa Zied, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, warns women there are 10 teaspoons or 40 grams of sugar in an average serving of soda pop. The average woman consumes 2000 calories daily and 50 grams of sugar should be the maximum allowed. When women drink one average size soda, they have consumed almost their entire allowable sugar intake for the day. Wiser choices are to drink water, juices, sparkling water, or unsweetened tea. If you don’t care for the taste, try slices of lemon or lime in your glass of water.
7. Be done after one.
Instead of counting calories simply don’t go back for seconds. Americans have a bad habit of quickly shoveling down a meal while Europeans and other cultures make mealtime an occasion of communication and enjoyment. Sit back and relax for 15 minutes to contemplate if you really need more food.
8. Discard dessert.
Change the way you view dessert. Don’t eat it late in the day when your body will convert it to fat. Break the dessert habit and replace it with healthy options or walking. Fresh smoothies or fruit can be eaten as an alternative.
9. Don’t super size.
When you are dining out, bigger is not better. Resist the temptation to get extra food for an additional price. The CDC warns over the last 20 years portion size, as well as waistlines are expanding. Even Atkins now advises its clientele to eat smaller steaks. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has an interesting Portion Distortion Quiz showing how portion sizes of some of our common foods have changed in the last 2 decades.
10. Split meals and desserts.
When dining out, most restaurants will graciously give you another plate to split the meals with others. Savor the flavors with your friends and loved ones. In addition, you can ask your meal server to put half of the meal in a take out container to be consumed later or the next day.
~ Debby Bolen RN