“No single food choice makes or breaks your health status” and “not every meal is a nutritional triumph”. Remember these two mantras and follow the five tips below to lose weight and gain energy.
These five tips support daily choices that have a positive effect on your overall health and weight when followed consistently. To easily recall these five tips just think — P.R.I.D.E.
P- Portion control
When eating out, share a meal. At home, serve half portions. Portion control is one of the most effective and simplest ways to avoid over eating and to keep caloric intake at an optimal level. This is especially important when dining out where portions tend to be very large and the food is less health oriented. How much you eat is as important as what you eat.
R- Record dietary intake
Recording what you eat and drink is very important for awareness of what you are putting in your body. It is especially helpful for identifying clandestine calories, those calories that we consume throughout the day in subtle ways that we may not realize (a handful of nuts, a few chips from someone else’s bag, etc.). Being honest with yourself is the first step to making change. It is important to record your food/drink as well as your exercise so you know how many net calories your consumed.
I- Ingredient awareness
Be aware of the ingredients in the foods and beverages you consume. Whole foods with fewer ingredients are ideal and fake sugars and diet food (low-fat or low-calorie) should be avoided. Always look at the list of ingredients and the nutrition facts label to make food choices that are consistent with these recommendations. Remember, we like to eat the good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) as well as fiber and we want to minimize sugar.
D- Diets are never the answer
Very simply, avoid all “diets”. Diets generally do not work and have negative long-term effects on metabolism. In lieu of diets focus on positive ways to make healthy food choices over time rather than individual foods to be strictly avoided. Focus on adding good food choices. (Aamodt, S.)
E- Energy from balanced macro-nutrients
Our bodies and minds need food for energy so it is important that we are getting enough calories and a balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins (aka macro-nutrients). The recommended macro-nutrient intake is carbohydrates (45%-65% of calories), protein (10%-35% of calories), and fat (20%-35% of calories). It is also important to limit saturated and trans fats, added sugars, cholesterol, added salt and alcohol. (Manore, M.)
Follow these five tips and you will make food choices that are constructive for a healthy lifestyle, feel more energized and manage your weight.
**Please consult your medical professional if you have special dietary needs**