How To Eat Healthy – Made Easy

by How To Mommy on 05.22.12

I was reading an article in Fitness Magazine that spoke exactly to the problem I *think* I’m having.

“You try to eat right. And you exercise regularly.  But those last five pounds {ok, I have more than 5…but still…go on} won’t budge….Turns out, much of the conventional weight loss wisdom is just plain wrong, many experts say.”

Say what?!

The article went on to say that depriving yourself or eating more veggies isn’t the answer and there’s a smarter, more enjoyable way to eat every day.

This is what top nutritionists say are the new “diet do’s” they swear by:

Find Your Balance: Not all calories are created equal.  Quality is just as important as quantity.

  • For example, eating two 100 calorie snack packs of cookies gives you two to three servings of carbs and very little protein.
  • Stop the obsession with calories and instead focus on balancing your nutrients.
  • Every time you eat, aim for unlimited amounts of non-starchy vegetables and one serving each of whole-grain carbs, fruits, protein and healthy fat.
  • Instead, try an apple and some nuts or vegetables and a little dip made from low-fat greek yogurt.

Stop the Endless Grazing: When you’re nibbling a little bit here or there, it’s hard to keep track of how much you’re putting away and many times never get the satisfied, full feeling of a complete meal.

  • Instead of picking at food all day, shoot for three meals and two snacks or five mini meals.
  • Be sure to combine tastes and textures at each sitting.
  • Plan small meals in advance so you aren’t tempted by whatever is in reach.
  • Write down what you eat so you keep tabs on how much you’re consuming {yes it sucks, but yes, it works}.

Stock Your Kitchen for Success: Healthy eating is about having the right foods ready and waiting for you.

  • Take your fruits and veggies out of the crisper, wash them, cut them up and put them on the front of the center shelf.
  • Keep the following foods on hand to make healthy meals or snacks:
    • Non-fat milk
    • Full-fat cheese {go for a little bit of the good stuff instead of a lot of too much of the skinnier version}
    • Greek yogurt {use in place of sour cream in dips, sauces and and on potatoes}
    • Frozen vegetables
    • Healthy frozen meals {look for entrees of less than 400 calories with at least 3 grams of fiber and less than 500 mg of sodium}
    • Low-sodium lunch meat
    • Cleaned and portioned frozen fish fillets
    • Canned beans {add to soups, stews and salads for protein and fiber}
    • Whole-grain cereal, crackers and pasta {Make sure they have at least 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber}
    • Peanut butter
    • Canola oil {heart healthy and is the perfect choice for sautéing because it has a high smoking point.

Give Yourself an Afternoon Treat: It’s healthier to hit the vending machine than to go hungry. {Wait, I’d better read that again….yep, that’s what it says!}

  • The typical stretch between lunch and dinner is too long for blood sugar levels to remain stable without a claorie infusion.
  • Plan for an afternoon snack like apples, almonds, string cheese or pears so you won’t have to scramble for something to eat.
  • If you forget, choose wisely at the vending machine.  Sunflower seeds and peanuts are healthy and a chocolate chip granola bar is better than a candy bar.  Baked chips and popcorn are better than regular chips.

Eat More Potatoes: Potatoes are a nutrient powerhouse and a good source of fiber.

  • One medium potato (or a cup of diced or mashed) counts as one serving of vegetables.
  • Be sure to round out your meal with a colorful veggie, since potatoes are so starchy.

Be a Restaurant Snob: Along with the age old rules of grilled over fried; less cream, butter and oil; and having half your meal wrapped in a doggie bag there are a few other things to try:

  • Keep an open mind – just because Italian sounds heavy and Asian does not, doesn’t mean that’s the case.  Italian dishes like grilled fish or pasta primavera have less oil and deep frying than many Thai or Chinese dishes.
  • Go out to lunch – indulging midday is better than in the evening so you can cut back at dinner to even out your calories for the day.  Bonus – lunch is usually cheaper!
  • Spend smarter – Fancier usually means healthier.  They generally have good-quality ingredients in smaller amounts.
  • Split up your order – Start with a salad or soup and eat it before choosing your main course.  This will help you make a better decision and you may only be hungry enough for an appetizer instead of a full entree.

Weigh in Weekly: Research indicates that once a week is good and once a day is probably even better for some people.

  • Pick one day and time each week to do your weigh ins.
  • For best results, step on the scale first thing in the morning, naked, when you weigh the least {yeah, figured that one out AGES ago!}

Pull Out of a Diet Tailspin: Get out of your all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to food.  Just because you eat a cupcake doesn’t mean the day is shot.

  • Shake off your lapse and move on.
  • Set a specific, positive goal for the next day instead of punishing yourself.

Simple enough, right?

Ok, maybe I should go back and read it one more time.  🙂

But I do think I learned a lot of new things and really enjoyed the “pantry list” of items to keep on hand.  I love having healthy food at my fingertips so dinner makes me feel good!

What did you think?  Does this make eating right easier?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Samantha May 30, 2012 at 9:19 AM

I just want to say that this post really helped me out! It has been hard on me to get back in the swing of things – much harder than I thought. And not only do I want to be healthy for me and my family, but I have health issues that would really benefit from a more balanced and nutritional diet. I really really appreciate you posting this because you put it so plainly in a way that I can understand and that helps me know it can be easier than just eating a salad every day, three meals a day! Haha and who wants to do that?? I really enjoyed reading this (which is not something you always say when reading about dieting, etc!) and I will definitely be sharing it with my friends 🙂 Thank you!!


2 How To Mommy May 30, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I am so glad you feel that way and you like the article!!


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