By March, many people find their good resolutions for healthy eating and exercise have fallen by the wayside. Statistics show that just six months after the New Year, more than half of those who made resolutions have broken them. Fortunately, you can still resolve to change; it is never too late to renew your commitment to improving your health.
If you have fallen back into your old habit of grabbing a quick doughnut or pastry treat early in the morning for convenience, remind yourself one doughnut contains more than 300 calories and is high in carbohydrates, fats and sugars. That one seemingly innocent treat can send your blood sugar soaring.
Your body may feel a sudden energy surge, but this will be spent quickly. Then your system will go through a rebound that can make you feel extremely tired and out of sorts.
This is the beginning of a seesaw effect in your body that is often fueled by snack foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. Remember how difficult it was to balance a seesaw perfectly on the playground? This balancing act is what you are forcing your body to do when you eat foods that contain no real nutrition, but are heavily loaded with unhealthy fats, sugars and simple carbohydrates.
So just exactly what do you need to eat if you want to get back on the path to good nutrition and health? For starters you need to avoid fad diets and stay clear of foods filled with empty calories, sugars and fats.
Here are a few basic guidelines to get you on the right track.
– Opt for a dietary program that is packed with whole grains, fruits, veggies as well as some healthy fats and oils.
– Be sure your daily meals contain good carbohydrates such as whole grains; do not eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet.
– Include plenty of fiber by eating a variety of fruits, veggies and whole grains.
– Choose lean, healthy protein sources such as poultry, nuts, fish and beans.
– Limit saturated and trans fats; choose oils that come from nuts, fish and plant sources.
– Select calcium-rich foods such as skim or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese and vegetables.
– Add color to your plate by choosing a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
– Limit your use of salt and enjoy the rich, luscious flavors of the foods or add salt-free seasonings to enhance natural flavors.
– Plan ahead by creating a healthy shopping list or selecting restaurants that offer nutritious selections. Such as Liquid Nutrition (LN), my favorite meal replacement is Magic, tell LN Elaine sent you in for her Liquid Lifestyles Beverage!
– Track your meals, exercise and medical information online or through a food diary such as the Virtual Nutritionist.
Often, making changes slowly can help you be more successful in creating new habits. Try incorporating one or more of these recommendations into your lifestyle each week. Over time, you will find that these nutritious choices will give you more fuel for your day and help improve your chances of successfully reaching your goals.
by: Elaine Hastings, RD, Sports & Lifestyles Nutritionist