So you spent a good portion of the holiday season hanging out with friends and family, avoiding excercise, and eating way too much food? Join the club. Now comes the wake up call. Another year has passed and a new one is beginning. Are you happy with your body and how you look in your clothing? Do you need a jump start to get you on the path to better health? As promised, we will share our Top 10 plus a few extra tips to get you moving through the month of January. Buh bye Spanx!
Our first three tips involve some simple modifications to your diet. Focus on what's going into your body and pay attention to ingredients:
1. Eliminate refined sugar and sugar additives in your diet. The average person should not consume more than 12 teaspoons of sugar per day. Consuming too much has been linked to obesity, cancer, diabetes and other health issues. The simplest approach to kicking this habit is by cutting out all high sugar, low nutrient foods. For example, soda and fruit drinks, sweet tea, and candy. An occasional treat is permitted, just don't include these items in your daily meal planning. Also, pay attention to added sugar in your foods especially cereals, salad dressing, and sauces. If sugar is the first ingredient, pass it by, especially if it is high fructose corn syryp. Other sugar additives include maltose, sucrose, dextrose, fructose and molasses.
2. Add protein to each meal and you won't be hungry in an hour. It takes your body longer to digest and process protein and we use it more readily than other nutrients to build muscles and repair tissue. Meat is an obvious source of protein, but you can also get it from fish, nuts, beans, eggs, dairy products (especially cottage cheese). The average active person needs about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.
3. Reduce or eliminate processed carbohydrates (yes, sugar is a carb). You've heard it many times before - don't fill up on bread or chips before your meal particularly if it is made with white flour. These types of carbs are easily converted to sugar in the body and that sugar is stored as triglycerides (and we're not talking about the good kind). Look for bread and pasta made with whole grain and learn to like it. If you can't live without the good stuff, reduce your carbohydrate intake by 1/3 - 1/2 at each meal and fill up on fruits, vegetables and protein instead (for example, have a 1/2 cup of white rice with your chicken instead of a full cup).
We hope these tips will get you off to a good start and be sure to check with your doctor if you have any health concerns. Web MD is a wonderful resource for healthy eating and is well trusted. HelpGuide.org also has another great resource for healthy eating. We are not health experts (remember, fashion is our penchant) but we do take care of our bodies and know quite a bit about staying in shape. Let us know if you have any other related tips on healthy eating!