In April, I talked about three tips to adapting healthier eating habits to achieve weight loss in a realistic manner. I’m going to continue to talk on nutrition because this tends to be the hardest aspect of adapting a healthy lifestyle for most people. Not only is this the toughest, nutrition is a MAJOR component as to whether you achieve weight loss or not.
It is easy to get into the habit of eating what is easiest and/or quickest – especially when your schedule is hectic and stressful. We all have been guilty of going through the drive through, ordering delivery or picking up take out – simply because it is easy. Luckily these days most all restaurants, fast food, etc offer healthy options. The key is actually making the healthy decision. The unhealthy option may taste good and/or satisfy your hunger but it can break your body down in the long run. Bad food decisions will put a toll on your energy and thought process throughout your day, can lead to bad sleep patterns.
Foods play a huge role in how we feel, look and act.
Whether you choose fast food, take out, delivery or dining out at a restaurant –healthy options are everywhere. It just comes down to you making that healthy decision. Let the Internet be your friend in educating yourself on healthy food options. See just how many calories are in the hamburger and french fries you had the other day. Chances are if you know how many calories are in the foods you eat – you just may choose the grilled chicken option next time. Follow the below tips on eating healthy on the go. Tune in next week for quick, easy and healthy meals/recipes.
TIPS TO EATING HEALTHY
1. Prepare and Plan! I cannot stress enough the importance of preparing. When you have a meal/ eating plan – chances are you will not deviate from that plan. Knowing what and when you will eat are crucial elements to staying on track. The evening before – think about what the next day entails. Then plan accordingly. Know what you will be eating for breakfast (see #3). Do you need to pack your lunch and snacks the night before? If you know you have a lunch/dinner meeting – already know what you will order. If you know you are heading home after work already know what you will fix for dinner. If you know you are going to do take-out/delivery – choose a place that provides a healthy option.
2 Have snacks available: Keep snacks in your car, purse and/or at your desk. You want to get into the habit of eating every 3-4 hours. By doing this you are keeping your blood sugars level and not allowing hunger to over-ride any good meal intention you have. Place pretzels, almonds, trail mix, etc in portion control bags. This way you don’t find yourself finishing a whole bag of something.
3. ALWAYS eat breakfast. Your Mom was correct when she said “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. It not only jump starts your metabolism but sets the tone for the day while providing your body/ brain the energy it needs for a productive day!
If you think you are saving yourself calories by skipping – you’re not. In fact research shows those that skip breakfast are more overweight. Research also has shown eating a breakfast that is not the healthiest choice is better than not eating breakfast at all. Not recommended but definitely would rather you eat something “easy” than nothing.
4. Eating fast food can be healthy. Luckily these days most fast food chains offer healthy options. Just like everything else – you just have to “make” the healthy choice. Examples of healthy choices:
– Egg white muffin melt @ Subway
– Artisan Snack Plat @ Starbucks
– Fruit & maple oatmeal @ McDonalds
Grab one of the below if you find yourself heading out the door quickly:
*Any piece of fruit
*English muffin with jelly
*Yogurt and handful of almonds
– Any sandwich shop – order turkey, chicken or veggie – load it with veggies and choose a fat free dressing (stay away from chips, mayo and cheese)
– Any fast food chain and restaurant (McDonalds, Wendy’s, Applebee’s, etc)
*Grilled chicken/fish/vegetable sandwich. Hold the mayo add regular mustard. Of course don’t get the combo meal unless you can choose fruit.
*Grilled chicken/fish salad. Hold the cheese and bacon bits. Look on the menu for “light” dressings and ask for it on the side. This way you are in control to how much goes on the salad. Creamy dressings hold the highest fat/calories (i.e. ranch, caser, blue cheese). Just because you are ordering a salad does not mean it is 100% healthy or low in calories.
*Same choices as lunch*
Most people are programmed to leave dinner as the biggest meal of the day. In fact – dinner should be the same portion as your breakfast and lunch. Stay away from heavy carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, potatoes at night. Choose vegetables as your carb source. Carbohydrates are NOT bad – in fact we need them as our energy source but at night we are not as active. Choose to consume your carbs in the morning, as snacks and/or at lunch versus the evening. This way you are letting your body use the carbs for your energy throughout the day.