I have heard so many of you have started a weight-loss or fitness challenge. Hopefully, you have started to incorporate the Healthy Eating habits I listed for you last week. This week, I have listed little things you can do to improve your food choices that will not only improve your health but you will shed some pounds!
1. Eat "Real" Food Again: Read ingredient labels for the actual ingredients listed in the product. The ones that are listed first, are the most predominate ones in that food product. So, the fewer the better. Also, if you need a science degree to understand them, choose another item. Make better choices when dining out or stay home and cook. Hidden sugar can be listed as "Evaporated Cane juice", Dextrose, Sucrose, Fructose, etc."
2. Add Good Quality Oil: Many people believe "low fat" is the key to weight loss. Lack of good quality fat (oil) actually creates our cravings for potato chips, french fries, ice cream and chocolate. Oil keeps us warm in cold weather and provides us with energy. Regularly eating veggies sauteed in healthy oil, such as sesame, olive or vegetable, will keep you satisfied and cravings at bay.
3. Cut the Soda: Stop all diet and regular soda, flavored waters and carbonated beverages. There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 oz. soda. Cola beverages also contain phosphoric acid which depletes calcium. Diet beverages are no better because they contain artificial sweeteners, which slow down your metabolism.
4. Substitute Beans for Animal Protein Two Meals a Week: There is a growing movement in this county called "Meatless Mondays". Beans are a great source of protein and fiber. They are easy to digest and they don't contain saturated fat and cholesterol. If you are on a budget or want to improve your health, beans are a great addition to your meal plan.
5. Add Leafy Greens: Leafy greens such as kale, collards, bok choy, mustard greens and spinach are wonderful sources of vitamins and minerals, including calcium. These are great sauteed, steamed or added to soups, stews or pasta dishes.
6. Say No to Cheese, Mayo and Sour Cream: One of the easiest ways to lighten a meal is to say no cheese, mayo and sour cream. These items are loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol. So, if you are eating a sandwich, substitute mustard for the mayo. If you are eating Mexican food, substitute guacamole for the sour cream. Over time, you won't even miss these items and will help you lose the pounds!
7. Make Your Life More Active: If you don't have time to go to the gym, park farther away in parking lots and take the stairs whenever possible. You don't have to walk in 30 - minute intervals to achieve the benefits. Make your life more active and it will all add up.
I hope you become more conscious of HOW and WHAT you are eating! Please email me back if you have any questions! Good luck!