Although most of us know that the foods we choose have a major impact on our health and weight, we aren’t always certain about what to choose and how to choose. Selecting the right food isn’t any easier when we are bombarded by headlines and advertisements: Eat less fat! Get more fiber! Build strong bones with calcium!
Galen may be the first best-known physician who ever lived. During the second century, Galen expounded his “laws of health” – eat proper foods, drink the right beverages, exercise, breathe fresh air, get enough sleep, have a daily bowel movement, and control your emotions.
The secret to success in eating is making changes and sticking with them.
Now let’s turn our attention to main points.
Learn what you are currently eat and drink.
Keep a detailed food diary for three days. I know, I know….Its boring… You can make photos if you like. There are even few applications that you can use on your phone. ( MyFitnessPal, LoseIt, SparkPeople, CronoMeter, FatSecret )
Make sure to include the things you drink along with the amounts of each food or beverage. This is a key step in managing your weight.
Then go to https://www.supertracker.usda.gov and complete an online assessment of your food intake. Follow directions to register, and set up your Personal Profile. Next, within the “Food-A-Pedia” box, select the “Food Tracker”. Search for each food that you have eaten.
Find your ideal weight and how many calories you need to reach your goal.
You can make it here – http://authoritynutrition.com/how-many-calories-per-day/.
Find out what you should drink and eat.
Food Plan is not a quick weight loss program. It’s a way to eat for health and well-being. If you stick with the Plan over time, you should gradually move toward a healthier weight. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplate/index.aspx
When you compare what you eat to your Food Plan, is there room for improvement?
From which groups did you tend to eat more than recommended?
Were there any groups for which you did not meet the recommendations?
You may wish to visit the site frequently to monitor changes you are making in your food intake.
Everyone is different. Think about what YOU eat and drink.
How can you make better choices? How can you be more active?
A healthful diet requires a balance of all food groups ( grains, vegetables, fruits, oil, milk, and meat and beans ), energy sources ( carbohydrates, protein, and fat ), and other nutrients ( vitamins and minerals) . Your diet is balanced if the amount of energy (calories ) you eat equals the amount of energy you expend in daily activities and exercise. Your diet also is balanced when the foods you choose to eat provide you with adequate nutrients. The trick is to consume enough, but not too much, from all of the different food groups.
Know portion size.
Figure out how big your portions really are:
- Measure how much the bowls, glasses, cups, and plates you usually use hold. Pour your breakfast cereal into your regular bowl. Then, pour it into a measuring cup. How many cups of cereal do you eat each day?
- Measure a fixed amount of some foods and drinks to see what they look like in your glasses and plates. For example, measure 1 cup of juice to see what 1 cup of liquid looks like in your favourite glass.
- To see what 1 cup, ½ cup, or 1 ounce of some different foods looks like, visit the food gallery and find some of the foods you eat in each group.
A simple trick to help you eat less is to use a smaller plate, bowl, or glass.
One cup of food on a small plate looks like more than the same cup of food on a large plate. The smaller your plate, the smaller your portion sizes. Eat your meals at home on a smaller plate. Before going back for seconds, wait 10 or 15 minutes. You might not want seconds after all. Dish it out. When dining out, order an appetizer instead of an entree. If you order an entree, take the leftovers home, refrigerate and enjoy another meal or a snack tomorrow. Buy or portion out treats and snacks in small bags or packages.
If you tend to overeat, be aware of the time of day, place, and your mood while eating so you can better control the amount you eat. Some people overeat when stressed or upset. Try walking instead of eating, or snack on a healthier option. For example, instead of eating a bag of chips, crunch on some celery, or instead of eating a bowl of ice cream, enjoy a low-fat yogurt with fresh blueberries. Making healthier choices is better for your weight and can also help you feel better.
Plan how and what you will eat.
Living in a high – tech world, we expect immediate solutions to long-term problems. But…as you know, no magic food, nutrient, or drug exists.
Get started cooking more often at home:
- A healthy meal starts with more vegetables and fruits and smaller portions of protein and grains. Think about how you can adjust the portions on your plate to get more of what you need without too many calories. And don’t forget dairy – make it the beverage with your meal or add fat-free or low-fat dairy products to your plate. You don’t have to eat from every food group at each meal, but thinking about the food groups can help you build a healthy meal.
- Planning ahead can help you make better food choices.
- Use the low-fat or reduced-fat version of dairy products like cheese and milk or replace sour-cream with low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Also use spices and herbs to add more flavour instead of adding salt or fat
Increase physical activity
The amount of physical activity needed to manage body weight depends on calorie intake and varies a lot from person to person. Some adults will need to do more physical activity than others to manage body weight.
How much physical activity do you need to help manage body weight?
- To start, adults should do the equivalent of 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.
- If necessary, adults should increase their weekly minutes of aerobic physical activity gradually over time (while eating fewer calories) to meet weight loss goals.
- Some adults who need to lose weight may need to do more than the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) per week of moderate-intensity activity to meet weight loss goals.
This may sound like a lot. However, your weight is a balance of the number of calories you eat and drink and the physical activity you do. Weight loss can be achieved by eating and drinking fewer calories OR by burning more calories in physical activity. The people with the greatest long-term success are doing BOTH – eating less and being more active. For example, walking 30 minutes each day and drinking one less soda each day are two small steps you can take that can have a big impact on your weight over time.
Get started increasing physical activity:
- Pick activities you like and that fit into your life.
- Be active with family and friends. Having a support network can help you stay active.
- Keep track of your physical activity and gradually increase how much you do over time.
Eat, move, and live… better.
The health and fitness world can sometimes be a confusing place. But it doesn’t have to be.