In today's world of an always "on-the-go" lifestyle it is all too easy to let diet and exercise come secondary. If your strapped for time, while running on empty the convenience of a drive-thru window at McDonald's or KFC becomes the quickest way to getting back to a busy schedule.
However, it is not the healthiest and if your trying to lose, maintain weight processed food has to be minimized if not eliminated. I found out just how much of a lifestyle change I would have to make after I spoke with a certified nutritionist.
The following will look at how important eating habits are to living healthy, we'll also give you some tips on what to look for and how to do it.
"You Are What You Eat"
My nutritionist Steve Douglas: A public health Biochemist Consultant, not only deals with people who to make a health change, but he also works with people who are battling cancer. He knows the human body, what it needs, and how to achieve what you want. During my consultation Steve explained what is most important for the body and how to feed it.
Steve #1 concern was what kinds of food I was consuming each day? He explained what certain types of food do for the body. He explained what "processed" food does to the body. Steve proceeded to show me pictures and timelines of processed food inside the bodyï¿½ hence the saying, "you are what you eat."
Steve explained that if society could cut down on processed foods heart disease and obesity would be significantly reduced. We are not meant to eat loads of grease and fat.
Society today is drowning in unhealthy processed food. Processed food is everywhere you look, from fast food to packed or canned ready to eat foods in the grocery store. I asked Steve how do you know if something is processed. He said "well usually if it's not the brightest colors of the rainbow (vegetables) or stays solid when at room temperature it's not the best for you."
Steve set up an easy food model to follow:
- Mid Morning Snack
- Mid Afternoon Snack
- Allow 2½ to 3 hours between the main meal and the snack
A Typical Plate Should Look Something Like This:
M - Lean Meat
N - Raw Nuts (can add or substitute for meat)
S - Starch (Carbohydrates)
The majority of your carbohydrates need to come from vegetables. Vegetables are a great way to keep your energy up and weight down. I suggest packing your freezer full of frozen vegetables. Then every time you eat take out 2-3 different vegetables to add to your meal.
Tips For Eating Better
For "on-the-go" lifestyles a way to keep eating healthy is t make a "grab drawer" at home and work. Pack a drawer full of healthy snacks, all proportioned into Ziploc bags. For example, Raw Nuts, dried fruit, fruit, and energy bars make for a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon snack. As you go out the door grab a few healthy snacks, then when you get hungry in between meals you won't be tempted to eat junk food. These types of snacks will keep you going until its time for your next healthy meal.
During a hot summer day or after a hard workout my appetite is often zapped. A perfect lunchtime suggestion is a medium sized salad along with a protein shake. If food is sometimes unappealing a salad and shake are light enough but nutritious enough to keep you energized and if you use fat free dressing this meal is also fat free!
| Keep servings of powder form protein in your "grab drawer" too! I suggest a low-carb vanilla flavored protein shake. If you buy vanilla it is easy to change the flavor when you get tired of the same flavor.
My favorite thing to add to my vanilla shake is orange juiceï¿½ adding orange juice to your shake makes it into an Orange Julius shake. If it's a chocolate shake you crave simply add a squirt of heresy's chocolate syrup.
"6 Weeks To Habit": Taking It Slow
Many people have a great desire to exercise and eat right but often fail. Some people fail only because they are too hard on themselves. They are "gun-hoe" for a few weeks then slip off track a bit, frustration sets in and soon enough they have given up. I say start slowï¿½ start slow and develop a habit.
It takes 6 weeks for the mind to adjust to something and make it the norm. Adapt and progress into living a healthy lifestyle, instead of failing diet after new diet. Stop being so hard on yourself, just make a conscious effort to eat the right kinds of food and soon it will become the norm.
Eat your salad and vegetables but don't punish yourself for having dessert now and again. I have been exercising and eating right for so long that exercise is fun and processed food is no longer appetizing. But I don't freak out if the convenience of fast food sneaks into my diet once in a while.
I try to prepare for my busy weeks as best I can. Again the grab drawer will eliminate a lot of the "I'm so hungry I'll eat anything" moments." Stay healthy by adding the fat free low carb protein shakes.
Your will be surprised what you can do with a protein shake and how energized it will make you feel. Defrost you meats a day or two in advance. And if you're really savvy pre cooking a meal in your spare time will help the "on-the-go" type person.
I try to get 2-3 meals set up for quick and easy preparation, even if I only pre cut vegetables, salad, or marinate meat for the next day. Thinking ahead and beating habits you already know you've developed will make life a little bit easier, good luck.
Also check out: Go Lean: A Guide For Women's Fitness!