Sunday, July 27, 2008

Change Your Diet, Change Your Life

So you want to be healthier!!!! Changing your diet will literally change your life. You'll have more energy, less aches and pains and a healthier mentality. My clients tell me they know they need to overhaul their eating but they don't know where to start. Is that YOU?

Well, here is a strategy to help you get started on your new healthy lifestyle!

Start with eating approximately every 3 hrs. (i.e. 4 - 6 times a day, three meals and 2 or 3 snacks) ..... spreading the calories out benefits you a couple ways:

You maintain your energy all day.
You balance your sugar and prevent cravings.

And remember never ever skip breakfast. It sets you up for the rest of the day!

But what to eat and how much??

Let's look at your plate: divide it into thirds. One section will be for protein, one for a complex carb and the last for a fruit or vegetable.

So when you sit down to eat you will have one serving of a protein, a complex carb, and a fruit/vegetable. For example, have a 4 ounce piece of salmon with 1/2 cup of brown rice, and a salad.

The next meal substitute the salmon for turkey, the rice for quinoa, and the salad for asparagus.

Or substitute the salmon for chicken, the rice for a slice of whole grain bread, and the salad for broccoli. (Hint: I like to use flaxseed oil on my toast instead of butter! I even sprinkle it on my vegies!)

How do you do this for breakfast? Have a hard boiled egg with a few strawberries or a slice of melon and 1/2 whole grain bagel or english muffin. Or have a smoothie (soy milk, strawberries and banana).

Eating like this you will have approximately 300 - 400 calories per meal.

So what about snacks? Well, here are some ideas for 100 calorie healthy snacks:

1. 2 domino-sized slices low-fat Colby or cheddar cheese
2. 1 cup sliced apples with 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter (I recommend organic peanut butter not the commercial peanut butter with added sugar).
3. 10 dry roasted cashews or 12-15 natural almonds.
4. One hard boiled egg.
5. 1 cup squash (baked acorn or butternut)
6. 5 oz. Turkey breast (roasted, no skin)
7. 25 pistachios
8. 10 cashew nuts
9. Half a small avocado
10. 3 ounces cooked whole-grain noodles with 1 fresh tomato and 1/2 ounce hard cheese
11. 3 handfuls of unbuttered popcorn, seasoned with herbs
12. 2 ounces of lean roast beef
13. 2 TB hummus and 10 baby carrots
14. as many cucumber and celery sticks as you'd like
15. Scramble 5 egg whites and cook in a non-stick skillet. Top with 1Tbsp of salsa.

And eating well is only one facet of your new healthy lifestyle! Do NOT forget exercise! Exercise is important to a healthy body. However, be sure to check with your physician before starting an exercise program; especially if you have been sedentary for a long time.

Did you know loss of muscle mass is a huge reason for a lagging metabolism? Being sedentary, as many of us are these days, is a great detriment to maintaining a normal weight. Muscle burns a lot more calories than fat. So get off that couch!!!

Find yourself a form of exercise you will enjoy and then DO IT! Hire a personal trainer to work with you to develop an exercise routine you can live with if you must. Do what you must do to get yourself off the couch and moving!

To your health!


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