Monday, January 6, 2014

Forget the fads: 5 Tips for Eating Well

I don't know about you, but the commercials on TV this time of year drive me crazy. All kinds of marketing aimed at people who have good intentions of losing weight, eating right, and exercising in the new year.

While I think the resolutions are good, I'm not a fan of the marketing. All the "before and after" pictures, all the skinny minnie's dancing and flaunting their "newly" toned muscles is good advertising, but it's not reality. The truth is, losing weight is hard. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hard. Eating healthy is hard. Not easy, not impossible, just hard.

In school, Jess and I learned about nutrition and exercise. We learned about healthy eating, healthy living, and staying active. As Health Promotion students we also learned about human behavior and motivation. It is unfortunate that, nowadays, human behavior and motivation are often used against us. Motivators like new year's resolutions are used to get us to buy products, sign up for memberships, and enroll in fad diet programs. The trouble is, they set most people up for failure.

I realize there are people who thrive at the gym, there are people who enjoy strict diets, and there are people who are able to maintain a healthy weight with less effort than others. These folks aren't the majority- don't believe me? Look around.

It's hard to make it to the gym, it's hard to eat healthy, and it's even harder to stick to a restricted diet.

When we buy in to things like "fad diets" we are buying a fresh start- something new and exciting. This is motivating, and that is why some people can start a diet and lose weight for a couple of weeks. The issue becomes when cravings hit, busy schedules interfere, and your life throws up obstacles to such drastic change.

This is why people fail at fad diets, they aren't real life. They are a change that is, usually, too difficult to maintain.

There is a better option though! When we strip away the gimics, the jargon, and the commercialism of a fad diet, the basic concept is simple: eat less. That's it.

This secret is what all diets are based on. Eat less.

The truth is we need carbs, we need protein, we need sugar. Our bodies need nutrients from each food group. By being mindful of the quantity and variety of foods we are eating, we can take the focus off of dieting and instead pay attention to eating well.

Here are some tips to help you eat healthy this year:

  1. Eat a variety of foods {we need a lot of nutrients, a lot of vitamins, and minerals. the best way to get these is through food, not supplements}
  2. Eat foods that you cook {learning to cook will likely help you lose more weight than any fad diet, I haven't researched it, but it makes you more mindful and more conscious of what you are eating... this helps you eat better and eat less}
  3. Sit down at a table to eat, every meal {families who eat together are healthier. there is research to support this. just google it. even if you drive thru, bring it home, sit down, and enjoy your meal}
  4. Take your time {don't rush. it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you are full, so give it a chance to regulate itself}
  5. Indulge when you need to {don't binge, but if you want chips- eat a few, if you want a cupcake- split it with your kid. don't deny yourself, it will lead to overeating later}
Our moto in college was "everything in moderation". I still remind myself of this simple truth. It keeps me on track!

What's your most practical tip for eating well? We'd love to hear it!

1 comment:

  1. Simply drinking water instead of sugar beverages makes a big difference!


We love hearing from you guys- it makes our day!
{We typically respond to comments through e-mail as long as you have provided an email address.}


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...