We know staying healthy is a full-time job (one that’s not always easy)—it’s the reason we make it our Spafinder Wellness 365™ mission to provide the insight and resources to help you live well and feel good all year round. With that being said, some of our favorite nutritionists dish on a few basic tips and tricks to help you follow a healthy diet (and perhaps even lose weight!). Read on:
1. Always read food labels. “Knowing what’s in your food is really important because it tells you exactly what you’re putting into your body,” says Amber Ketchum, MDS, RD, at Shane Diet, Weight-Loss & Fitness Resorts in San Antonio, Texas. “Make sure to look at the ingredient list in addition to the label itself, as it has the most revealing information about that food. If there are ingredients listed that you can’t identify or pronounce, it’s most likely a chemical or preservative so probably not the best choice.”
2. Follow the 90/10 Rule. Ketchum continues: “The idea here is to eat healthy about 90 percent of the time, leaving the other 10 percent to have a little wiggle room for foods you enjoy that are what could be referred to as ‘sometimes foods.’
“A quick way to tell if you’re eating this way is to look at your grocery basket next time you’re at the store,” she tells us. “Is most of it healthy with only a few ‘treat’ items, or is there more bad than good in the basket? Practicing this rule is really helpful for keeping people on track with their eating plan long-term because it still allows room for the foods everyone loves.”
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. “Had a bad meal today?” Ketchum asks. “It’s okay. Accept it, and move on immediately with your healthy eating plan…many times people feel guilty after one ‘bad’ meal and then give up for the rest of the day. It then becomes a challenge to get back on track, and that one bad day quickly becomes several days and weeks. One bad meal won’t ruin your whole diet so if it happens, move on and get right back on track.”
4. Plan, plan, plan! “Most nutritionists pretty much always have some kind of food and a water bottle in tote. If you keep healthy snacks with you in your car, purse, or lunch bag, it eliminates the burden of depending on whatever is around when hunger hits,” Ketchum notes. “Also, planning out meals and snacks for the week is a great way to stay accountable to eating well and ensure that healthy food is available at all times.”
5. Fill up on fruits and veggies. “Fruit and vegetables are amazing…and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting antioxidants. They also tend to be pretty low in calories (especially veggies!) so are the perfect thing to use to fill up when still feeling hungry,” Ketchum shares.
Kimberly Gomer, registered dietician and educator at Miami’s Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, agrees. “Make this one change to your diet, and you will see huge results: Eat eight servings of vegetables (one serving = one cup raw or half-cup cooked) and eat five servings of fruit every day,” Gomer says. As well, she offers additional tips to eat healthier and shed pounds, including:
6. Write down everything you eat and drink for two weeks.
7. Be extra, extra careful to not add any fat to your food, Gomer advises. “Fat is sneaky, and it will put on weight better than any other food!”
8. Don’t multi-task when you eat—“no eating while you are reading, on the computer, watching TV, or driving,” Gomer goes on.
9. As well, “slow down your eating. It takes 15-20 minutes for your stomach to signal you brain that you’ve had enough—use chopsticks or your non-dominant hand to eat,” she adds.
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