One of my goals this year was to eat healthier and look at food as fuel for a healthy body. I’ve tried crash diets in the past and they don’t work! Not only do they slow down your metabolism, you’ll be unhappy (and hungry), and you’ll most likely gain the weight back after the crash diet.
This time around I didn’t want to strict dietary limitations or to deprive myself from food I love. Instead I wanted to educate myself because our bodies run on a variety of foods and you can enjoy sweets and alcohol, but in moderation. I want to work on a healthier lifestyle, not skinny, I want this to lead to a long term healthy lifestyle. My boyfriend makes it a priority to eat healthy and exercise even with his busy schedule. He motivates me to eat better, work out harder, and he doesn’t let me slack when we work out together (I tried 😂)! He offered to put together a few tips and idea to help me work towards my goal and I wanted to share it with you guys!
1. Don’t skip breakfast – breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism for the day ahead. Try to eat something every day and combine a good source of protein such as eggs, cottage cheese (unflavored, low fat), greek yogurt (unflavored, low fat) with a good source of carbs (bread, fruits, etc.)
2. Snacks are your friend – whenever you feel hungry, don’t reach for the pastry or the cookie. Try to substitute a good protein or a good fat source instead. Remember, your body is a machine first and foremost. It needs good building blocks to grow stronger. Carbs from sweets that aren’t broken down are converted to fats that get stored in the problem areas. Protein sources are used to build muscle. But remember, everything in moderation, even the protein you don’t use can get broken down and stored as fat if you’re not careful. 2-3 snacks per day
3. If trying to lose weight, carbs are your worst enemy – the easiest thing to do if you’re trying to lose weight is to cut down on sugary drinks first. This includes sodas, fruit juices, and most importantly for the adult crowd, sweet alcoholic beverages. If you love your sweet drinks, try to cut down to no more than one or two drinks 3 times per week and work down from there. When drinking, try not to have more than 2 mixed drinks at a time and after switch with something less sweet to cut down the carb intake during your outing (Gin and Tonic, Low carb beer, vodka soda, etc)
4. Three meals a day is a fact of life – as above, breakfast should be your main meal of the day in terms of carbs. Lunch should be large enough to sustain you throughout the rest of the day. Dinner should be light. Try not to eat anything within 2 hours of your bedtime and don’t eat something and immediately lie down to sleep (gives you heartburn).
5. Protein with every meal is a must!
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- Protein sources
. Lean meats (chicken breast, salmon, tilapia, tuna, cod, some steaks)
2. Dairy – should be low fat (4% or less, preferably 2% or fat free); cottage cheese, Greek yogurts.
- Some yogurts and cottage cheeses are flavored so they are high in carbs; try to avoid anything over 20 grams of carbs per serving when eating these.
- The best thing to do is buy plain yogurt and cottage cheese and add fruits and granola for flavoring (I like berries, grapes, and oranges)
3. Lunch meats – lean turkey is the best; the problem with these is that they are high in sodium which make you thirsty after; try to limit these as much as possible.
- Carb Sources
Rule # 1 EAT THE MAJORITY OF YOUR DAILY CARBS IN THE MORNING – this gives you energy throughout the day.
2. Bread – eat whole grain or mixed grains; have a lot of fiber and make you feel full and help with digestion; there are breads that are low carb which can satisfy your need for bread while also keeping things healthy.
3. Fruits – 4 to 5 servings per day is recommended, but like all things, if you are trying to cut weight and limit carbs, they can add an unnecessary source of sugars if eaten in excess. Apples and bananas are good at keeping you full and aiding with digestion. Fruits that are excessively sweet give you an extra source of sugars and carbs. Try to limit these. STAY AWAY FROM FRUIT JUICES – don’t provide anything but minimal amount of vitamins and high carb/sugar content. Eat the fruit instead.
4. Vegetables – again, 4 to 5 servings per day. Try to incorporate vegetables during every meal if possible. The more colorful the better; that way you get all your necessary vitamins from fruits. They are a good source of nutrients and are themselves carbohydrates with a lot of fiber in them. They can serve as a side next to your lean protein by themselves or they can be an addition to your main side (below)
5. Potatoes – great source of carbs but very high in carbs as they are only starches. Can fill you up but not for a long time and will make you crave carbs sooner. Try to bake them or if you must, pan fry them with a little bit of oil
6. Rice – great source of carbs. Wild rice is the best as it is more difficult for the body to break down so it will use more energy to metabolize it. Brown rice is also great. Stay away from white rice. Limit how much you consume to no more than 3 times per week for one meal
7. Pasta – everyone loves it. It tastes great and makes you feel good. The problem is that it is just flower and water so a lot of carbs. Whole wheat is great but you may not like the taste. If you incorporate it into your diet frequently, try to cut down how much you consume and add a side of vegetables to make up for what you take away in terms of pasta.
8. Nontraditional carb sources – quinoa, black beans, lentils, peas. A lot of these are high in protein as well with a good source of carbs. They keep you very full. Try to incorporate one of these into your diet a few times per week
ou need them. No way around it. The trick is to eat “good fats.” The Mediterranean diet is the best example. Try to utilize olive or cannola oil whenever you cook. This is the easiest way to cut down on fat consumption and to get good fats into your diet. Fish such as salmon and tuna are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are good for heart health as well.
2. Snacks such as almonds and walnuts are great to keep you full. They have a good source of protein and fats as well. Peanut butter/almond butter is great as well but get one without flavoring (for low carbs).
Good source of calcium but are very high in fats. If they are sweetened, they add an unnecessary source of sugar as well. If you love dairy and need it in your diet, try to eat “low fat” or “fat free” dairy sources. Limit intake to 1 dairy source per day.
I hope this helps you if you’re trying to change the way you look at food or just make healthier choices! You can shop this look on the liketkit app!
Thanks for stopping by! Xo, B!