With the holidays officially behind us, comes the daunting task of getting back on track with a diet and exercise plan. After all, summer is just a few months away.
Unfortunately, many of us will seek out quick weight loss results or instant medical treatments based on fad diet practices, gimmicks and over the counter aides and supplements. After all the lure of a quick and easy fix for weight loss or medical control is hard to resist.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) defines “food fads” as “unreasonable or exaggerated beliefs that eating, or not eating specific foods, nutrient supplements or combinations of foods may cure disease, convey special health benefits or offer quick weight loss.” For National Nutrition Month® 2007, the ADA encourages consumers to go 100% fad-free and achieve lifelong success by following these tips:
Develop a Plan for Lifelong Health
Map out a plan of action for the day, week month and beyond. Eat an overall healthy diet including a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, fish, legumes, poultry, and lean meats.
Look at the Big Picture
Remember, a single food or meal doesn’t make or break a healthy diet. When consumed in moderation in the right portion size, all foods can fit into a healthful diet.
Balance Food and Physical Activity
Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness plus it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Achieve a healthy body weight by matching calorie consumption with expended energy, including modifications for weight loss when necessary to maintain or restore good health.
Food and nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on your health and well-being, as well as your wallet. Registered Dietitians are uniquely qualified to communicate current and emerging science-based nutrition information and are an instrumental part of developing a diet plan that is unique to your particular needs.
Part of a successful plan includes pre-planning your daily meals and snacks. Just as we plan to get to work, complete projects or pick up the kids, it is equally as important to record what, and when we will include for meals and snacks.
I find for myself and my clients that this daily forecast can help to keep you focused.
Snacks On The Go
In order to stay on track it is important to eat every 3-4 hours, this will help to keep your blood glucose stable and in turn reduce hunger. Pair together about one once of lean protein or good fat such as nuts, with one serving of carbohydrate, such as a piece of fruit, a cup of low carb yogurt, or a slice of high fiber whole wheat bread. Plan these “treats” in advance and be careful not to turn snacks into meals. Be sure to include 5 – 8oz glasses of water each day. Here are some healthy snack ideas, approximately 125 calories each:
- A portion of fruit with low fat cheese or nuts
- Sliced vegetables and low fat dip
- A bowl of vegetable soup with a whole wheat cracker and a piece of string cheese
- Low fat reduced sugar yogurt topped with about 6 – 8 slivered almonds
- Baked apple with ¼ cup cottage cheese
- Protein bar that contains about 7gms of protein and about 15gms of carbohydrate
- Half a pita stuffed with 1-2 ounces of lean protein and plenty of chopped vegetables
- Marinate 3-4 large Portobello mushrooms in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Grill in advance and enjoy during the week, serve cold topped with feta cheese, chopped tomatoes, and black olives.