There are some simple ways to eat better and keep a healthy weight.
If we want to maintain a healthy weight, we need to cut calories and eat nutrient dense foods. There are some really simple ways to do that without sacrificing the foods that you love. Severe calorie restriction will leave you feeling hungry and tired. While you will likely see results, as soon as you begin to eat “normally” the pounds will come back on.
- Replace sour cream with low-fat Greek yogurt in dips and sauces. You won’t even taste the difference.
- Replace ground beef with ground turkey in recipes like meatloaf and chili.
- Ezekiel bread is made from sprouted grains and makes a good alternative to regular white bread. It tastes great toasted.
- Lettuce works great as a wrap. Try it instead of bread or tortillas.
- Replace soda and sugary drinks with water or fruit-infused water.
- Swap your large plates for smaller ones. It will help with portion control.
Most of us are more likely to reach for unhealthy snacks if we don’t have something healthy on hand to snack on. A little preparation will go a long way! Preparing food ahead of time can mean packing lunches for the entire week, pre-cooking lean meats, parboiling veggies or washing and slicing vegetables as a go-to for a quick, healthy snack. Here are some tips.
- When grocery shopping for the week, choose fresh vegetables and fruit in a variety of colors. Vegetables like string beans and greens can be parboiled and refrigerated. Sautee with garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil for healthy meals later in the week. Other fresh vegetables, like bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, and carrots can be washed and sliced for snacks.
- Chicken can be cooked ahead of time and used throughout the week. Try putting chicken breasts in the crockpot (these can even be cooked from frozen). Cook on high for 6 hours and then shred. It can be used on top of salads, in burritos, spooned on top of an avocado, as a baked potato filling, etc. There are lots of possibilities.
- Hard boil eggs at the beginning of the week. Eggs are packed with protein and make a great snack or part of a meal.
Yes, you can watch what you eat and still enjoy dining out.
- Choose healthy options like chicken or fish and substitute steamed vegetables for fries.
- Drink water instead of alcohol or beverages that are loaded with sugar and empty calories.
- Stay away from fried foods.
Be mindful about what you are eating and when.
- When you are full, stop eating.
- If you must snack while you watch TV at night, almonds or grapes are a healthy alternative to chips or candy. Another option is to skip the late-night TV altogether.
- When packing lunches for kids, it’s tempting to munch along the way. A spoonful of peanut butter here and a slice of turkey there can add up to a lot of calories everywhere.
- People who track what they eat tend to eat less. Try writing it down or use an app to track your food intake.
These few changes to your diet won’t shed a ton of weight but will help contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Small changes are easier to make. Consider making one or two changes to your diet at a time and you are more likely to stick to it.
Angela Fulgieri is the Wellness Experience Director at the Plant City YMCA. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.