Don’t eat after 7PM. Avoid Fats. Don’t Eat Chocolate. Etc., etc., etc. You’ve heard them all before, the “rules” to healthy eating. Well we here at Healthy Fit believe that some rules are just made to be broken! Check out some of our new and improved rules for healthy eating!
Don’t Save Your Calories for the Evening Hours.
Chances are, there’s more than one of you reading this right now who skips breakfast, eats a small salad for lunch, and then comes home and eats a large dinner, dessert, and possibly another snack before bed. You know why you’re blowing your control when you get home? Because of you’re hungry! Studies have shown when people ate three meals a day only 13% binged. When people skipped breakfast, 24% binged and when people skipped breakfast and lunch, 60% binged. Solution: Eat smaller meals, more balanced meals all day long. For example 5 or 6 300-400 calorie meals.
Fat is not always a bad thing.
Yes, there is such a thing as “healthy fats.” Healthy fats, or unsaturated fats, actually have several benefits:
- They provide energy in the form of calories.
- They help our bodies absorb importune vitamins such as A, D, and E.
- They make food more favorable.
- They help us feel full.
- They help children’s growth and development.
Healthy fats are found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Eaten in the right amounts, these fats can be good for you. What we don’t need in our diet is saturated fats or trans fats. These types of fats can be found in butter, shortening, and deep fried foods, among others Also, be cautious of all those “Fat Free” products out there. Many times, just because that carton of ice cream is fat free, doesn’t mean it’s not full of empty calories.
You don’t have to cut out all carbs.
For years, due to popular diet fads like Atkins and The South Beach diet, many of us have been led to believe that all carbs are evil. Much like fat, the good carbs have been lumped in with the bad. As a matter of fact, carbohydrates provide the body with the fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function.
The general rule to follow is to avoid carbs stemming from sugar and starches, but you have don’t cut out fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains (in proper portions). One more tip, with whole grain breads, pasta and rice, make sure that whole wheat or another whole grain is the first ingredient listed.
Indulge a little, once in awhile.
Eating healthier doesn’t mean making yourself miserable, Indulging every once in a while can actually satiate cravings. Just make sure you’re not eating brownies and drinking a couple of glasses of wine every day. Set a limit, stick to that limit, and give yourself a small treat once in awhile.
Some general tips to avoid binging while treating yourself:
- Never eat directly from the bag, carton, etc. Instead, take out a serving and put it in a bowl.
- Savor it. Try to take your time between each small bite.
You can go out to eat.
In general, preparing your meals at home is healthier, because you have total control over all of the ingredients and how much you put on your plate. However, this doesn’t mean you can go out to dinner with friends either. A few things to do before you go though:
- Check out the restaurant’s Website and their menu first, so you can decide what to get before you go. A lot of times, you can also do a search for the nutritional facts for each dish to help you make the right choice. Even for those restaurants who don’t list their nutritional information, you can often find the “average” amount of calories, fat, carbs, etc in a chicken salad sandwich, or whatever you’re ordering.
- If the restaurant serves large portions, ask for half of it to be boxed before it’s served.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the server how a meal is prepared. For example, some veggie sides seem healthy, but may actually be smothered in butter. If so, ask them to refrain from doing so, and add touch of salt and pepper instead.