Tips to eat healthy and los­ing weight

Lesotho Times - - Health -

NU­TRI­TION is a hot topic these days, yet many still strug­gle with con­sis­tently fol­low­ing through with “the ba­sics,” and the stats show that miss­ing the mark on many healthy habits is the norm. For ex­am­ple, the me­dian daily in­take of pro­duce for adults is 1.1 serv­ings of fruit and 1.6 serv­ings of veg­gies, far be­low the min­i­mum rec­om­mended five daily serv­ings.

If you’re go­ing to set just one goal for 2015, eating more pro­duce should be it. You’ve heard them be­fore, but they are with­out a doubt the most tried-and-true, im­pact­ful eating habits you can fos­ter — both for your waist­line and your health. And de­spite know­ing them, you may not be achiev­ing them, so they’re worth con­sid­er­ing as you choose your res­o­lu­tions.

If tak­ing them all on at once seems over­whelm­ing, try a “steplad­der” ap­proach: Fo­cus on one change un­til it feels like a nor­mal part of your daily rou­tine, then add another, and another. Some­times tak­ing it slow ups the chances that be­hav­iours will stick, so come De­cem­ber 2015, you’ll be cel­e­brat­ing a year of ac­com­plish­ments.

Eat pro­duce at ev­ery meal There are nu­mer­ous ben­e­fits to mak­ing pro­duce a main at­trac­tion at meal­time. In ad­di­tion to up­ping your in­take of vi­ta­mins, min­er­als, an­tiox­i­dants, and fi­bre, eating at least five serv­ings a day is tied to a lower risk of chronic dis­eases, in­clud­ing heart dis­ease, stroke, and cer­tain can­cers.

Fruits and veg­gies also help dis­place foods that pack more calo­ries per bite, a plus if you’re try­ing to lose weight. For ex­am­ple, one cup of non-starchy veg­eta­bles con­tains about 25 calo­ries, com­pared to 200 in a cup of cooked pasta. And reach­ing for a medium-sized pear in place of a hand­ful of chips, crack­ers, or cook­ies can slash any­where from 50 to 200 calo­ries.

How to do it: A good rule of thumb is to in­clude a serv­ing of fruit in each break­fast and snack, and two serv­ings of veg­gies in ev­ery lunch and din­ner. One serv­ing is 1 cup fresh, about the size of a ten­nis ball. Whip fruit into a smoothie, add it to oat­meal or yo­gurt, or just bite right in.

Make wa­ter your bev­er­age of

choice You’ve heard about the un­wanted ef­fects of drink­ing both reg­u­lar and diet soda, but you may not be aware of some of the ben­e­fits of drink­ing more H2O. Ac­cord­ing to a study in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nu­tri­tion, peo­ple who get much of their daily fluid in­take from plain wa­ter tend to have health­ier di­ets over­all, in­clud­ing more fi­bre, less sugar, and fewer high-calo­rie foods.

And in ad­di­tion to hy­drat­ing you, wa­ter may be a help­ful weight loss aid, by curb­ing ap­petite and boost- ing me­tab­o­lism. One study found that peo­ple who drank about seven cups of wa­ter a day, ate nearly 200 fewer daily calo­ries com­pared to those who gulped less than one glass.

Another found that when adults drank 2 cups of wa­ter right be­fore eating a meal they ate be­tween 75 and 90 fewer calo­ries. And a Ger­man study con­cluded that con­sum­ing 16-ounces of wa­ter upped calo­rie burn­ing by 30 per­cent within 10 min­utes, an ef­fect that was sus­tained for more than an hour.

How to do it: Reach for 16 ounces (2 cups) of wa­ter four times a day. And if you dis­like the taste of plain H2O, spruce it up. Add wedges of lemon or lime, fresh mint leaves, cu­cum­ber slices, fresh grated gin­ger or or­ganic cit­rus zest, or a bit of mashed juicy fruit, like berries or tan­ger­ine wedges.

Choose whole-food starches Peo­ple are eating far too many re­fined grains, in­clud­ing white ver­sions of bread, pasta, rice, crack­ers and pret­zels, in ad­di­tion to baked goods and ce­re­als made with re­fined starch.

The in­take of whole grains, like brown rice, whole wheat, and quinoa is on the rise, yet the av­er­age in­take of whole grains is less than one serv­ing a day. Re­search shows that a higher whole grain in­take is tied to a lower risk of heart dis­ease, stroke, cancer, di­a­betes, and obe­sity.

The lat­ter may be be­cause whole grains are fill­ing: Their fi­bre helps de­lay stom­ach emp­ty­ing, which keeps you fuller longer, de­lays the re­turn of hunger, and helps reg­u­late blood sugar and in­sulin lev­els, which are tied to ap­petite reg­u­la­tion.

In 2015, strive to re­place re­fined grains — which have been stripped of their fi­bre and nat­u­ral nu­tri­ents — with 100 per­cent whole grain op­tions (in­clud­ing gluten-free va­ri­eties if you need to or pre­fer to go gluten-free). Or choose non-grain nu­tri­ent-rich starches, such as skin-on pota­toes, root veg­eta­bles, squash, beans, and lentils.

If weight loss is a goal, mod­er­ate your por­tions rather than cut­ting out carbs al­to­gether so you don’t miss out on the nu­tri­ents and sus­tained en­ergy they pro­vide, which are im­por­tant for en­hanc­ing mood and ex­er­cise en­durance, two other keys to suc­cess­fully shed­ding pounds.

How to do it: Aim for just one to two serv­ings of whole food starch in each meal, more if you’re more ac­tive, less if you’re less ac­tive. Great choices in­clude oats or a puffed whole grain ce­real at break­fast, quinoa or chick­peas in a salad at lunch, and sweet potato, squash, lentils, or wild rice at din­ner. One serv­ing is gen­er­ally a half-cup of a cooked starch, or the serv­ing stated on the nu­tri­tion la­bel for pack­aged foods.

Bud­get your sugar in­take In all my years coun­sel­ing clients, I’ve found that for most peo­ple, mod­er­a­tion works bet­ter than de­pri­va­tion. Cur­rently, the av­er­age Amer­i­can takes in a whop­ping 22 tea­spoons of added sugar each day. Added sugar doesn’t in­clude the type put in foods by Mother Na­ture (like the sugar in fruit) but rather the kind added to foods, like sweet­ened yo­gurt, or the sugar you spoon into your cof­fee.

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion, the daily tar­get for added sugar should be no more than 6 level tea­spoons for women, and 9 for men — that’s for both food and beverages com­bined. It’s strict, but the tar­get isn’t zero, which means you don’t need to ban­ish sugar com­pletely.

Al­low­ing your­self some of the sweet stuff can be a help­ful way to

Be­come more mind­ful One of the most pow­er­ful res­o­lu­tions you can make for 2015 is to work on rais­ing your eating aware­ness, which in­cludes tun­ing into hunger and full­ness cues, as well as slow­ing your eating pace, and iden­ti­fy­ing non-phys­i­cal eating trig­gers (bore­dom, habit, or a bad day). Pay­ing at­ten­tion to body sig­nals has been shown to be as ef­fec­tive as a for­mal class for weight loss. And slow­ing down your eating can nat­u­rally help you eat less while feel­ing more sat­is­fied.

One Univer­sity of Rhode Is­land study found that fast eaters downed more than 3 ounces of food per minute, com­pared to 2.5 ounces for medium-speed eaters, and 2 for slow eaters. Fi­nally, be­com­ing more mind­ful can also help you re­al­ize when you’re drawn to food even though you’re not phys­i­cally hun­gry, which can help you ad­dress your emo­tional needs in non-food ways.

How to do it: To hone your mind­ful­ness skills, start keep­ing a food jour­nal to record not just what and how much you eat, but also your de­grees of hunger and full­ness be­fore and af­ter meals, as well as any emo­tional notes, such as crav­ing some­thing crunchy be­cause you feel an­gry, or want­ing to eat while watch­ing TV. — CNN

Wa­ter should be your num­ber one drink of choice, this helps with di­ges­tion and curbs your ap­petite.

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