By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
I generally practice what I preach: My diet is high in fruits and vegetables, pretty much all my grains are whole, fish is my primary high-protein food… you get the picture. Fortunately, I like these healthy foods, so none of this is a sacrifice, but I also like some very fattening and/or unhealthy foods—and I’m not willing to give them up.
How can you have your cake and stay trim, too? Here’s how I do it. Feel free to use these tricks or tweak them so that you can come up with your own creative ways to enjoy less-than-stellar fare without packing on pounds.
Just remember one ground rule: Your diet should be nutritious and you should stick to at a calorie level that keeps you at a healthy weight. (Of course, getting regular exercise helps a lot.) Once you’ve nailed that—at least most of the time—you should be able to use my indulging tips!
- Don’t be in calorie denial. Know just how many calories are in your favorite treats, or in that extra slice of pepperoni pizza, or whatever it is you’re indulging in.
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Eat a diet full of color
Fruits and vegetables are packed with ﬁber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and are very low in calories. They help keep you satisﬁed longer, and are a great snack and can be eaten with every meal.
Eat regular meals
Eating meals throughout the day will help keep your metabolism stable as well as burn-ing calories all day long. When we don’t eat for an extended amount of time it actually inhibits calorie burning. Take mom’s advice to heart and be sure to have breakfast in the morning! Make sure and eat your 3 meals a day, but also sneak in some healthy snacks to keep your body going!
Give your stomach time to catch up
Many of us grew up being told not to snack before dinner as we would ruin our appe-tite. In actuality, having snacks can help prevent you from overeating. It takes our bod-ies 10-15 minutes to realize we’ve had enough to eat. Because of this delay, it is very easy to eat more than what our bodies actually need, leaving us feeling overstuffed. When eating at home watch your portions. When eating out at restaurants share your entrees as they typically serve larger portions. Go ahead, spoil your dinner with some snacks.
Eat whole fresh foods
In order for foods to last on our shelves in the grocery store they are ﬁlled with preservatives, which in turn deplete the nutrients and vitamins originally found in those foods. When possible, purchase fresh foods and avoid pre-packaged and convenient fast food, as these types of food are typically higher in calories, fat, and sodium.
Our bodies were not meant to sit behind a desk all day long. We need daily exercise to beneﬁt our overall health and especially to strengthen all our muscles including our heart. Exercise can also help you sleep better and improve your mood, so whether a high impact workout at the gym or a stroll through the neighborhood, hit the pavement and give yourself the optimal reward.
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