Some general nutrition principles to optimize health:
-Limit refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, rice. Get more nutritional bang for your buck by replacing these foods with whole grain options. Look for at least three grams of fiber per serving.
-For weight loss, avoid all carbohydrates at dinner. Carbohydrates give us energy, which we don’t need when we sleep. This can be an easy switch eliminating a lot of unneeded extra calories.
-Avoid sugary foods or products with added sugar (read food labels). Honey, agave, coconut sugar, and many other “healthier” sugars are still sugar. Sugary foods cause inflammation and wreak havoc on blood sugar levels.
-Emphasize lean proteins like lean beef, chicken, fish, pork, grilled seafood, Greek yogurt.
-Be mindful of portions. Meeting with a nutritionist can be helpful to determine your individual needs and appropriate portions for your body type, routine, and goals.
-Increase your vegetable intake. At least half of your plate should consist of vegetables. Look for a variety of veggies so you don’t get bored. Experiment with ways to cook them, like steamed, roasted in the oven, grilled, etc.
-Select more plant based, heart healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil.
-Stay hydrated. Divide your body weight by two.. that is the accurate amount of fluid requirement for your weight. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds you should have 60 ounces of fluid daily. Try naturally flavored sparkling waters for variety, like La Croix and Perrier, in addition to many others readily available at supermarkets, that have no added sugar, no calories, and no artificial sweeteners.
-The best diet advice—don’t diet. We should enjoy all the foods we love. Make healthy choices most of the time, and allow yourself the occasional indulgence without the guilt.
Setting smaller, realistic, achievable goals will help to keep you more motivated in the new year.
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