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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tips for Eating Well

Many people, and I used to be included in this group, do not realize that the key to becoming fit, losing weight and being healthy is mainly what you eat not what you do.  Yes, exercise is important for many reasons, but if you aren't eating well exercise alone won't change your body.  If you are very overweight, yes, adding exercise alone will help you to shed some unwanted pounds but to really change your body you must eat well!  Remember that when I say the word diet I am referring to your long term consumption of healthy foods, not a short term calorie restriction or fad-diet.  Here are my tips for changing your eating habits and helping you on your way to a fitter, healthier you!

Tip #1. Eat Whole Foods

Whole foods only have one ingredient.  Eggs. Chicken. Spinach. Almonds. Oatmeal. Make the majority of foods in your diet whole foods.

Tip #2. Cut Back on Sugar (Waaay Back!)

Sugar is in so many foods: pasta sauce, granola bars, breakfast cereal, and crackers to name a few.  Not to mention all the chocolate, cookies, ice cream and or other treats we eat on a regular basis. However if you follow Tip #1 you will automatically eliminate a ton of sugar from your diet!  Also, don't forget that foods like bread (unless it's high quality whole grain bread, I suggest Food for Life sprouted grain bread- they even have gluten free!), pasta, crackers, white rice, white potatoes and even many fruits are just the same as eating table sugar and will convert to fat if not immediately used as energy.  If you have a sweet tooth I recommend low glycemic fruits such as apples or berries that will take longer to digest and keep you feeling full longer and keep you from crashing.

Tip #3 Spice it Up

Let's face it,  plain chicken, rice, and broccoli can be a little boring.  Adding flavor to your food will make it more enjoyable and have you going back for more!  Turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, and ginger are all full of health benefits beyond taste and are wonderful choices.  Scope out the seasoning isle, but beware of ingredients, many pre-made seasoning blends contain sugar.  Plus, many vegetables are full of flavor and great with many dishes. Try red onion, bell peppers, kale, zucchini, or radishes! 

Tip #4 Feed the Whole Family

I often hear other parents complain that they don't want to have to make two separate meals for themselves and their children.  My answer?  Don't!  Why wouldn't you want to teach your children how to nourish their bodies with healthy foods?  They don't need that mac-n-cheese any more than you do.  Feed your whole family well and when your children grow up they won't have to break the cycle of poor eating habits!

Tip #5 Have a Treat Meal

No one should eliminate all the things they love completely out of their diet.  We just wouldn't stick to it long term.  Do you love gooey cheesy lasagna?  Pie?  Donuts?  Double cheeseburgers and fries?  Yeah, me too!  So, treat yourself!  A good guideline is one treat meal (aka cheat meal, or free meal) per week.  The big catch here?  Plan it!  If you know that on Friday night you get to have pizza and a coke you'll be motivated to eat well all week long so you can enjoy that meal, guilt free!

Skill PT offers custom nutrition programs with all personal training packages to help you learn the skills to fuel your body, and take control of your health and fitness!  Check out more about me and Skill PT on our website, SkillPT.com or text or call me today for your FREE consultation! 801-201-2165

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