Like Batman and Robin, Sonny and Cher, Bert and Ernie, Diet AND Exercise will forever be linked when it comes to designing a successful weight loss program and living a healthy lifestyle. We have previously discussed different ways for you to kick start your fitness programs and even gave you some great Pilates moves you can practice independently at home. Since what you eat is just as important as how you exercise here are some nutritional tips you should also find helpful.
When it comes to food, quality is more important than quantity. In other words what you eat is more important that how much, or how little, you eat. Try to limit the intake of foods that are refined, processed or with little nutrient content especially foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Studies have shown that if you eliminate two cans of soda a day for a year you can lose one pound a week even if you make no other changes to your diet. That’s over 50 pounds a year just by curbing your soda intake.
Calories are not the most important indicator of a healthy diet. While most diet plans will talk about the “Calories In vs Calories Out” as the easiest way to lose weight that is not always the case. Just because some foods are low in calories does not mean they are healthy for you. That brings us back to the point that the quality of the food you eat is more important than how much of it you eat.
Eating carbs can still be good for you. Carbohydrate based foods that are high in whole grain are an integral part of a healthy eating plan. Foods such as whole grain breads, whole-wheat pasta, or brown rice pasta, quinoa, brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables can be beneficial in the fight against diabetes and heart disease. Stay away from carbs that are quickly digested and increase your blood sugar and insulin levels such as white breads, white rice, desserts, and sugar-sweetened drinks.
Starting a healthy eating plan should be viewed much in the same way as starting a new exercise program is – small steps over time. Try to set small goals that you know you will be able to achieve. Thinking of it as making a change for a healthier eating plan and NOT a diet will be important for long-term success.
Christa Gurka, MSPT