10 Best! Rules for healthy eating in 2011
Jill Coleman, a Wake Forest graduate, has a master's degree in nutrition. Coleman's passion is helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle through exercise and proper nutrition.
Jill Coleman is a fitness professional in every sense of the word. A Winston-Salem fitness model, writer, trainer and blogger, Coleman co-authored the "My Gym Trainer" series with LeAura Alderson last year. In the spirit of the holidays, Coleman gifted YES! Weekly a Ten Best for its upcoming New Year's edition — 10 Best rules for eating healthy in 2011.
1. Eat breakfast. Study after study illustrates that those who eat breakfast are significantly more likely weigh less than their fasting counterparts, and are less hungry later in the day. Breakfast turns off stress hormones, which are high upon waking and also revs the metabolism for the day. Eat within an hour of waking if possible.
2. Rather than 3 “square” meals, consume 5-6 smaller meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. This will stabilize blood sugar, prevent cravings and help you feel more full and satisfied.
3. Most small meals should contain a serving of protein and either a fruit or a vegetable. Examples include an apple with peanut butter, a mixed greens salad with chicken, an omelet made with spinach & mushrooms or a protein smoothie made with berries.
4. Choose your starchy carbohydrates wisely. The days of the zero carb diets are long gone, but it remains true that too many carbs or high glycemic index carbs will affect your health and your waistline.
5. Choose carbs that are less processed, such as old fashioned oatmeal instead of sugary oatmeal packets or brown rice instead of white rice. Usually the more white a food is, the more processed it is—instead go for whole grains. One of my favorite starchy carbs is a sweet potato—healthy, nutritious and fat-loss-friendly.
6. Once you have chosen your healthy starchy carbs, try to eat them earlier in the day, with the first 2-3 small meals. Breakfast example: small egg white omelet made with veggies, plus a side of old fashioned oatmeal. Eating your starchy carbs earlier in the day will give you the rest of the day to use them for energy.
7. Count your bites of starchy carbs. Now that you have chosen good ones, have fixed them earlier in the day, now it is time to portion them out. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself 5-10 bites of starchy carbs at a time, depending on how much weight you need to lose. This serving size is equivalent to a medium sweet potato, 1 cup cooked oatmeal or 1 slice of whole wheat bread.
8. Limit processed foods to 2 small meals per day max. These include anything that comes in a box, bag or package like protein bars, etc. The more you consume “real” foods, the more your body will respond by losing inches, shedding water and functioning more optimally.
9. Cheat 10% of the time. It is smart to have one “cheat” every 2 days or so to keep you sane. Savor and plan what you want to have as a cheat treat. Don’t just eat anything anywhere. Love popcorn? Plan your cheat around a movie date? Love a slice of cheesecake? Eat clean at your Saturday night meal and then indulge for dessert. Small cheats every couple days will keep you on track and not feeling deprived.
Try not to eat within 2 hours of bedtime. Eating a huge meal right before bed means you will spend most of your sleeping hours digesting the food, rather than allowing your metabolism to dip into its fat stores for energy throughout the night.
10. Try to minimize beverages that increase hunger later—specifically coffee, sodas and alcohol. If you are a coffee drinker, indulge in a single morning cup and be sure to eat something with it. Try green tea instead. Diet sodas may give you the feeling of eating without the added calories, but may make you hungrier for sweets later. Alcohol is best done in moderation, such as one night per week, and with a 2 drink max. This small indulgence can act as your cheat meal, just remember to skip dessert if you are doing booze.
For further info on Jill Coleman's advice on healthy eating habits, visit: www.jillfit.com.
Posted by Keith T. Barber on 12/23/2010