The holiday season is approaching, and for many this can be a stressful time of year. No need to worry; you can still enjoy yourself and stay on track with all your health and wellness goals. Here are a few nutrition tips to help keep you feeling healthy and nourished.
Practice eating your meals at a table without TV, a computer screen or phone. It’s easy to mindlessly finish off a bag of chips or box of cookies when distracted. Eating when under stress or in a hurry can disrupt digestion; take your time and enjoy your food. Become aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decision to begin and end eating. Remember to slow down, chew your food and breathe between each bite. Allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love in a balanced and health-supportive way.
Eating balanced meals helps us to feel satisfied by providing our bodies with the nutrients it needs to function. It can also prevent late afternoon or midnight binges that we are prone to when we skip meals or graze on empty calories all day.
A balanced meal consists of vegetables, protein, healthy fats and whole grains/starches. Fill your plate with a variety of vegetables. Include at least one green leafy vegetable and one other color of vegetable with every meal. Include a source of protein such as chicken, fish, tofu, eggs or legumes. A smaller portion of your plate should include a high-fiber whole grain such as brown rice, quinoa or starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash. Choose healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, fatty fish, nuts and seeds.
Limiting added sugar
Excess sugar intake can lead to weight gain and poor energy levels. Sodas, fruit juices, candy, cakes, white bread/pasta and cookies are foods that should be limited or avoided all together if weight loss is one of your health goals.
Add more fiber and nutrient rich vegetables to your diet. Make sure to have a protein source with snacks and meals; this may help curb sugar cravings. If you really are craving something sweet, try a piece of dark chocolate or fresh fruit.
Exercise is crucial for weight management, weight loss and prevention of weight regain. Increasing physical activity can also help reduce diabetes and cardiovascular risk. Aim for at least 30 min of moderate physical activity a day 5 days a week. Many of us lead sedentary lifestyles, which can be a burden on our health. Bottom line: Move more, get your heart rate up and don’t be afraid to break a sweat.
Do you find it hard to manage your diet and keep your meals balanced and portions controlled? You might benefit from a meeting with one of our Nutritionists, Katie and Mariam. Our Nutritionists can give you some great insight into your nutritional needs and create a nutrition plan just for you! We also have a special Nutrition package available that can get you off to a great start. Call us at (504)522-9645 or schedule an appointment to learn more!