Sunday, June 15, 2008

Healthy Eating

Today I am in a serious mood. I had my body fat tested this week and it came back higher than it has ever been. I am pretty much lugging around a 50 lb. built in bag of fat with me everywhere I go. On the bright side the fat that was tested came back as high quality lard so at least it is good fat. This recent discovery coupled with the fact that I am turning 40 in a few months has gotten me down a little bit. My problem is that I am now at the point in my life where I would rather lie down than exercise, but I think the real culprit is food.

I like to eat food. I think I know deep inside when I've had enough, but I like to keep eating. I don't know if this is a learned response or hard wired to my nervous system but the whole taste, chew swallow thing can be addicting. I eat when I'm stressed and bored and I eat too much for my activity level. This means I take in more energy than I expend and the result is a softer, cuddlier version of me. I recently noticed that when I stretch and bend to the right or left I can't go as far as I used to. At first I thought it might be a flexibility issue, but then I realized it was an actual physical impediment of too much love handle mass getting in the way.

The hardest thing about what I'm experiencing is the guilt of hypocrisy. I have been certified with the International Sports and Sciences Association, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and the American Council on Exercise. Having been a personal trainer I should know better. So in an effort to have a less depressing 40th birthday this year I am going to start to live by the following healthy eating tips I have compiled over the years. These are just little things but when they are combined they can make a difference. Feel free to apply them in your life if you find yourself in a similar situation.

1. Eat smaller meals and more frequently throughout the day (4-6 meals).
2. Drink at least 8-10 oz. glasses of water every day.
3. Avoid carbonated, caffeinated, and sugar based drinks (pop).
4. Avoid foods prepared in grease and oil. Steam rather than fry foods when possible.
5. Use non fat dairy products like skim milk, non-fat cottage cheese and yogurt.
6 Eat less highly processed foods like white bread and pre-packaged foods.
7. Choose whole grain cereals, breads, and pastas and eat foods high in fiber.
8. Eat all the raw vegetables you want, especially when you feel like snacking.
9. Don't grocery shop on an empty stomach.
10. Get familiar with food labels and watch for the misleading ones.
11. Avoid saturated, hydrogenated, and trans fats. Olive oil is a healthy replacement.
12. Don't snack late at night especially on high carb foods.
13. Use a multi-vitamin to insure you are not deficient in any micro nutrients.
14. Substitute fresh fruit for desserts.
15. Look for lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, or fish. Remove skin from poultry.
16. Replace jam jellies, and syrups with applesauce and fresh fruit toppings.
17. When eating out order a salad and order light dressing on the side.
18. Share large entrees with someone or eat half and take the rest home in a doggy bag.
19. Don't be afraid to ask for substitutions (salad or fruit for fries).
20. Don't confuse thirst, boredom, or stress with hunger.
21. Plan your meals the night before. Healthy eating never happens by accident.
22. Keep track of what you eat each day. Use a nutrition journal like you would a checkbook.
23. Eat a variety of healthy foods. Don't get bored with the same routine everyday.
24. Sit down to eat and enjoy your meals. It's hard to remember what you are eating on the run.
25. Set aside one day a week to eat whatever you want without any guilt.

1 comment:

MikkSolo said...

I'm trying to recommit to eating more healthy and working out more often. So far 8 lbs of fat gone!