Improve Your On-the-Road Eating Habits

Business travel and road trips can prove to include poor eating habits. There are ways, however, to make your meals and trips heart-healthier.

Take Out

One study recently revealed a significantly higher risk of developing atherosclerosis disease amongst business travelers. Atherosclerosis is a slow, steady, clogging of the arteries. The main culprits in this social business diet are large meals mainly consisting of high-fat foods and lots of alcohol.

Being that cardiovascular disease causes over 17 million deaths annually, it behooves us to be aware of what we’re putting in our bodies. Granted, it’s not just poor eating habits that lend to our risk of heart disease. Lack of exercise, sleep and overwhelming amounts of stress also contribute.

Three Courses

The study examined the health effects of three different types of eating plans. One plan was the Mediterranean diet, which consisted of fruits, veggies, fish, legumes, and nuts. Another was the Western diet, which included red and processed meats, dairy products, and refined grains. And the other, the social-business plan, looked a lot like the Western diet but included more unhealthy snacks and excessive amounts of alcohol.

The results were recently published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to fMRI and ultra-sound test results, those who ate the “business” diet revealed a “significantly worse cardiovascular risk profile” than the Mediterranean diet folks.

Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine
Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine

On the Road Again

It can be tough avoiding fast foods when you’re on the road. And sometimes they can seem appealing—until you’re finished with the meal and feel regretful and gross. Here are some tips for making your road trip or business trip healthier overall:

– Drink more water

Drink less sugary beverages and limit alcohol consumption

– Carry around snacks like nuts, low-sugar granola, fruit, and baby carrots

– Avoid red meat; substitute grilled poultry or fish

– Salads are great—keep the dressing healthy and low-fat

– Plan your meal ahead. Figure out when, where, and what, beforehand. With everyone running around, getting “hangry”, you’re bound to make impulsive food decisions.

– If you’re driving, keep a small cooler in the car filled with non-sugary drinks and crunchy raw veggies

– Get good rest. Meetings don’t need to go late into the night. Also, for safety’s sake, you don’t want to be driving when you’re tired. While traveling, “early to bed, early to rise,” is a wise choice.

– Take brisk morning walks. Use hotel swim or gym facilities. Carve out time during the day (even a few minutes) to move your body. Driving and working all day without stretching is awful for your posture (back and neck, too.)

If you’re the kind of person who eats well and lives a healthy lifestyle at home, there’s no reason you can’t continue those behaviors while on the road. Coming home feeling like you need a vacation or a detox isn’t any fun. Safe and restful travels…

How To Lose Belly Fat For Women

What happened to the days where skin used to ping back into shape and eating a burger with fries had little effect on the circumference of the pants?  Sad to say those days are long gone and the reality of shifting the middle jiggle is a living nightmare.  In desperation to return to the leaner side of the tummy bulge, liposuction and even fat freezing has become popular.  However, quick fixes will not change that spare tire without some heavy duty planning and determination. Get ready to tighten that belt and put those high wasted mom jeans back in the closet.  Warning: This belly-off advice may lead to dancing through the veggie isles whilst ignoring and laughing at the candy section.

 

THE DANGERS OF BELLY FAT

Studies show that belly fat has a link to genetics and depending on the body makeup, governs where the weight is stored or lost.  Women going through menopause are also prone to obtaining belly fat, due to the drop in estrogen levels. The fat dispenses from the buttocks and thighs, and it heads straight for the belly.  Visceral is the harmful kind of fat that is stored in the abdomen and wraps itself around the internal organs.  This fat should be taken seriously as it may cause the following problems:

 

 

Levels of a protein called Fibroblast growth factor-2, are found in visceral fat, where the FGF2 has the potential to stimulate these cells into tumors.  According to the Washington University School Of Medicine, belly fat can affect the outcome of women surviving kidney cancer.  Cancer sufferers who have substantial visceral fat have the average survival rate of 3 ½ years, compared to those who had little fat surviving 10 years or more.  There has not been any link of visceral fat and the length of cancer survival in men.

 

CONTROL THE BELLY FAT AND LOWER THE HEALTH RISK

According to research at the Mayo Clinic, a greater risk of death comes from having a large amount of belly fat, rather than a higher BMI (Body Mass Index).  So what to do to control this deadly fat?  First of all, there is no quick fix or fad diet that will solve this condition.  Lifestyle change and determination will not only help eliminate unsightly fat, but the dangerous fat too.

 

The following list will help keep the belly fat at bay:

  • Get rid of sugars. Choose whole fruits not fruit juices and view those fruits as sweet treats.  Eating too much sugar slows down or shuts off the lepton response, encouraging the feel of hunger.
  • Fat intake should consist of natural fats, like low fat plain yogurt, avocado, nuts, and olive oil.
  • Choose leaner proteins like salmon, skinless chicken, tofu, legumes.
  • Stay hydrated with water, to help detox and clear the body, as well as keep hunger under control.
  • Keep stress under control. Our body produces more cortisol when we are stressed and this hormone may influence weight gain.
  • Exercise at least twenty minutes a day can relieve stress, raise the heart rate and help combat the fat.  Try stomach crunches, leg lifts and weights for toning and high impact exercise to raise your heart rate (consult with a doctor or a professional before trying a new form of exercise).  Pilates or yoga are ideal for toning muscles, correcting posture and obtaining core strength.
  • Getting enough shut eye is extremely important, to keep hormones under control. Lack of sleep can activate ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite.
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Eat more soluble fiber like blackberries, avocados, split peas, black bean, lima beans broccoli, Brussel sprouts, oat bran, lentils, peas etc.

 

Vanity aside, belly fat is a potential killer and losing even a small amount of fat can lower the risk of disease and literally leave you feeling lighter.  With an unwavering mindset and strict rules, the spare tire can be lost at the side of the highway while racing away from health hazards to a new healthier and better body.

 

To read more on this subject visit getthrive.com

 

RESOURCES

Harvard Study

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3473928/

Belly Fat Workout

 

 

Are You Having Trouble Losing Fat? Then, You’re Probably Not Eating Enough Protein

How come you’re on a diet and you’re not seeing the spare tire shrink? There can be several possible reasons why. First and foremost, one explanation can be that you’re not eating enough protein. Read on and learn about how to choose and add certain foods to help lose belly fat.

More in the Middle

In general, when people gain weight, the fat gets distributed to all parts of the body. However, certain types of behaviors can cause fat to get disposed, plunk, right in the middle. Stressing out, losing lots of sleep, and eating too much sugar are a few of the culprits.

You may not be terribly overweight. Your legs and arms may be lean, but you can still have belly fat. Those who carry a majority of their weight in the middle are more prone to cardiovascular disease and other dangerous health risks. Hence, it’s time to get rid of the “beer gut.” (By the way, non beer-drinkers can still be prone to growing a larger middle, too.)

One Simple Explanation

Everyone understands that a higher metabolism makes you more efficient at burning calories. That’s why exercise is so important. Many people who workout exhibit a greater metabolic rate. Strength training and muscle-building are also essential to increasing metabolism.

Most noteworthy, protein helps build muscle. If you lose muscle mass, your fat-burning mechanism slows down. Therefore, if you don’t eat enough protein, you’re not going to burn calories as effectively.

There is a terrific list of foods to help lose belly fat.  Of course, they include a gamut of proteins.

Protein Can Satisfy You

The hunger hormone actually increases when we eat carbs and certain fats. Conversely, protein boosts the “feeling satisfied” hormone. If you’re not feeling hungry (and don’t eat), you will take in fewer calories. More protein and fewer calories will keep your tummy and brain happy. And, you’ll begin to lose weight.

In fact, your body burns more calories processing protein than fats or carbs. And, there’s something else to keep in mind if you want to burn and use fat as energy. It needs help from protein and/or complex carbs. (Additionally, FYI, not all carbs are evil.)

Pro-Plant, Pro-Animal, Protein

There’s always the discussion of whether vegetarians are getting enough protein in their diets. Essentially, it will depend on the types of foods vegetarians eat and how often. There is plenty of protein to be found from plant-based sources.

Now remember, protein helps build muscle. Leucine is an element in protein, which assists with muscle-building. Leucine levels in plants are much lower than in animal protein. So, if you’re a bit older and finding it harder to build muscle, you may opt for the animal protein in this case.

Regardless, both plants and animals can provide the protein in the foods to help lose belly fat. Here is a list of many scrumptious items you can add to your diet:

Animal/Fish Protein Options

  • Turkey, 4 ounces @ 28 gm protein. It also contains tryptophan, which increases serotonin levels. Good food, good mood.
  • Pork, 4 ounces @ 24 gm. It’s a lean white meat.
  • Chicken, 3 ounces, 24 gm. Free range is the best.
  • Bison, 4 ounces, 23 gm. No easy to find, but worth the search.
  • Grass-fed beef, 4 ounces, 26 gm. Eat moderately as it can be high in fat.
  • Ostrich, 4 ounces, 26 gm. A lean, high-protein option. What’s a good recipe?
  • Wild Salmon, 4 ounces, 28 gm. High in omega-3 good fats.
  • Halibut, 4 ounces, 30 gm. Lean and simple to prepare.
  • Tuna, 4 ounces, 30 gm. Fresh, wild, or flash frozen. Canned is OK too, just a little less protein. Also, beware of added salt or oil.
  • Eggs, 1, 8 gm. Get cage-free. Most of the protein lies in the white, but don’t be afraid of the yellow. Contrary to past reports, the yolk, eaten in moderation, is healthy and a plentiful source of vitamin K2 and other nutrients.

Plant-Based Protein Options

  • Spinach, 1 cup cooked, 5 gm protein. Excellent as a nutritious dark, leafy green.
  • Artichoke, 1 medium-sized, 5 gm.
  • Peas, 1 cup, 8 gm. Pea protein is also fantastic as a powdered supplement in smoothies.
  • Beans, ½ cup, @8 gm. There are a variety of beans from which to choose—all high in protein and fiber.
  • Lentils, 1 cup, 18 gm. Great for soup.
  • Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons, 7 gm. All nut butters are a fine source of protein. Just make sure they do not have added sugar.
  • Greek yogurt, 4 ounces, 10gm. Again, beware of added sugar.
  • Sun dried tomatoes, 1 cup, 6 gm. Yummy in pasta dishes and salads.
  • Chia seeds, 1 ounce, 5 gm. Many types of seeds are a decent source of protein and contain other nutritional elements. Eat in moderation.
  • Almonds, cashews, 1 ounce, 6 gm. Nuts are great, some more beneficial than others. They’re a source of good fat—just don’t overdo it.

Clearly, this list of foods to help lose belly fat is just a selection of favorites. There are many other plant- and animal-based sources of protein discoverable at your local farm or market.

Please join us and enjoy other informative wellness articles on GetThrive today !

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-protein-can-help-you-lose-weight

http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/5-reasons-why-protein-is-good-for-weight-loss/

www.brokenbrain.com

http://www.eatthis.com/best-ever-proteins-for-weight-loss/

 

Magnesium for Sleep May Finally Get You the Rest You Need

Forty percent of Americans claim they suffer from insomnia. Within that number, there is a large percentage of people who regularly have trouble sleeping. Alas, a natural supplement may just be the ticket you need to slumber throughout the night. As a result, magnesium for sleep may help your body and mind get the rest it needs.

Tic, Tock, Tic, Tock…Why Can’t I sleep?

There are many reasons why someone may experience insomnia. Some of the most prevalent are:

  • Anxiety from day-to-day concerns
  • Chronic stress from emotional trauma
  • Clinical depression
  • Physical Pain
  • Too much caffeine
  • Alcohol use
  • Medications
  • Eating too late or too much

In addition, another significant factor is an imbalance. The imbalance lies in our internal clock. You may need more magnesium. Seems like a magnesium deficiency can be the cause for this imbalance.

 

How Does Magnesium Fit in?

Our internal clock manages our sleep-wake cycles. This timekeeper is also called the circadian clock. Each person has his/her own internal rhythm. Hence, this is the reason why some people are early birds. And, others are night owls, for example.

The University of Edinburgh published the results of a study. The focus was on magnesium levels in human cells. It was discovered that the level in cells went up and down over a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. Also, it appeared that higher levels of magnesium improved cellular function. The circadian clock became more balanced.

With lower levels of magnesium, cells are unable to process energy with optimum efficiency. The amount of the element found in our cells is linked to how and when we burn energy. Most notably, it directly relates to our sleep-wake cycles. Then, it follows that it would be beneficial to have a plentiful amount of magnesium for sleep.

 

What’s the Best Way to Get Magnesium?

The best way to get any vitamin, nutrient, mineral, or element into your body is through a natural food source. Here are some suggestions:

 

  • Spinach and other leafy greens can contain almost 40% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for magnesium

 

 

  • Black beans contain 20% of the RDI

 

  • Almonds, cashews, and brazil nuts contain 15% of the RDI

 

  • Bananas, fatty fish, and some whole grains contain approximately 10% of the RDI for magnesium

 

Now to Get to Sleep…

Another common way to get the magnesium your body needs is through supplementation. The National Institutes of Health currently recommends approximately 320 mg a day for women over the age of 30. However, dosage can vary.

Always check with your health care provider before taking supplements. If you’re on any type of medications, certain vitamins and minerals can interfere with absorption or create side effects.

When choosing supplements (and food), try to shop organic. The quality will make a difference. As for magnesium for sleep, there are also teas available to help soothe and assist with a restful night.

In conclusion, our cells require magnesium. We especially need it to balance our sleep-wake cycles. Getting the amount you need from food, pill or liquid supplements, or even tea will help get your internal clock back into tip-top shape. Sweet dreams!

Check out Get Thrive! for more articles on sleep, supplements, and best health practices.

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Sources:

https://www.thepaleomom.com/regulating-circadian-rhythm/

http://www.medicaldaily.com/digestive-health-magnesium-levels-circadian-rhythm-increase-metabolism-sleep-381973

https://getthrive.com/the-powerful-effects-of-magnesium-for-sleep-problems/

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/rm-quiz-insomnia

http://isha.sadhguru.org/us-en/insomnia/?gclid=CjwKCAiA47DTBRAUEiwA4luU2Wlo65WBWABQSMa_E53ORbNYRmALLJCByVxjSOahapoKpuq-c0W16hoCCIgQAvD_BwE

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-foods-high-in-magnesium#section7

Are You Guilty of Over-Eating? (Or Just Want to Get Rid of Belly Fat?)

Are you just done with that roll around your waist?  Do you want to get rid of belly fat even more than that awful 8th grade class picture hanging on your mom’s wall?  You’re not alone. You may not be able to replace that photo, but you definitely can shed some pounds and create a better picture for today and for your future.

A Little of This, A Little More Fat

As the new year brings excitement, it also introduces more stress.  Most of us will make an honest attempt to choose healthier behaviors when it comes to food and drink. The problem is that office parties, nights out with friends, or just the end of a long day invites cheating.  This is where over-eating, and, hence, belly fat starts to sneak in.

Unfortunately, stress often wins and then the resolve to eat less (or more nutritiously) takes a secondary position to enjoyment.  The daily pressures of work schedules, deadlines, and family financial strains all combine to create distress and anxiety—the perfect environment for belly bloat.

Over-Stress = Over-Eating ?

Stress can wear us down, and many of us battle it by consuming an overload of carbs, sugar, and high fat foods. Most people attend dinner events, office parties, and cocktail hours without any preparation or planning.  A lack of planning will offset intentions for losing weight. But with the right planning and attitude, you can win that battle and get rid of belly fat once and for all.

 

While there are many factors that play a role in creating roundness around our middle section, high stress is at the top of the list.  Other causes include:

-too many processed foods

-lack of exercise

-hormonal changes

-lack of sleep

Get Rid of Bad Habits, Not Just the Food

Belly fat is the visceral fat around the abdomen.  Visceral fat creates adipose hormones and adipokine chemicals in the blood stream, which causes inflammation. Inflammation contributes to potentially dangerous health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and lower immune function.

The resolve and plan for eating healthy may be easier to maintain at home. But, sometimes our options are limited because of life’s daily circumstances. Here are some ideas for creating better habits to get you on the road to get rid of belly fat:

1) Many restaurants and outside events offer appetizers, fried foods, and an array of sweets. If you show up without a plan and you’re hungry, sustaining your goal will be almost impossible. While it’s fun to celebrate and get together with friends and family, it’s important to be mindful of what type and amount of food and drink you’re consuming. Take note of everything you place in your mouth. Write it down if you have to in order to keep track.

Better Eating Habits

2)  There are many nutritious foods that can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid gaining fat. One group you can choose from is protein. Protein has been shown to reduce cravings, boost metabolism, and reduce daily calorie intake. Chicken, turkey, lean meats, beans, and fish are solid sources. Most, noteworthy, eggs are a good source of protein, contain amino acids, and aid in building muscle and suppressing hunger.

3) Most fiber rich foods help fight belly fat, keep you filling full and also lessen hunger pangs. Dark leafy greens, fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, and legumes are foods that are high in fiber and nutrients.

4) Do your best to avoid white flour products, and sugary and processed (pre-packaged) foods. Also, limit alcohol.

5) Working out on a consistent basis will help alleviate some of the stress, tone muscles, and help you get rid of and reduce excess fat around the waistline. Some gym memberships offer the benefit of a personal trainer for initial enrollment.  Hence, take advantage of the trainer’s guidance and suggestions to create a plan that works for you.

Over the Hump

As you begin to see and feel improvement, you’ll gain momentum needed to continue on to get rid of belly fat.  As a result, you will also learn new methods for alleviating stress other than relying on food. Daily walks or doing any fun activity is a good way to start.  Yoga and Tai Chi are workout activities that have been proven to help with breathing, balance, and eliminating tension.  Listening to easy music, gardening, or crafting projects are a few therapeutic ways to deal with relieving stressors from the day.

In conclusion, it’s important to make decisions about what you will and will not eat and drink before the week or an event happens.  Awareness and mindfulness are essential to your success. Making a plan to eat healthier, participating in daily workouts, and being more conscious about balance and consumption will help you succeed in your challenge.

Sources:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/532849-what-to-eat-in-the-morning-to-lose-belly-fat/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-ways-to-lose-belly-fat

 

How to Completely Change Your Eating Habits in 2018

If you were completely honest, could you identify which of your eating habits do not service your best health? And, once you pinpointed those habits, would you be willing trade them in for something better? If so, read on to learn how you can completely change your eating habits in 2018.

Let’s Dish on Not-So-Great Eating Habits

 

With the New Year often comes a list of behaviors we’d like to change or improve. One of those items on your list might be the way that you eat. Before we can fix it, we need to recognize it. If you’re having difficulty zoning in on your specific not-so-great eating habits, perhaps the following list can help.

Do you…

  • Skip meals and then overeat?
  • Eat late at night?
  • Eat junk food because it seems convenient?
  • Eat when you’re not hungry?
  • Eat on the run or standing up?
  • Eat when you’re stressed or depressed (emotional eating)

If you indulge in any of the above practices, you’re not providing your body with the best health opportunities possible.

 

How to Make Changes in 2018

 

Eating habits can be a tough nut to crack when wanting to make changes. The desire can exist but the motivation and information may be lacking.

As for motivation, keep in mind that when you make healthy eating choices, you can extend the quality of your life. Excess fat (and toxins) from processed foods and chemicals (including sugar) can lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke, type-2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Motivation can be to get healthy/stay healthy/live longer.

As for information, below you will find several suggestions on how to make changes in your eating practices.

 

1) Eat breakfast. If you’ve had a good night’s sleep (7 hours or more in a row), then your blood sugar needs rebalancing when you awake. After all, you’ve been fasting. Clinical dietician Dr. Christy T. Tangey reported, “Studies have found that although people who skip breakfast eat slightly fewer calories during the day, they tend to have higher body mass index, or BMI.”

 

Refueling at the beginning of your day:

– makes you more alert and focused

– makes you less apt to snack or binge eat

– boosts your metabolism (and helps you burn more calories throughout the day)

– sets you up for a healthy day of eating and productivity

 

Sitting down to a plate of eggs, bacon, and toast is not ideal. However, scrambling a couple of eggs or eating a hard-boiled egg are good choices. Oatmeal is quick and healthy, as is yogurt with no-added-sugar granola. A fruit and veggie smoothie with a good fat (flax seeds, almond butter, or avocado) is another great option.

 

2) Keep healthy foods nearby. When you start feeling hungry, grab an apple, a carrot, a celery stick, popcorn (no butter), or a handful of nuts. It’s OK to snack; in fact, it’s preferred as opposed to getting too hungry and then overeating at your next meal. Keeping your select foods with you can come in handy when you’re stuck in traffic, preparing a meal, or when you don’t want to eat the cake at the office.

 

3) Control portions. We don’t need a lot of food—we just need the right ones. Your plate should consist of half veggies and the other half a combo of protein, whole grains, and good fat. This can be achieved on a salad-sized plate. Don’t eat directly from a container or a package—you can easily lose track of how much you’re eating.

 

4) Finish eating way before your bedtime. Going to bed on a full tummy is an awful idea. But, even a small bowl of ice cream or a glass of wine can affect your weight, metabolism, and the quality of your sleep (from the sugar content.) Brush your teeth after dinner; this may prevent you from eating again before bed. If you get a craving, soothe it with a slice of fresh fruit or fruit-infused water. Golden milk has also shown to promote better health when drinking it at least an hour before turning in.

 

5) Replace sitting around snacking with something else. Instead of watching TV and munching on corn chips after work, deliberately chose an alternate activity. Join a yoga class or a Bunco game, take a walk, practice an instrument, or get involved with anything that can distract you from bored or binge snacking.

 

6) Sit down and slow down. Eating should be done mindfully. It’s a process that is nourishing your body to keep you healthy and alive. It justifies your attention. Try not to eat standing in the kitchen. Pull up a chair and take a few minutes to relax and enjoy. (Food is a good thing!) Slow down your eating process, too. It takes your brain up to 20 minutes to notice you might be full. You can avoid overeating by taking smaller bites, chewing longer, and drinking water in between. Using silverware also helps; eating with your hands often makes you eat faster.

 

Hopefully, changing your eating habits makes the top of your New Year’s resolution list. With motivation, information, and action, you will rock it! Best of health in 2018 and many future years to come.

 

Sources:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition-pictures/bad-eating-habits-and-how-to-break-them.aspx#10

https://healthyforgood.heart.org/add-color/articles/healthy-snacking

https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2017/june/timing-meals-later-at-night-can-cause-weight-gain-and-impair-fat-metabolism

https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/why-you-should-eat-breakfast

https://getthrive.com/sugar-hiding-get/

 

 

Keeping the Family Fit with Fun Over the Holiday

It’s so common to view holiday feasting as a fantastic event, but one that often results in dreaded weight gain. It doesn’t have to be that way for your family! There are ways to have fun eating and burning calories, and keeping you happy and healthy during and after the holiday festivities.

Before the Blast Off

A great way to charge up everyone’s appetite is to take an early-day walk or run. Check to see if there are any Family Fun Runs in your area. It’s a terrific way for everyone to be together and get some exercise before becoming eating machines.

Another thing that’s beneficial about participating together in a morning activity is that it lends to mutual conversation later in the day. “Wasn’t it funny when Joey ran past the finish line and didn’t know the race was over?”

Movin’ and Groovin’ Before and After

If you’re already an active family, then you’ve probably got a lot of the usual activities on your list. Before (or after) the travel, cooking, or eating, you can take a group bike ride, play some ultimate Frisbee, flag-football, volleyball, or tennis, to name a few sports. These activities require a minimum amount of equipment but pack a large punch of fun.

Getting the body moving is what matters most. Any exercise is beneficial. If you’re in a cold or snowy area, your outdoor playtime might be limited; however, you may have access to other activities like snowshoeing, skiing, and sledding.

Indoors you can indulge in a classic game of Twister, play ping-pong, volleyball with a balloon, practice some yoga, freeze dance, or musical chairs. There really is no end to the fun you can have with your group as long as you keep it playful. It’s not a time for competition; it’s about sharing the joy of movement and amusement.

During Mealtime Be Mindful

Sure, everything is incredibly delicious. Especially that wacky strawberry marshmallow ambrosia. Oh, and that chocolate pecan pie. And we can’t forget those candied yams! It’s definitely not a day to deny yourself. However, you don’t need to engorge in order to enjoy.

In fact, you’ll most definitely feel better afterwards (body and mind) if you ate in moderation. Be mindful of everything you’re putting in your mouth. Normally, you may not intake as much sugar. It’s OK to allow yourself a day off. But, remember that your body will have a reaction to what you put in it.

These types of feasts are a great way to model mindful eating for our children. Take a little of everything if you like it all. But your plate doesn’t need to be piled-up, mile-high. One small scoop of mashed potatoes will be just as satisfying as if you took six. And then go ahead, add a little gravy.

If your family practices healthy eating and exercise as conscious, daily, lifestyle choices, then “the holidays” won’t eat you alive. You will automatically be more mindful of what you eat, how much, and how you’ll work in some movement before or after. And the best part is that you won’t feel denied, but rather treated. Here’s to being thankful for family —and cheat days! Check out Thrive for more family fun tips!

 

Most Effective Healthy Eating Tactics for 2018

“I really want to eat healthy this year!”

Most of us have made this proclamation. But, eating healthy, as most of have experienced, can be a considerable challenge. Fret not, however, because we have assembled the most user-friendly, effective, and successful healthy eating tactics for 2018.

The Three W’s of Healthy Eating

The concept of healthy eating is not necessarily about dieting. Dieting connotes a goal of weight loss. Eating healthily entails a commitment to your overall fitness, which also includes a series of behaviors along with certain types of foods. They are:

  • When to eat
  • What to eat
  • Where you eat

These are the three W’s. Each of these “W” categories incorporates tactics that will make your healthy-living mission most effective.

 

“When” Tactics for Your Eating Plan

The word breakfast literally means to “break” the “fast” that you’ve endured while you were sleeping. Eating within your first waking hour is important because you need to stabilize your blood sugar. Additionally, you are essentially refueling to start your new day. Would you begin a road trip with an empty tank of gas?

Many nutritionists suggest eating every three to fours hours to keep blood sugar levels from dropping too low; no one wants to get “hangry.” One suggestion is to apply a 1-to-10 scale to your level of hunger. A grumbling tummy with a lack of mental focus and low energy would be a 1, 2, or 3. That would mean it’s time to eat.

Feeling bloated or like you have to take a nap right after eating might count as an 8, 9, or 10—meaning you ate too soon after your last meal or too much food. The goal would be to maintain a feeling somewhere between a 4 and a 7. Try not to wait too long between meals or snacks so that you don’t risk over-eating or eating “junk” once you get a hold of some food.

If you want to have a good night’s sleep, you probably shouldn’t go to bed on a full stomach. Have your last meal or snack at least three hours before turning in. If you feel peckish and it’s late, have a full glass of water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange or an herbal or flavored decaf tea. That’s a far better tactic for healthy eating than sneaking a midnight snack.

“What” is Included in My Plan?

The most effective habit you can incorporate into any health plan is to educate and surround yourself with nutritious foods. Knowing the difference between the truth about certain foods versus marketing will help you make better decisions about what you store in your home and what you ingest.

Here are some prevalent truths:

  • We need fat in our diet (as long as it’s monounsaturated or polyunsaturated). This would include olive, coconut, and avocado oil, salmon, some nuts, and seeds, etc. Trans fats and saturated fats are unhealthy (beef, margarine, corn oil, palm oil, vegetable oil, cake mixes, non-dairy creamers, microwave popcorn, some frozen dinners, etc.)

 

  • “Eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day could significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and early death” (Imperial College London Study, published February 2017.) If you can shop organic, it’s preferred, as you will be subjecting yourself to less toxins in your produce such as pesticides and fertilizers.

 

  • Sugar intake significantly increases health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancers. Sugar in your pre-packaged foods can be listed as: fructose, corn syrup, and cane sugar. None of them will benefit your health or waistline.

 

  • White potatoes, bread, and rice will not help you if you’re on a healthy eating course. Instead, choose whole grains, sweet potatoes, and wild or brown rice.

 

What you stock up on at home is what you will eat.

Effective tactic: Shop wisely and avoid purchasing or bringing home foods that are unhealthy. It’s that simple.

 

“What” Else?

Portion control is a huge (but, keep-it-small) element in healthy eating. Snacks are tiny meals aimed to tide us over until we have our next meal. A meal should be proportioned, balanced, and focused on nutrition and providing energy. Just because you’re eating healthy foods doesn’t mean you should eat a ton.

 

Best “Where” Tactics

Healthy eating can absolutely be successful while dining out. You just need to keep a few things in mind beforehand. Where you go, and how you act when you get there, is all up to you. But you’ve got this!

Most effective tactics for healthy eating away from home (aka as in a restaurant):

  • Peruse the menu before you get there. See what you should/can or should not/cannot eat in advance.
  • When the server asks if you want bread or chips, say, “NO. Thank you. J)
  • Beware of yummy sauces and dressings. They are most likely filled with bad fats and sugar.
  • Keep it simple and delicious. Grilled is a great option, as long as it’s with olive oil, not butter or vegetable oil. Salt, pepper, and garlic in moderation is awesome for flavoring and your health.
  • Side dishes: order the veggies (as long as they’re not drowned in butter), or the fruit. French or home fries, mashed potatoes, salad with a ton of dressing, or slaw with mayonnaise are not productive choices.
  • Order an appetizer instead of a meal. Often, that portion is enough.
  • Order water instead of a sugary or alcoholic beverage.
  • If they serve you too much food, get a to-go box. Don’t force yourself; leftovers are awesome.

 

2018 needs to be a year of success for you and your family. Healthy eating practices are not difficult once you understand which foods will benefit you most and how you can include them into your diet habitually. Hopefully, with our guided tactics, your quest will be simply attained and managed.

 

Sources:

https://www.bodminsou.com/how-often-should-i-eat/

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13869/13-tips-to-stay-healthy-when-eating-out.html

https://www.livestrong.com/article/410350-does-eating-every-three-hours-really-raise-metabolism/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000747.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/homepage2/ten-portions-fruit-vegetables-study/index.html