It’s getting close to the holiday season and that time when we bundle up in winter jackets and boots to hide any extra pounds we have gained from eating a bit too much. We all struggle with this and knowing why we are overeating, not exercising and just simply overindulging is key to stopping it before it begins.
I have recently been studying up on nutrition, weight management, healthy eating, exercise and trying to discover ways to age gracefully. Yes, I know I am only 27, but I am looking for ways to change my current habits now, so as I grow older, I can maintain my level of fitness, health and activity. Yes, I plan on being a marathon runner in my 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. In order to get there I am focusing on a few nutrition and exercise tips right now. Today, I want to share some easy nutrition ideas you can add to your lifestyle now to become healthier at any age.
Eat more fruits and vegetables – Yes, I know you hear this all the time, but it really works. Add in a new vegetable every day and pretty soon you’ll be getting close to the 8-9 servings of both that are recommended daily. Look for green, red and yellow vegetables for the best mix of nutrients. Add a handful of spinach to your smoothie. Add eggplant chunks to pasta sauce. Be creative!
Drink more water – I know, another obvious choice. Water is the building block of our body. I notice a huge difference in performance in sports and at work when I am properly hydrated. Fill a large water bottle in the morning (32 oz) and make sure you drink it down fully at least 3-4 times a day. Need your water to have a little flavor? Check out Nuun Hydration’s line of electrolyte tabs and all day hydration tabs to add flavor without calories.
Eat small meals and consume fewer calories – A great way to keep your energy up is to eat small meals every few hours. Have oatmeal for breakfast, an apple and almond butter for a snack, vegetable medley for lunch, carrot sticks and hummus or an afternoon snack and a light dinner of veggies and protein or a smoothie. Don’t over eat. Eat until you are satisfied, not until you are full.
Stay away from fad diets – Weight loss and nutrition is fairly straight forward. Weight loss is based on how many calories you take in and how many calories you burn. Eat healthful foods in smaller quantities and stay away from processed treats. Know that a 500 calorie a day deficit will help you lose one pound a week. Eat good food, but less of it if you are focusing on weight loss.
Allow yourself to eat a few treat foods – Even I can’t stay away from desserts all the time. Don’t be afraid to enjoy a treat once or twice a week. If you are out with friends at dinner agree to share a dessert or only eat a few bites to satisfy your sweet tooth but not add inches to your waistline.
Exercise curbs appetite – Research suggests that appetite decreases in the first hour after exercise. If you want to get a good workout in and feel less hungry, hit the gym! Just remember this only works with moderate exercise. High intensity exercise and long distance running always make me extremely hungry.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store – The healthy, natural foods are kept around the perimeter of the grocery store. Avoid the center aisles and you avoid the temptation to purchase processed food you don’t need. Stick to fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Have any tips to share with me? Let me know in the comments below!