From PPC Canada EAP Services
Healthy diet, healthy weight, healthy you
by Ramona Josephson, RD, nutrition consultant for PPC Canada
Tired of losing weight only to gain it back again?
Need to lower your cholesterol, blood sugar or blood pressure?
Working at less than peak performance?
Want to be a role model for your family?
Small, strategic decisions about what and when you eat can boost your energy, help manage your weight and improve your health.
Here are five top tips to a healthy diet, a healthy weight, a healthy you:
1. It’s all about timing
Food is designed to give you energy and nourish your body. Skipping meals or going for hours without food is like running on empty. Your body can stall too, just like a car. Keep it fuelled and it keeps on going.
When you supply your body with energy throughout the day, your metabolic rate stays up and you feel more energetic. You prevent headaches, grogginess and over-indulging.
2. Manage your portions
Weight-loss is a simple case of math: calories-in must be less than calories-out to see a change in weight.
For healthy weight-loss, you need a minimum of 1,300 to 1,600 calories a day. Don’t eat less. It will slow down your metabolic rate and when you (inevitably!) return to your old eating habits, it is easy to gain that weight back. Even worse, what you gain back is fat rather than muscle, making it harder to lose weight, because fat cells burn energy more slowly.
To maintain a healthy weight, adjust your caloric intake by adding more calories based on your activity level. Also, the more you weigh, the more calories you need to carry the extra weight.
3. Start the day with breakfast
The first step to powering your day is to eat breakfast. It will kick-start your metabolism and get you going for the day. Don’t take just my word for it. The National Weight Control Registry monitored 4,500 dieters who successfully lost over 30 pounds and kept the weight off for over one year. They all had one thing in common: they ate breakfast! So should you.
Some simple, well-balanced breakfast choices:
- oatmeal with banana and flax-seeds;
- veggie omelet with whole-grain toast;
- high-fibre cereal and low-fat milk;
- poached eggs on whole-grain toast with grilled tomato;
- fruit and yogurt smoothie.
4. Snack smart
Do you snack between meals? Snacking is a national past-time. We all do it — and so we should. Snacking between meals more than four hours apart will keep your blood sugar level, keeping you in control. Have a small snack, even if you’re not hungry. You won’t feel like a vacuum cleaner when you arrive home after a long day at work, ready to eat anything in sight.
The key is to snack smart. Try to avoid foods high in sugar. The sugar rush gives you a quick boost of energy, followed by an energy crash, which makes you crave more sugar.
Try one or two of these 90-calorie healthy snack choices:
- 1 medium fruit, eg apple, grapefruit;
- ¾ cup (175g) low-fat yogurt, no sugar added;
- 1 cup (250 ml) low-fat latte;
- 12 almonds or 8 walnut halves;
- veggie sticks with 1 oz of cheese or 1 tbsp hummus.
5. Drink … water!
Water is essential to health. After all, your body is made up of 70% water. You need water to circulate nutrients to, and remove waste from, your cells. Lack of water can lead to fatigue, so it makes good sense to drink lots.
Try to consume 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day in the form of water, clear tea or decaffeinated coffee. Veggie juice and soup count too. Alcohol and drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee and colas, act as diuretics, removing water from your body.
Eating smart works!
Ramona Josephson, RD, is the president of www.weightlossdeal.com. She is a best-selling author with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, media spokesperson for Dietitians of Canada and a renowned nutrition and weight-loss coach. Her clients’ success stories have been published in national and provincial media.
BC lawyers and their immediate family members are entitled to a nutritional coaching package administered by Josephson as part of the benefits program provided by PPC Canada.
Call 1-800-663-9099 to enrol in or learn more about this and other wellness programs provided by PPC Canada.