Let's get right to the new rules of 2011 and they are all about cutting carbs, choosing the right carbs and balancing your diet so that it tastes good, satiates you and helps you to lose weight or gain better health.
- Lose the sugary drinks, sports drinks and reduce the amount of 100% fruit juice servings you drink daily
- When you choose processed foods, look for low carb items like low carb tortillas, breads and pasta
- Limit the starchy vegetables like peas, corn and potatoes and choose greens and low carb soups and salad instead
- Lose the bread basket at a restaurant and have a vegetable soup or salad instead to start your meal and fill you up
- Turn to measured servings of nuts and berries for snacks or to boost protein/fiber in main meals
- Choose a salad for lunch plus a 3-4 ounce portion of protein on top, instead of a sandwich (with 2 slices of processed bread) for lunch
- Lower the number of grain carbohydrate servings you have daily, and boost your intake of fish, beans, skinless chicken, eggs, and unprocessed nut butters.
- Search for lower carbohydrate recipes online and in cookbooks
- Keep carbohydrate intake at or below 130 grams per day (520 calories), though for some people who struggle with carbohydrate consumption the intake level may have to be lower in order to keep cravings in check.
- Do watch sodium consumption which goes hand in hand with reducing consumption of processed foods in general. Cooking at home from scratch means that you control ingredients like salt.
- Remember that even when you eat healthy fats and other quality foods you still need to monitor portion control.
Some quick exercise tips to enhance the lifestyle change:
Commit to physical activity daily
Target a goal of 30 minutes a day as your first step, and then work up to 45 to 60 minutes of vigorous exercise most days of the week.
Cross train by mixing up different aerobic exercise pursuits with resistance (weight) training programs.
Do exercise that you enjoy like hiking, biking, roller skating, dancing, jumping on a trampoline, but do it for a sustained period of time.
Make this the year you hire a personal trainer even for just a few sessions to learn some basic exercise formulas and proper technique.
Try one of the relatively new exercise modalities like Zumba, if you like to dance, or kettlebells if you want to work with weights in a class format.
Set reasonable goals, be honest with yourself, get support if you feel you need it and be willing to face your weight issues and health issues that directly relate to your lifestyle habits.
Published On: January 03, 2011