Diet Checklist

Do...

  • Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
  • ..and don't forget nature's perfect protein... eggs! Protein portions for each meal should be about 3-4 oz., about the size of ;your palm.
  • These calcium-rich foods are also high in protein. Have a problem with lactose? Try goat or soy milk.
  • Pick wheat or whole grain bread over white.
  • Unsalted nuts (almonds and walnuts are best), avocados, and olive oil are great examples.
  • This will keep your metabolism fired up and you'll always feel satisfied.
  • Lowfat dairy products and some whole grains are a good mix and may help you sleep better.
  • They can make your dishes more flavorful without the extra sugar and preservatives found in bottled sauces.
  • Make yours with milk or plain yogurt, and top with bananas, ;cinnamon ;or berries for sweetness. Just be sure to get the regular stuff (not quick-cooking or instant). It only takes about 10 minutes to make, and is the perfect breakfast.

Don't...

  • Besides damaging your health, ;this tactic actually slows your metabolism down and your body will stop burning fat.
  • You'll be more susceptible to injury and infection.
  • Chances are you won't sleep well, and may overeat the next morning.
  • It is the most important meal of the day, and will get your metabolism moving while keeping blood sugar regulated. If you aren't a breakfast eater, start small: have some fresh fruit with yogurt.
  • You may lose weight at first, but once you re-introduce this group to your diet you will most likely gain back even more weight.

Avoid...

  • Use olive oil whenever possible. Canola, coconut (yes, coconut!) and avacado oil are also good substitutes, but since the fat content is higher use moderately.
  • Make your own snacks!
  • (Try subbing lemon juice for salt when cooking!)
  • If you need a drink occasionally, opt for a glass of red wine. Red wine has some heart-healthy properties.
  • These cooking methods require the use of excessive oil, and much of the nutritional value of your food will be lost.
  • All fat, no nutrients! Try lowfat ;mozzarella ;instead. If you miss the cream cheese, try ;Greek ;yogurt. It has a similar ;consistency ;to whipped cream cheese, and is high in protein, low in fat, high in taste! (Much better than fat-free cream cheese!)

Try...

  • This will fill you up, as both the water and fiber content of apples are high.
  • It's the only known calorie-free sugar substitute that is not harmful to your health, and is safe for people with diabetes.
  • Green tea is full of antioxidants and will keep you (safely!) alert. Best of all, you can drink several cups a day.
  • For baked goods, you can often substitute unsweetened applesauce for oil, plain white lowfat yogurt for buttermilk, and 2 ;egg whites ;for one whole egg.
  • Quinoa, for example, is a grain similar in texture to barley you can substitute for other starches, with the added benefit that it's a complete protein! Try Soy, Almond, rice, and Spelt milks as substitutes for dairy.

Trying to lose weight for the summer? Incorporate these healthy eating habits into your lifestyle and you'll notice big changes...fast! Eat fresh, whole foods, drink plenty of water, and watch the pounds drop - the healthy way!

Tips

Did You now what are next generation foods? These are nutrient-rich foods that either 'contains' the next generation, nourishes it, or both. For example, eggs! The perfect protein, eggs contain all the essential amino acids for humans, and are loaded with nutrients like folic acid, calcium, and several key vitamins. Certain nuts - also the "seeds of new life" contain healthy fats and amino acids (like walnuts, which are rich in omega-3). Also beans, lentils, and other legumes are high in fiber and a good source of plant protein.

Helpful Hints:

  • Go slow. Try integrating just a few of the above mentioned healthy habits into your diet, and you'll start to notice a change. Not only will you feel fuller longer, but as your body adapts you'll start craving fresh fare over pre-packaged products. Even cutting out refined flour and grains (such as white bread and rice) with whole grain alternatives will become second nature.
  • Incorporate moderate exercise into your schedule. Take the dog for a brisk walk, or play with the kids outside.
  • It's ok to cheat occasionally! In fact, some studies show it may actually help you maintain your healthy habits. If you maintain a healthy diet, there's no reason you can't partake in a piece of pizza or birthday cake once in awhile. Just make sure you know what's right for you. For some people, the occasional treat during special occasions is enough. For others, one cheat meal a week is acceptable.