There's more nutrition information available to all of us than ever before, but consumers seem more confused about what to eat.
I'm a "see-food" dieter. What grabs my eye in a moment of hunger is often what I go for. I find this is especially true for my kids. If I set out a plate of sliced fresh fruit and vegetables when they walk in the door from school, they'll dive in. If I don't, they're sniffing around the snack cupboard and complaining that I never buy Goldfish.
Starting to drink diet soda is a common behavior for those who have begun gaining weight as a way to counteract it, but if the lifestyle that caused the gain in the first place is not addressed, the diet soda will be of little help.
Rather than allowing for old habits to creep back in, try to focus your nutrition on the health benefits your will receive from eating well rather than placing all of the focus on aesthetic goals. By focusing on your long term health, you will be more likely to stick to your healthy habits.
While of course, it is important to eat foods that are nutritious, taste is a key reason why people choose to eat what they do. Pairing good nutrition with great taste creates a win-win situation.
Children and adolescents crave purpose -- they want to feel important. When you involve them in meal preparation, you reduce your workload and establish lifelong habits. Younger kids can set the table or tear lettuce. Adolescents can chop, slice or otherwise prep fresh meal ingredients.
No matter what diet you choose or plan to start, the bottom line remains caloric intake. Even if you consume the healthiest of diets and ingredients, so long as you take in more calories than you burn, you will not lose weight. Caloric balance is the key.
Here's the thing: You can always earn more money, but you can't put a price on your health. Look at spending those extra dollars on locally grown, organic produce or grass-fed beef as an investment in your long-term health and future generations.
Some time-tested, research-proven foods do earn their permanent stay at the table. They aren't miracles, but as part of a healthy diet and combined with burst training and weight resistance, they can yield impressive gains (or losses, if you will).
What I have found in my private practice is that small action-oriented steps and simple substitutions tend to work a lot better. Here are some smart-and simple food swaps that you can actually implement and incorporate into your everyday routine to help you lead a healthier life.
It is perfectly OK to indulge on occasion, sans the guilt, without gaining weight. The trick is to enjoy what you are eating, and to eat mindfully while avoiding overindulging and gaining weight in the process.
In this urban jungle of unhealthy foods, new math is required if we're going to lose weight and get healthier. Like those butt-naked survival show participants, we on the Social Diet have to calculate which food is actually worth our effort, and we have to demand a lot more from the food we do choose.
Vegetarians say farewell to fowl and skip the turkey on Thanksgiving. It's usually no big deal because a holiday plate can be truly satisfying with the bounty of meat-free sides. However, when you say bye-bye birdie, your plate is also low in protein, since turkey is a high-protein food. Don't worry. Help is here.
When it comes to holidays, Thanksgiving has the best menu, in my very humble and completely unscientific opinion. We're talking all of my favorites: mashed potatoes, apple pie, dinner rolls, turkey gravy, stuffing... Notice a trend here? Gluten. Wheat. Dairy. Gluten and wheat and dairy in (almost) everything.
Like me, most nutrition pros serve traditional foods for Thanksgiving -- albeit with a healthier twist because we tweak recipes to eliminate empty calories. The good news is that many holiday favorites like turkey, sweet potatoes, squash, nuts and cranberries are inherently healthy, so it's fairly easy to keep them that way.
Thanksgivukkah is one of the rarest events we'll ever experience. So get creative, dig deep and turn your celebration into eight days of gratitude and compassion. Honor the future -- of all peoples, animals and our Mother Earth -- by making your holiday food and activities vegan-inspired.
Despite the skeptics, there is a rising agreement in the scientific community that small amounts of pesticides and other chemicals have negative effects on health.
If you're stuck in the yo-yo dieting cycle, consider giving intuitive eating a try. You just might be surprised at how much of your life opens up when you start trusting your body -- and yourself.
Have fun and be creative! Kids love to help "build" their own healthy snacks. Use produce with different textures, shapes and colors and let your child create healthy treats that will excite her/his imagination and appetite.
I basically felt shamed into sharing my diary. But, of course, a food diary is like any other diary that you know will be read by others: You can always lie to it. So far, the UP band does not contain a lie-detector algorithm... but I'm sure that's coming.