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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Eating Habits..

I read a few articles this morning about eating habits. While they're not near as fun as my normal blogging, I thought it offered some valid points. I am sharing them with you, and I will probably blog more this evening. 9 a.m. blogs usually make no sense anyways. 

Here is a list of bad eating habits that I borrowed from Belly Bytes. I thought it was a rather interesting read.

  1. Binging: (I'm guilty of this.)
    When foods are low in fiber and high in sugar or salt and partially hydrogenated trans fats the tendency is to over-consume. When eating five to six small meals a day of high fibered fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, the result is burning more calories and storing less fat because your body's thermal effect is raised more frequently. Binging on refined processed foods is probably the greatest cause of obesity in America.
  2. Starving Yourself: (I've been known to do this...)
    Before and after binging comes starvation. Skip breakfast and your body has been "starving" for 12 to 18 hours resulting in over-eating again and causing your body to store much of the food as fat, as it can not burn it all for energy.
  3. Not Knowing What You Eat: (Weight Watchers is teaching me how to pay attention to this!)
    Most people do not pay much attention to how many low fiber calories and how much bad fat they consume daily, especially if they eat often in restaurants. Those excess calories get stored as fat.
  4. Sugar, White Flour, Caffeine and Simple Carbohydrates: (This is depressing...)
    Sugar raises blood sugar (glucose) levels, causing your body to produce insulin and changes your metabolic rate. Those who eat a lot of white flour and sugar products, loaded with empty calories, will store more fat and have a harder time burning it. Caffeine also raises the insulin levels, slowing down the fat burning process that starts in the morning and slows down throughout the day. Eating simple sugar carbohydrates late in the day promotes fat storage and blood sugar swings. Eating high fiber whole foods as a late night snack can help maintain a steady blood sugar level to give your body deep rest.
  5. Skipping Breakfast: (I did this every day for five years...bad idea.)
    Bet you thought your stomach tells you when you are full. It is actually your brain that signals your body it has had enough food, taking about 20 minutes from the time you begin eating. By eating chewy foods in a relaxed manner, you will be much less likely to overeat.
  6. Lack of Exercise: (Hey, I'm actually moving my ass now!)
    Our bodies were made to move so the less you feel like going for a walk, the better you will feel after going for a walk! Exercise increases our metabolism to help burn the food we eat as energy.
  7. Not Drinking Enough Water: (I have always hated water, but now that I dirnk my 64+oz a day I feel better and like it more. Curses!)
    Water is crucial for your brain cells and every organ in your body (including your skin) to work properly. For your body to burn fat, it needs at least eight glasses of pure water daily. Water not only satisfies your thirst, it reduces hunger and flushes out toxins. Liquids such as soda and coffee actually deplete your body of water. Do drink your water - it makes your whole body feel good! See Why Water?

And now, we have 10 tips to healthier eating brought to you by realtime.net.

  1. Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all. Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Use the Food Guide Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels as handy references.
  2. Enjoy plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Surveys show most Americans don't eat enough of these foods. Do you eat 6-11 servings from the bread, rice, cereal and pasta group, 3 of which should be whole grains? Do you eat 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables? If you don't enjoy some of these at first, give them another chance. Look through cookbooks for tasty ways to prepare unfamiliar foods.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight. The weight that's right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses. But being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems. If you're constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietitian can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management. Regular exercise is also important to maintaining a healthy weight.
  4. Eat moderate portions. If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it's easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy. Did you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, similar in size to a deck of playing cards? A medium piece of fruit is 1 serving and a cup of pasta equals 2 servings. A pint of ice cream contains 4 servings. Refer to the Food Guide Pyramid for information on recommended serving sizes.
  5. Eat regular meals. Skipping meals can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in overeating. When you're very hungry, it's also tempting to forget about good nutrition. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don't eat so much that your snack becomes an entire meal.
  6. Reduce, don't eliminate certain foods. Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt or sugar, the key is moderating how much of these foods you eat and how often you eat them.
    Identify major sources of these ingredients in your diet and make changes, if necessary. Adults who eat high-fat meats or whole-milk dairy products at every meal are probably eating too much fat. Use the Nutrition Facts panel on the food label to help balance your choices.
    Choosing skim or low-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat such as flank steak and beef round can reduce fat intake significantly.
    If you love fried chicken, however, you don't have to give it up. Just eat it less often. When dining out, share it with a friend, ask for a take-home bag or a smaller portion.
  7. Balance your food choices over time. Not every food has to be "perfect." When eating a food high in fat, salt or sugar, select other foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it the next. Your food choices over several days should fit together into a healthy pattern.
  8. Know your diet pitfalls. To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what's wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Then check your list according to the rest of these tips. Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions. Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables? If not, you may be missing out on vital nutrients.
  9. Make changes gradually. Just as there are no "superfoods" or easy answers to a healthy diet, don't expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much, too fast can get in the way of success. Begin to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, lifelong eating habits. For instance, if you don't like the taste of skim milk, try low-fat. Eventually you may find you like skim, too.
  10. Remember, foods are not good or bad. Select foods based on your total eating patterns, not whether any individual food is "good" or "bad." Don't feel guilty if you love foods such as apple pie, potato chips, candy bars or ice cream. Eat them in moderation, and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.

Peace, Love, and Turtles. (Why turtles? ...Why not?)
Sarah V.


Nathalie said...

I'm guilty of a lot of those things too. :) Liked today's blog, very informative.

The Hay Family said...

What a great informative blog Sarah! I loved it. A good way to start the day-reminding us how important it is to eat right. I realized while I was reading this that I have made a lot of changes of the past few months and am RARELY guilty of any of these things (I say rarely....cause certain times of the month throw me off)

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