nav-left cat-right
cat-right
Random Articles
Ask the Expert Question: “I’ve hit a plateau in my weight loss program, what should I do?”...
What percentage of the hu... In general, our bodies are made up of about 2/3 water (about 60%). But, in...
Mediterranean Diet reduce... What is the Mediterranean diet? Well, it is one typically rich in pasta,...

What is Clean Eating?

Eating clean or ‘clean eating’ refers to a popular diet trend characterized by a few key features. Some of these features include eating locally (and supporting sustainable practices), minimizing processed foods, nourishing yourself on whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits and veggies regularly throughout the day. Clean eating also recommends limiting unnecessary extras, such as alcohol, added sugars and sodium. Clean eating is not an ‘all or nothing’ concept. Small changes add up over time and can make a difference in your environment and your health.

One of the key characteristics of clean eating is minimizing processed foods. What is a processed food? A processed food is a food item that has been modified through mechanical or chemical operations to change it. According to the USDA, this includes, but is not limited to milling, chopping, heating, drying, canning…etc. Clean processed foods do exist such as whole grain pasta, whole oats and plain yogurt. However, many processed foods contain sugars and other additives (natural and man made). Part of the recommendation for limiting packaged foods is because of BPA, a chemical found in cans, as well as chemicals in plastic. Explore your grocery store for ‘cleaner’ versions of many packaged and bottled foods, such as condiments.

Clean eating is a trend geared towards minimizing food waste, promoting local foods and sustainable farms and minimizing the ‘junk’ in the American diet. It is not just a diet trend but a food movement.

 

 

3 Tips for Creating Healthy Habits

Creating healthy habits is a great way to make small, incremental lifestyle improvements for better performance and to reduce your risk of developing chronic disease. If it truly is all about the journey, make it worth your while by keeping these tips in mind:

Set goals: What do you want to do? Accomplish? Goals should be clear, reasonable, specific, and, if possible, measured or quantified in some way. Instead of “I will eat healthier this year,” try “I will eat 3 servings of vegetables every day. Write your goal down and keep it visible. Read it and re-read it regularly. Use power statements, “I will” instead of “I’ll try.” How will you achieve this goal? What are the steps? If your goal is weight loss, what tools, resources, activities and habits that help you get there?

Stay positive and reward yourself along the way: Celebrate successes and don’t underestimate the importance of recognizing your progress. If your goal is to complete a 5K run, reward yourself every time you complete a practice race, shed time on your miles, etc. Instead of saying “I can’t” say “I can” and “I will.” Complaining won’t get the job done and if it is too easy, was it really a worthy goal in the first place?

Mark your calendar: In addition to writing down your health goals, use an online, old-fashioned, calendar, day timer, journal, etc. Use it to schedule your workouts, shopping trips, to make notes. Noting the number of veggie servings you eat daily will enable you to track weekly average servings. Stay on top of your progress. Make time for your goals and specify the steps you’ll need to complete to reach them.

Tips to avoid late-night snacking

An important weight management tip is to eat when you we feel true, physiological hunger. Eating when not truly hungry can lead to excess calories and weight gain. Excessive snacking before bedtime and/or late at night, in particular, can become a bad habit. It can be a ‘go to’ behavior to distract us when we are experiencing uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings, such as frustration, anger, fear and boredom. Even excess stress and exhaustion can play a role in night-time eating. Here are some tips to limit mindless eating at night:

Eat well during the day: Aim to consume regular, well balanced meals with a wide variety of foods. Take time to plan your meals and snacks. Listen to your body and stay fueled throughout the day, according to your hunger levels.

Include fiber-rich foods: Few Americans eat enough of fiber-rich foods. Fiber, found in plant foods, promotes digestive and heart health and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Whole grains, fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds and legumes are fiber-rich. The more fiber you eat, the more important it is to drink plenty of water.

Don’t skimp on protein and overdo processed carbs: Noshing on processed carbs all day, such as crackers, white bread, granola bars, sugary cereals, sweets, pastries, and chips, for example, doesn’t provide your body with what it needs for optimum performance. Stick with healthier carb choices, such as fruit, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Pair these foods with a source of protein, such as a hard-boiled egg, Greek yogurt, nut butter, cottage cheese, hummus, tuna, etc.

Think twice before taking a bite: what are you really feeling? Is it true hunger or are you anxious, bored, frustrated or tired? What other activities and behaviors would satisfy you? Consider calling a friend to chat, playing a game, going for a walk, taking a relaxing shower or bath, reading, etc.

Go to bed earlier: if you are eating out of boredom or as a compliment to late-night television, consider an earlier bedtime. Sleep is important for weight control. Inadequate sleep can interfere with efficient carbohydrate metabolism, increase fat storage and hunger.

If you are truly hungry, eat a healthy balanced snack, such as yogurt with fruit, oatmeal with raisins and nuts, 1/2 small turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread or a slice of whole wheat toast spread with peanut butter or low-fat ricotta cheese and a dab of honey or jam. Keep your portions small and avoid distractions while eating.