20 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle
A healthier diet and a trim body are easier to achieve than you might think. You just need to know where to begin. Jenny Craig’s leading dietitian Karen Inge shares her tips for a healthier lifestyle.
1. always eat breakfast
People who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight. Eating first thing in the morning revs up your metabolism and really gets you going for the day.
2. don’t skip meals
People who often find themselves feeling so hungry (because their blood sugar levels have dropped) turn to foods like biscuits or lollies for a quick sugar fix.
3. push yourself away from the table
To prevent overeating, stop eating when you feel satisfied rather than uncomfortably full. As a wise woman once said: the best exercise for losing weight is to push yourself away from the table.
4. make water the first option
Have a drink of water if you feel like something between meals because you may need fluids, not food. Research suggests that having two glasses of water before a meal reduces the quantity of food you consume.
5. slow down
Allowing at least 20 minutes to eat your meal gives your brain time to register that you are satisfied. So take small mouthfuls and chew your food well.
6. eat at the table
Don’t mindlessly eat in front of the TV. By eating together as a family at the dining table, it slows down food consumption and you tend to eat less.
7. keep track of your weight
Weigh yourself weekly to monitor what’s happening with your weight. People who weigh themselves regularly are more successful at maintaining their weight.
8. eat rainbows
The easiest way to ensure a healthy diet with a good intake of vitamins and minerals and other vital antioxidants is to always have a colourful array of foods on your plate.
9. spice up your diet
Herbs and spices are rich sources of antioxidants so add oregano and mint to your Greek salad, a few basil leaves to your tomato salad and lemongrass, ginger and chilli to your favourite Thai salad dressing.
10. make mine wholegrain
Choose wholegrain bread and other grain foods instead of overly processed varieties because they are the best energy foods for the brain and working muscles.
11. balance your plate
To get the right balance to your meal divide your plate in two and fill one half with vegetables or salad. Then divide the other half into two and fill one half with lean meat, fish or poultry and the other with super grains like quinoa, buckwheat, rice and polenta.
12. choose healthy oils
Good fats are found in olive oil and other nut and seed oils, nuts and oily fish. Keep saturated fats found in fatty meats, butter, cream, biscuits, cakes, creamy dressings and pies and pastries to a minimum.
13. keep your portions in check
Reduce the size of your crockery. The larger the bowl, the more we tend to put in it.
14. forget the salt
Adding extra salt to food affects the health of blood vessels, kidneys and bones.
15. don’t serve soft drinks
Have a jug of water on the table instead of drinks high in sugar. If you don’t like the taste of water, add a few slices of orange, lemon or lime for extra zing.
16. eat fruit for dessert
Involve your children in preparing a fruit platter so they are more likely to eat the fruit.
17. drink less alcohol
A glass of red wine a day may be good for you, but excessive alcohol consumption isn’t. Having up to two standard drinks a day with two alcohol-free days a week is deemed as drinking in moderation.
18. avoid fad diets
It’s so easy to fall victim to the magic wand syndrome and start cutting out major food groups with the belief that you will lose weight. While it is true that cutting carbs out of the diet will result in weight loss it’s generally short term and not healthy in the long term.
19. buddy up
It’s always easier to adopt healthier lifestyle habits if you have support from friends, family or a coach. It’s not that easy to make changes so if you get encouragement and positive support it’s amazing how your motivation soars.
20. move move move
That’s all you need to do, preferably for at least 45 to 60 minutes a day. You don’t need a gym membership or need to run a marathon…but you do need to walk more, take the stairs, do a Zumba class or two and take your dog for a walk. That way you’ll not only maintain your weight more easily you might actually lose some and increase your vitality. Every part of your body will thank you for it!
About Jenny Craig’s dietitian, Karen Inge
With numerous publications and regular appearances on national television and radio, Karen is highly respected in the field of nutrition. She has worked extensively in Sports Nutrition and was the first Dietitian appointed to an AFL club. Most importantly, she is also part of Jenny Craig’s Medical Advisory Board and makes sure Jenny Craig’s program is up to date with the latest scientific thinking in terms of nutrition, food and health.