Food & Fitness
Nutritionists and registered dietitians are the experts when it comes to healthy eating. I am neither, but as part of the fitness industry, I get plenty of questions about what people should and shouldn’t eat. So, in order to address this topic early in my blogging adventures, here’s a 100% personal account of how I try to maintain a healthy diet.
I joined Weight Watchers in May 2007. Why? Because the post-divorce “diet” I started which included a dinner of half-a-jar of peanut butter with chocolate syrup and a side of vodka on ice was not a healthy regimen to maintain. Also, being in my 30s, I couldn’t rely on the workouts I started during my Northwestern days to counterbalance the bad food choices I was making too often. Aside from worrying about gaining weight, I felt absolutely awful.
Today, I am a lifetime Weight Watchers member. I continue to go to meetings when I can and the program works for my lifestyle. Again, for me, it was not about losing a lot of weight, it was about learning to eat better. I’m not here to offer a lesson about point values and food. Instead, here’s a snapshot of what I’ve learned that helps me stay on track.
- I never skip breakfast. During the work week, I’ll make my own parfait with non-fat plain Greek yogurt, sliced banana, strawberries or blueberries (there’s two – three servings of fruit for the day!) and a serving of high-fiber cereal.
- Instead of having three big meals, I eat every three to four hours. This prevents me from being so hungry that I go overboard at the next meal.
- Every Sunday, I spend 30-60 minutes chopping red peppers and celery and pack up the sticks up with baby carrots or cherry tomatoes in individual containers, one for each day of the week. It’s an easy way to get in two servings of veggies while sitting at my desk. (The idea works just as well if you’re home.)
- I have embraced whole grains! I like Weight Watchers breads for sandwiches, cook whole grain pasta at home and on “bad”nights when we order Chinese or burritos, we ask for brown rice.
- Finally, I refuse to say “I will never eat (a fudge-covered Oreo/a bacon cheeseburger/lasagna) ever again!” First of all, life’s too short. Second, in my experience, the longer you deny yourself something you really like, the better chance you have of over-indulging when you do finally “break down.”
Now listen, I have my fair share of “bad food” days. I love dessert, especially chocolate, and I love Prosecco and red wine. But one bad day doesn’t have to mean “well, I blew it today, so I may as well throw the whole week out the window and start over on Monday.” On the contrary, every day offers a clean slate and a brand new chance to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Posted on July 28, 2011, in Fitness, Health, Nutrition and tagged Dessert, Diet, Dietitian, Divorce, Exercise, Fitness, Food, Healthy-Eating Tips, Laura DeAngelis, Northwestern University, Nutrition, Nutritionist, Points Program, Portion Control, Smart Snacks, Weight Watchers, Whole Grains. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.
Since having my baby I always skip breakfast. I know it’s a big no-no, but there never seems to be enough time to sit and eat. However, this article has inspired me to go shopping today for on-the-go, healthy items I can shove in my mouth in the a.m. while feeding, changing, and playing with the baby. I’ll be looking for bananas and perhaps whole grain, high fiber granola bars. Thanks for the inspiration!!
Hello Amy, Glad I could help! I completely understand the time issue, but there are definitely grab-and-go foods you can enjoy in the morning. The yogurt may take a few more minutes to eat, but perhaps you can make that a “treat” one or two days a week for breakfast. And while slicing up a banana and strawberries might not work out so well while changing your little one, you can throw in a serving of almonds for some crunch – and you’ll stay full and energized to keep playing and keep up with all your other Mommy jobs! Keep me posted!
I decided a few months ago that I can’t be the size I want and have both alcohol and dessert regularly. Since I like wine more than chocolate it was an easy choice. I still eat sweets once or twice a month on a special occasion but I have wine 3 or 4 times a week wthout the guilt. It’s a lifestyle choice that works for me. Love the posts Laura!
Hi Evva, Thanks for taking some time to leave your comment. It sounds like you’ve found a way to enjoy your favorite things in moderation and still feel good – and that’s the balance all of us need to find on our own! So glad to hear you didn’t nix the wine or dessert altogether. Like I said, life’s too short to deprive yourself of things that make you happy! Have a great weekend!
These are great tips Laura! I have to agree — I think depriving yourself of certain foods is a recipe for failure. People develop bad relationships with food that way!
I also have to eat every 3 hours or else I’m the world’s crankest! haha but it works for maintaining healthy body weight too!
Glad you found the tips helpful, Paula! Looks like we have something else in common: we both get cranky when our blood sugar levels drop!
Pingback: Smart Snacking « lauralovesfitness