Sugary drinks are a big source of empty energy. This means that they contain a lot of energy (in the form of calories) that your body may not need, and they don't contain a lot of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein, or even fiber). Try diet sodas, sugar-free drink mixes, water, and flavored waters instead of regular drinks or juice. Even “natural” unsweetened juices contain a lot of energy you may not need. Don't go overboard—if you are going to drink regular soda or juice, try to limit the amount you drink to 4-8 ounces, one time per day.
Many of us do not have enough time to eat breakfast. According to researchers at the University of Erlangen in Germany, the average lifetime of those who do not eat breakfast is 2.5 years less than everybody else's.
So why not bring nutritional shakes or sugar free oatmeal to work that can be readied in less than one minute in order to boost your metabolism in the morning, if your early morning routine at home is simply too busy.
Reducing salt or sodium intake, which can lead to fluid retention, is important for COPD patients on steroids, with high blood pressure or kidney or heart problems. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals limit their sodium intake to 1500 mg per day. Consider using herbs, limes and vinegar to season in place of salt.
Bleary-eyed students up late studying for exams are a common sight on college campuses. But Lara Rondinelli, a diabetes educator at Rush University, warns, “Large quantities of caffeine are not good for anyone and even if these drinks are fortified with some vitamins this does not classify them as a health food.” She says college students who skip meals in favor of energy drinks and pots of coffee need to focus on fueling with lean meats, vegetables, fresh fruit, and milk or light yogurt.
Eating late at night while studying or partying is a major temptation, but you should do your best to consume all or most of your calories before 7:00 pm. Sara, a 27-year-old who now works at a college in south Florida, shares her experiences when she was a student. “One thing that helped me with healthy eating in college was remembering that just because everyone else is eating does not mean that I needed to,” she says. “My college had a great mom and pop doughnut shop nearby and students (especially my friends) enjoyed many late night runs. I could be the ‘designated driver’ and go along for the ride, be there for the jokes and the stories but not have to deal with the blood sugar swings of a jelly doughnut.” Sara says it’s all about staying balanced, choosing specific times to indulge in your favorites. Don’t deprive yourself, or you’re likely to binge later, so keep your treats–whatever they may be–in moderation.
The fiber and roughage in salad helps you feel full and satisfied without hitting your waistline. Include salad with every meal to make it easier to enjoy the side dishes and pasta in healthy moderation. Lettuce is never fattening, but what you add to it can be dangerous. Cream-based dressings are higher in fat and calories than oil and vinegar flavors. Croutons are surprisingly high in carbohydrates and should be used in moderation. Consider topping the salad with nuts for extra energy and healthy benefits like smooth healthy skin.
A study by Northwestern University shows that when you eat is almost as important as what you eat. In a study performed on mice, the mice who were fed during their normal sleeping time gained 28 percent more weight than mice fed during normal waking hours. This confirms the age-old theory that dining after six or seven p.m. promotes weight gain. Keep a chart of your eating habits to help highlight when the late meals are consumed.
Processed sugars and refined carbohydrates provide only a temporary feeling of increased energy and fullness. That initial boost may be followed by a desire for more sweets and starches to prop up your mood and energy level. A better choice is complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and healthy grains to ensure maximum nutritional and digestive benefits with fewer “spikes” that can disrupt brain chemistry.
Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal—the brighter the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day.
People often think of healthy eating as an all or nothing proposition, but a key foundation for any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? How much is a moderate amount? That really depends on you and your overall eating habits. The goal of healthy eating is to develop a diet that you can maintain for life, not just a few weeks or months, or until you've hit your ideal weight. So try to think of moderation in terms of balance. Despite what certain fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.