should I eat?
is one of the most common questions I hear as a personal trainer.
Whether the client wants to lose weight, improve heart health or just
eat a better diet—the answers are the same. I have noticed over
the years that the clients who lose weight (and keep it off), improve
their heart health, and feel energized by their food choices have
several things in common. They…
Real Food: not
shakes, bars, fast food, or processed foods.
a Balanced Diet of a variety of
vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and
fiber and anti-oxidant rich foods. They don’t eliminate one type
of food (“carbs”) but just keep their choices in balance.
However, they do limit sodium, sugar and red meat intake.
Portion Sizes and Read Labels: they are
aware of about how many calories they can eat per day based on their
activity level. They read nutrition labels and know the approximate
calorie count of the choices in their diets.
Water as their main beverage, as well as
limited servings of nutritious beverages such as low fat milk and
soymilk. They save sodas, diet drinks and alcoholic beverages for
special occasions and eating out.
Breakfast that includes lean protein and
complex carbohydrates. A popular breakfast among my clients is steel
cut oatmeal with blueberries, almonds, walnuts, flax seeds and low
fat milk or soy milk. Another favorite is a poached egg with a slice
of whole grain toast and some seasonal fruit.
Smaller Meals More Frequently : Three
main meals and two to three healthy snacks help balance blood sugars
and fuel activity throughout the day.
Occasional “Splurges” : to
keep cravings at bay, they allow themselves a special treat or snack
on occasion. I have one client who eats a nice dessert just on
Sundays, and he is fine for the rest of the week.
to Prepare Simple Meals: this includes
meal planning, shopping and having healthy snacks available. Many of
my clients’ meals revolve around salads with different healthy
Some Nutritional Supplements, such as a
multivitamin, calcium, and fish oil. However, they rely on food as
their primary source of nutrition, not the latest fad in vitamins.
Themselves Regularly and make
to their diet and activity level as needed. They try to keep their
weight within a range and do not worry about small day to day
habits are in
line with long term studies on weight loss and the dietary guidelines
set forth by the U.S.D.A. and the American Heart Association. Which
of the above could you integrate into your lifestyle and eating
plans? Gaining awareness is the first step
in making positive changes in our lives. A good website to help you
learn more about healthy food choices, how many calories you need per
day and tracking food intake is http://www.choosemyplate.gov/.
Exercise and physical activity are only one part of a healthy
lifestyle, what you eat is just as (or even more) important.
Beverly Seabreeze is a
Health Fitness Specialist certified by the American College of Sports
Medicine. She enjoys working with (and learning from) her clients at
the Corral de Tierra Country Club Fitness Center. She can be reached
or 831-214 -0300.