Six Tips to Keep Your Weight Loss Goals on Track
By Carleton Rivers, RD LD
Skipping breakfast can lead to extreme hunger when lunch time rolls around. This in-turn could lead to overeating and poor food choices. Breakfast is an opportunity to start your day off with healthy eating. And when you eat a healthy breakfast, you will have more energy throughout the day to be physically active.
Are Kids Meals Really for Kids? Many restaurants have a kids menu that is severely lacking in nutritional value. Fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, and French fries filled with saturated fat and calories are some of the most common menu options. One simple way to encourage your child to eat healthier is to get in the habit of forgoing the kids meal and sharing your meal with them instead. Reasons why this is a good idea: 1. It saves you calories There are many chain restaurants, however, that comply with the National Restaurant Association Kids LiveWell program which requires specific healthful standards be followed. For a list of participating restaurants visit:
2. You may order something healthier knowing that your child will be eating it as well
3. Less food going to waste
4. Save money
5. Encourages your child to try new things
Are Kids Meals Really for Kids?
Many restaurants have a kids menu that is severely lacking in nutritional value. Fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, and French fries filled with saturated fat and calories are some of the most common menu options. One simple way to encourage your child to eat healthier is to get in the habit of forgoing the kids meal and sharing your meal with them instead. Reasons why this is a good idea:
1. It saves you calories
There are many chain restaurants, however, that comply with the National Restaurant Association Kids LiveWell program which requires specific healthful standards be followed. For a list of participating restaurants visit:
Water is a necessity in the human body. It is needed to maintain a healthy body temperature, lubricate and cushion joints, protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and get rid of waste in the body. Water is also needed to metabolize nutrients. Most of our recommended water intake comes from beverages; however, water is also found in fruits, vegetables, and broth-based soups. Replacing sugary beverages with water each day will save you calories as well as keep your body healthy (CDC).
Eating healthy takes some planning. Be sure that you have healthy snacks and meal options at home. If your day is busy and you need to eat on the go, pack nutritious meals and snacks to avoid eating out. Another meal idea for those busy days is to look at a restaurant’s nutrition facts in advance so that you know which items on their menu are healthy and will work well with your weight loss plan.
Just Say NO!
If you work in an office, you may know all too well the temptations that wait for you in the kitchen. Unless it is fruit or vegetables, JUST SAY NO! You do not need sweet treats in the middle of the day; they will only make you feel sleepy and cranky. Combat these temptations by always having a high protein or high fiber snack at your desk such as almonds, a piece of fruit, or a granola bar. This tip will also come in handy when you are out grocery shopping. It is in your best interest to avoid the cookie, candy, and chip aisles all together. What you really want to buy should be located on the perimeter of the store. This would include the produce, deli, bakery (just breads not desserts), dairy, and meat section. It is also a good idea to eat before going to the grocery store so you won’t want to buy everything in sight.
Food Should NOT Be A Reward
When following a weight loss plan it is important to set goals for yourself. And once you have met a goal, you should reward yourself for your accomplishment. However, rewarding with food is not the way to go. Instead, choose a reward that will boost your self-confidence such as a new haircut, a cute pair of shoes, or that necklace you have been eyeing for the past month.
Write It Down
If you are following a weight loss plan that has a set calorie amount, you may find it helpful to keep track of what you eat and drink throughout the day, as well as the calories you consume. A food diary can shed light on how much you are really eating each day. Continue a food diary until you feel that you have a good handle on your portion sizes and food and beverage choices.
Industry Impact. National Restaurant Association. http://www.restaurant.org/Industry-Impact/Food-Healthy-Living/Kids-LiveWell/About. Accessed December 18, 2013.
Most restaurant kids' meals packed with calories. USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/28/unhealthy-kids-meals-restaurants/2019267/. Published March 28, 2013. Accessed December 18, 2013.
Water: Meeting Your Daily Fluid Needs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/water.html. Published October 10, 2012. Accessed December 17, 2013.
Disclaimer: Proper precautions must be taken before you begin an exercise program. An understanding of your current health status and potential problems is necessary for you to exercise safely. Please contact your physician if you have any concerns. This program is intended to incorporate high-intensity physical activity into your daily life, but should not be used in place of physical therapy, professional medical advice, or treatment.