Portions by the handful!

1.Eat clean wholesome foods and avoid processed foods you wouldn’t find naturally on the planet. Stick mainly to: Fruits, Vegetables and leafy greens, Poultry and other lean protein, whole grains, lean dairy(like greek yogurt), and raw nuts and seeds.

2.Drink water, and herbal tea(brewed yourself). Fruit juice and 2% or almond milk are good less frequent options. If your going to drink fruit juice look at the ingredients and make sure theres not a bunch of unnecessary added ingredients(in most there are). For example if i’m buying orange juice the only ingredient I want to see listed is “orange juice”. A good alternative if your a soda drinker is buy a sparkling water( I use “lacroix” its a naturally flavored sparkling water) and add a NATURAL sweetener to it, DO NOT USE SPLENDA. Use stevia. I use sun crystals packets which is a combo of natural sugar cane and stevia. I actually find it more sweet than regular sugar.

3.Eat more frequently(about every 3 hours) in smaller snack sized amounts(remember portion control). This helps you because you feel like your eating more(you dont have to go very long periods of time without eating something.) It’s less of a burden on your digestive system, and it helps speed up the metabolism by giving you little boosts thoughout the day. Do snack in between these meals.(3 hours is often enough)

4.chew your food thoroughly to help your digestive system break down the food more efficiently. If you chew for a longer period of time it will also help you realize when your full faster than you would if you just scarf down your food, and you will probably end up eating less. Also you get different flavors out of  your food if you chew it longer that you normally wouldn’t get if you don’t give yourself time to enjoy each bite.

5.If you have a craving for unhealthy food or feel like snacking at a time you shouldn’t drink some water, or tea, or brush your teeth.

6.Don’t be an emotional eater. Only eat when hungry, if your following the eating every 3 hours thing just follow that. You won’t be hungry if your eating that frequently. NEVER eat when full.
Do not eat if you are only eating out of:

  • Boredom 
  • Sadness
  • Stress/Anxiety
  • Celebration
  • Or because your feel you need to to make someone else happy. 

these are all examples of emotional or social eating and they have nothing to do with your body NEEDING food. Your body only needs food for fuel, for nutrition. Food is not there to fill emotional emptiness.
7. Keep busy!

  • Go for a walk/walk your dog
  • Paint your nails
  • go to the gym
  • go to the beach
  • take up yoga or pilates 
  • take a class you’ve always wanted to take(fitness related or otherwise.)
  • update your fitness blog
  • create a wall of motivation
  • track your progress
  • clean your room/apartment/home
  • do something extra to make someone happy
  • make something
  • do your homework
  • cut up and package some fruits and veggies for an easy to grab snack when on the go.
  • read a magazine
  • fix something
  • do a facial
  • go on a bike ride
  • go roller blading or skating
  • style your hair

Try to stay active and busy and use hands on activities to pass your day. Avoid too much television or computer time.

8. Plan meals ahead of time, and prepare healthy snacks ahead of time to keep in little baggies or containers in the fridge to grab when in a hurry. Slices of fruits, nuts or a homeade trail mix, and veggies with hummus, peanut butter, or a greek yogurt dip are all good choices. Try planning your meals at least a day in advanced, and pack your own healthy lunch to bring to work or school.

9. Get out of the mindset that you ”must” clean your plate. It would be quite a big coincidence if the amount on your plate every time you eat just happened to be the right amount to fill you up. If you feel full you probably ate too much you should eat to the point where you are not hungry any more but never to the point that you are uncomfortably full. It is ok to save half  of your meal or even more for later. It’s ok to throw some leftovers away. It can sometimes feel uncomfortable for many people to throw away what they havent finished. Many of us were raised not to “waste” and to clean our plates. But I like to use the analogy of the show hoarders, those people feel uncomfortable getting rid of anything even if it will benefit them in the long run, same with food, if you’ve had enough to eat save the rest for later or get rid of it. DONT BE A FOOD HOARDER!

10. Read labels, pay attention to calories, ingredient lists, sugar, but most importantly pay attention to the nutritional value of foods. Avoid empty calories which are in foods with little nutrients and benefit to your body. Make your calories count! Those little 100 calorie snack packs have a low nutritional value because those 100 calories are 100 calories of nothing good for your body. A homeade salad on the other hand has a much higher nutritional value because it’s packed with nutrients, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, water, plenty of things your body can use, so the calories are not wasted if that makes sense.

11. If you think it will help you, keep a food journal. If you find it difficult to track calories then at least just write down the time of your meal and what you ate. Just that is enough to tell you the types of foods your eating and help you visualize what your diet consists of. You can see if your eating foods with high nutritional value, if your snacking too much, if your eating too late at night, etc. You can also write down your workouts and how much water your drinking. Whatever you want too keep track of.

12. Aim to work out 5 days a week or more. Less than 3 days is unacceptable.

13. Don’t give yourself time to talk yourself out of working out. When you find yourself thinking things like “I don’t feel like doing it today, I’ll do it tommarrow.” or “I’ll do it later, I just want to do this first.” Just go mindlessly to the gym, or outside for a jog.  You can do whatever else you want to do after your workout. Your health, fitness, happiness, goals should come first. It’s like the nike slogan says..”Just do it” Don’t make it an option. It’s just like work or school or any other commitment. You may not always want to do it, but you have to because it will benefit you in the long run.

Katy Ursta