Start as you mean to go on. Find some healthy, easily prepared, able to be frozen meals and snacks. The shopping and cooking is a little inefficient to begin with but you soon become great at it all!
Healthy eating habits are at the core of a healthy lifestyle. With so much information out there, deciding what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat can be confusing. So, let’s begin with a definition of nutrition: healthy eating emphasizing portion control and consumption of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
Foods can be grouped into three main categories: protein, fat, and carbohydrate. Many diet programs will emphasize one or more of these categories to the exclusion of the others. I'm a strong believer that a balanced approach is best for most people.
The natural colors of fruits and vegetables indicate the presence of various nutrients, so the more color the better.
Monitoring the amount of food you eat is one of the best ways to control your weight. A healthy portion is one cupped handful of fruits, vegetables, and grains, and a protein portion is about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand. This measurement is easy to remember and proportional to your size and gender.
Eat three small meals every day. Imagine your plate as a peace sign with one portion of protein, two portions of fruits / vegetables, and two portions of whole grains at every meal. Include healthy, strategic snacking between meals so that you never go longer than three to four hours without eating.
Healthy snacks are nuts, a piece of fruit, veggies, protein bars, a single serving tub of yogurt, etc. This kind of healthy snacking helps you maintain a constant supply of energy while boosting your metabolism to work more efficiently.
Seek out organic produce, meats, grains (as tolerated), and dairy (as tolerated) whenever possible. Avoid pesticides and anything artificial (flavoring, preservatives, colorings). These have no nutritive value and are risky at best for human consumption.
Stay away from processed, manufactured, or genetically modified food! A basic rule of thumb is to refrain from eating foods that didn't exist when our great, great grandparents were young and know what you're eating by getting in the habit of reading food labels on all packaged products. Compare the nutritive qualities of different brands and choose wisely.
Each person has unique needs based on age, gender, and health status. If you have a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity or hypertension, I encourage you to consult your doctor and a registered dietician for a personalized program designed to meet your specific needs and health goals.