Diet and Lifestyle
People’s lifestyles vary, but for the most part, we are all busy. We work longer hours, our kids have more activities, and stay-at-home moms or dads are increasingly rare. Meals are home-cooked less frequently, and fast-food has become the norm.
Finding nutritious meals and exercising more seems like just adding one more element to an already overloaded schedule. The secret is that by addressing your lifestyle in these areas, you will improve it.
Eat at Home
In order to maintain a nutritious lifestyle, the quality of the food consumed and its effect on the body must be the foremost concerns. Eating out is not only expensive, but in many cases it is the least healthy option. Cooking at home is the best way to ensure you and your family are eating right.
But if you are already busy, cooking every meal may seem daunting. Planning can help. A weekly menu for meals and snacks will not only help you stay on track with a healthy diet, but it will also save you money. Save restaurants for special occasions.
How much do Americans spend in restaurants?
In the 1970s Americans spent about one-quarter of their food budgets eating out. In 1999 they were spending nearly half of what they make in restaurants. Imagine how much money could be saved by staying home even half the time!
Pay Attention to How You Eat
Make sure you and your family are eating for the right reasons. Overeating is easy to do in this day and age, but there are a few general rules you can follow to curb your munching habits.
Don’t eat while watching TV. When you’re distracted, you lose track of how much you’ve eaten.
Try not to eat and run. Take time to chew and enjoy the food you eat. You will feel more satisfied with less if you give your stomach time to recognize it is full.
Eat the proper serving size. Even if you are famished, the proper serving size will satisfy you if you give it 20 minutes.
Drink water when you’re thirsty. Save sugary drinks like soda for special occasions. A single can of cola has around 40 grams of sugar. Other styles of pop, like root beer or orange, have even more. Twelve grams of sugar is equal to about one tablespoon, so you are talking nearly four tablespoons, or a quarter cup per can!
Keep only healthy snacks in the house. Snacks should be a part of your daily nutrition plan, curbing hunger until the next meal and providing a boost of energy. But the energy they give you should be long lasting. Energy from sugar and caffeine is not only fleeting, but it makes you feel worse when it’s used up. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are better choices.