Being overweight or underweight puts you at risk for chronic diseases, health conditions, and potential falls and fractures. Doctors determine weight based on your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI is a calculation of your body fat based on your height and weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), your weight status is determined by your BMI. The levels of weight status are:
BMI Weight Status
Researchers have determined that a BMI of 25 or more is a risk for chronic disease and poor health. To maintain a healthy weight, the CDC recommends that your diet contains:
Lean protein sources include fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and soy products. Low-fat foods should be low in saturated and trans-fat and cholesterol. Talk with your doctor about how many calories you need every day and plan your diet within that allowance.
To determine your BMI status check the chart below and if you would like a PDF version let me know in the comments below and I will send one to you.
In a previous article I provided 11 unhealthy eating patterns and made suggestions for eating in a more wholesome way. Now the problem may not be with what you are eating, but with how much you’re eating - or not eating.
Most of us really do not know how many servings of fruits and vegetables we’re supposed to eat on a daily basis. And if you do know, then you may not know how much of each type is in a serving. Here are a few examples:
While it may sound tricky, it is actually isn’t once you get the hang of the science behind it.
And here are four tips to help you out.
Washing, draining, and cutting your food in advance is a great time-saver. Plus, it’ll stop any excuse you have from grabbing that comfort food, like a cookie, dead in its tracks. Once you got that done it’ll be easier to add some chopped broccoli to your omelets, or a handful of berries to your yogurt or pancake batter.
This also makes it easier to roast vegetables, giving them a quick stir in some oil, a bit of seasoning and heat pumps up their flavor and, in some cases, even enhances their nutritional values. You can roast almost all vegetables either in the oven or on your stove top. And you can even mix and match, and create your own, unique healthy recipes.
One of our favorite dishes is to stir fry vegies with chicken or left over roast pieces. Add a small portion of rice on the side or pour the mixture over the rice and you have a quick and easy yummy meal.
Another wonderful way to plan ahead is keep frozen fruits and vegetables on hand. They still retain both their nutritional value and their delicious flavor. The added advantages of having frozen food stuffs available are that they are already prepared, ready to go, and available whenever you need them.
Enjoy a Salad
Compliment your lunch or dinner meal with a salad. Salads may be the most versatile meals ever developed. You can do classic salads or add protein like chicken or tuna; you can add beans, chickpeas, corn - whatever your taste buds desire.
You can also add nuts, fruits, and vegies to your salad. There is nothing like a plate salad with leavy greens, toped with strawberries, blueberries, mixed nuts, and sliced left-over chicken. A really healthy meal in itself. However, watch what you use for dressing as some of them are too creamy and filled with salt. Use a simple dressing such as Italian or my favourite - a splashing of Amoretto liqueur.
Salads are also a great lunch alternative as they are lower in calories while still filling you up while at the same time reducing the risk of late afternoon tiredness. This is so because salads contain ingredients that are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals that keep your metabolism going longer while boosting concentration and energy levels.
And Then There Is Dessert
The trick here is to have that sumptuous dessert without blowing your diet to heck. It seems we all crave something sweet after each meal (and in-between them) because our blood sugar levels drop at certain times during the day. Rather than going for that candy bar or bucket of ice-cream, grab a bit of fruit or raw vegies which will fill you with fiber, vitamins, minerals.
This will bring your craving to a halt plus it will improve your focus and sharpness during the afternoon, as opposed to that drowsy feeling that comes over us when we’re drained and feel out of sorts. You can cut up several types of fruit to make a fruit salad or put them in a blender to make a smoothie. You can have a different type of desert for every day of the week that will satisfy your sweet tooth without piling on the calories.
Does that mean you can’t have a piece of pie after a meal. Absolutely not. However, watch how big of slice you have – a quarter of a pie is too much, cut the quarter in half or thirds and you are looking at better portion. And, if you are having apple pie reduce the ice cream scope to half.
The best thing you can do for your health is to find the right amounts that suit your needs. Your gender, age, whether you lead an active or a more sedentary lifestyle are all factors that determine how much you should eat.
Here Comes The Meat
Meat adds protein to your diet and most people enjoy it with there meals. Vegetarians need protein as well, but they get it from other sources – a topic for another article. Remember too much red meat is hard on the heart. We don’t need a whole steak or four thick slices of roast beef for example. The best way to calculate meat portions is to measure them against the palm of your hand. Make the meat portion as big as the palm of your hand. This way you wont eat the whole steak and maybe you will have enough for two people or save some for another day with your salad.
The bottom line is that you can keep your BMI in check by eating balanced meals and proper foods. One method of keeping that balance and mix of foods is using the Mediterranean Diet Plan (See my Review here)
The Mediterranean Diet is a way to consume healthy foods in the traditional style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The diet traditionally consists of the region’s fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood, olive oil and dairy. Ah, and “la pièce de résistance” of any meal is a pleasant glass of wine or two. However, the Mediterranean Diet is more than just delicious and wholesome food. For it to have an impact on your mood and your mental and physical health you will need to keep up with your regular physical activity and socialization especially by sharing your favorite meals with family and friends.
If you want to create your own Customized Mediterranean Diet Plan Go Here.
Thank you for reading and as always,
Stay Safe. Be Well. And become the person you were meant to be.
Sources for this article
BMI Tables : https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmi_tbl2.htm
Food is intended for the human body as sustenance and nutrition. That is its only intent. It is meant to give essential nutrients that work to support internal bodily process and feed major organs. It provides us with energy and is essential for the proper physical development of children and keeps adults fit.
Somewhere along the way, we have seriously lost touch with this fact. Of course, the endless rows of goodies at the supermarket, and unlimited choices of junk food have not helped us in any way. Healthy eating still eludes many of us, as America struggles with obesity and lifestyle choices are the leading cause of premature death from diseases like that of the heart that result from them.
You may be continuing unhealthy eating patterns without even knowing it. You may need another wake-up call around ways you can eat healthier to avoid the complications that come from poor nutrition and poor eating habits.
Here 11 signs that indicate you are not engaging in healthy eating habits
1. You Finish Your Meal Before Anyone Else.
If you are the first one done eating at the dinner table, you are probably eating mindlessly and are not enjoying your meal in a healthy way. Chomping down your meal within a few minutes can lead to indigestion in seconds, and this in turn can lead to your becoming overweight.
Instead, eat more slowly and take part in whatever conversation is going on around the table. Your hormonal signal to turn off eating takes about 20 minutes so if you finish much sooner than that, you will feel hungry even when you have taken in enough calories, which typically results in eating more food than you really need.
2. You Eat Food That Has Been Manufactured In A Food Processing Factory.
Instead of cooking with fresh ingredients, you might be choosing to eat pre-processed foods, which are high in preservatives and are often high in salt and/or calories. Take the time to cook a meal with fresh ingredients, which are healthier foods. Find a nice selection of home-prepared meals you can put into your own personal cookbook. When you cook for yourself, you know exactly what has gone into making any meal and you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing what you put into your body.
3l You Shop In The Center Part Of The Grocery Store.
If you find yourself going up and down the center aisles of the grocery store, where canned and processed foods reside and less or no time in the periphery of the store that holds fresh produce, meat, and dairy you are eating foods that are high in preservatives, salt and sugar and NOT real whole food. Remember, food that does not need refrigeration is usually processed (except whole grains of course) Spend more time in the produce section of the grocery store because this leads to eating healthier fruits and vegetables instead of eating unhealthy, processed foods.
4. You Eat Right Out Of The Box Or Carton.
If you find yourself eating potato chips right out of the bag or ice cream out of the carton, you are probably not eating the right portions of food and will have a tendency to eat more food than you had originally intended to eat. This is a sure fire way to obesity. Instead, portion out your foods onto a plate or bowl so that you stop when that portion is gone and save the rest for another meal.
5. You Eat From The Drive Thru Regularly.
Unless you are ordering a salad every time, which most of us don’t, eating from a drive thru regularly is not conducive to good nutrition. Most drive thru restaurants offer fast food, which is greasy, fat filled and lacks any real nutrients. Consider whole food, which is food typically made up one ingredient and unprocessed. Fresh fish, chicken, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are whole foods, and they are not offered at the drive thru.
6. You Eat In Front Of The TV.
When you find yourself drawn toward eating in front of the television, it means you are probably eating mindlessly and not directing your attention to how much you are eating or to the signals your body gives off when you are full. This leads to overeating and obesity. Sit down to your meals and listen to soothing music or to nothing at all. That way you can focus on your meal and not on something else. It seems as one gets older and their children have left home eating in front of the TV is more habit forming.
7. You Eat A Narrow Variety Of Food.
If you just eat the same limited amount of food each day, you stand a good chance of missing some key nutrients in your diet. Fill your menu with different foods so that you can be sure to get the nutrients you need. Colorful plates are healthy, filled with many colors of vegetables and fruit for dessert to get key nutrients from plant foods. Look at the USDA’s Food Groups Chart and make sure to choose foods from each group daily, this is the easiest way to ensure you are eating a well-balanced diet.
8. You Eat To Appease Emotions.
Emotional eating or overeating is always unhealthy. Mainly this takes place when people are bored, lonely, tired, upset, stressed, or angry. It always occurs when one is not truly hungry but is trying to use food to cover up emotions and the food or foods of choice is always junk food. As cocaine, or other illicit drugs junk food stimulates pleasure centers in the brain because it is loaded with sugar, fat or factory created flavoring that holds no nutritional value.
Emotional overeating can be a serious problem that can lead to obesity, depression, guilt, and anxiety over the eating itself. This is one of the most serious unhealthy eating habits and plenty of help is available to address the problem. Unfortunately too many people binge eat or are caught in the trap of gorging themselves and then vomit. If you find you are one of these people please seek help.
9. You Eat Two Or Less Giant Meals Daily.
It is much healthier to eat 5 to 7 small meals each day than to eat two or worse yet one large one. When you eat small meals several times per day you keep the metabolism revved and never let your blood sugars drop. When you starve yourself the whole day and then down a big meal, you put yourself at risk for obesity and you will not maintain optimal energy levels you’re your daily activities. This is called grazing and if you watch animals they have this down pat.
10. You Eat More Calories Daily Than You Burn
The simple formula for weight management and weight loss is to eat less calories than you burn so to create a deficit. This is true for men and women and becomes even more detrimental as we age, and out metabolism slows naturally. Online calorie calculators can determine how many calories you need to either lose or maintain weight based on your age, weight, and activity level.
11. You Eat In Secret.
If you are hiding food, or eating meals in secret so that your spouse, friends or family do not see you, something is wrong. It could be that you have a negative association with your eating habits that you want to keep secret, or you have some guilt or shame attached to eating. In this case, it is important to identify and deal with the issue, a therapist can help.
Eating healthy is not difficult if you follow the tips noted above. Healthy eating means eating mindfully and choosing foods that are best for your body.
The takeaway is simple: Eat To Live… Don’t Live To Eat!
It’s really all about choices, and it’s all in our hands. Take the time to evaluate your diet and eating habits. Make the necessary changes before it is too late, as prevention is worth a thousand cures.
Make small changes every week, instead of drastic shifts where you will feel the biggest impact. Make a list of all the foods you need to cut down on in your diet and keep cutting one out each week.
Certainly, these efforts are worth your while, as life is too short not to enjoy it.
Oh, and before you go check your BMI to see if you are overweight.
Being overweight or underweight puts you at risk for chronic diseases, health conditions, and potentials falls and fractures. Doctors determine weight based on your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI is a calculation of your body fat based on your height in inches (centimeters) and weight in pounds (kilos). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), your weight status is determined by your BMI. The levels of weight status are:
You can check your FREE BMI calculation HERE
Thank you for reading and remember your personal growth and development matters and as always,
Keep safe and Be Well.
The title of this article closely resembles one of those pesky pop-up ads on your favorite Internet site, claiming some remarkable fitness solution “in just 30 days!”.
When it comes to weight management, most would assume that in order to lose (or maintain) a certain body weight, eating more food is entirely counterproductive.
There is some truth to this assumption; any time you consume more calories than your body burns, the excess must be stored somewhere (remember those laws of conservation of energy from high school?).
However, there are actually a few gimmick-free ways that technically allow you to consume “more” food without experiencing any weight gain.
Throughout the remainder of this discussion, we will describe 5 tricks that allow you to consume more food without gaining fat in the process. Quite literally, having your cake and eating it too!
Same Portion Size Does Not Mean Equal Calories
When it comes to different food options, the same serving size of two different items in no way means they contain the same amount of calories. As you are (hopefully) aware, a fist-sized portion of lean chicken has nowhere close to the caloric content of an equal amount of chocolate cake.
What does this mean for you desire to eat more food without suffering the consequences? Well, to do the trick, it is important to pick out foods that are relatively low in calories in relation to serving size. This allows you to technically eat more food while simultaneously keeping your calorie count to a minimum.
Experiment With Different Eating Windows
While this trick may seem like a technicality, eating all of your daily calories within a relatively short window is another way to feel like you are stuffing your face guilt-free. Though this is often cited as intermittent fasting, you are not required to follow any specific protocol.
This approach may be rather difficulty at first. Over time, however, your body will most likely make a smooth adjustment. If you can maintain the willpower and self-control to avoid eating outside of whatever “window” you set for yourself, you can all but go crazy during feeding time, while still not maxing out your caloric budget.
Don’t Spend Your Calories On Liquids
One of the quickest and easiest ways to go overboard on calories is through sugary drinks such as soda and frozen beverages. Without even realizing it, you can easily consume half a days worth of recommended calories in only a few of these items! In your noble quest to eat more food without gaining weight, this obviously leaves you much less room to work with.
Instead of spending your daily calories on sugary drinks, try consuming water or another low-calorie alternative. By doing so, you are able to eat more food without going overboard on calories.
Whole Foods Versus Their Processed Alternatives
There are many reasons why whole foods are vastly superior to the processed excuses for nutrition readily available all around us. The fact that they almost always contain fewer calories is one of them.
When food is consumed in its natural form, it is spared the refinement process, which usually involves the addition of high calorie sweeteners and preservatives.
Simply put, as far as calories go, you get much more bang for your buck by eating whole foods. While stuffing your face with fresh produce may not be quite as enticing as a pint of ice cream, at least you eat more of it!
Lastly, You Guessed It, Exercise
This one is pretty simple and probably the first thing that comes to mind when posing the question of how to eat more food without gaining weight. Exercise causes the body to need more calories to burn as fuel.
This approach is quite the opposite of the other choices we have discussed in that instead of being mindful of your total caloric intake, you can actually decrease your bottom line.
To be fair, the amount of exercise required to burn a significant number of calories is pretty high. Eating till you are stuffed and trying to undo the situation on a treadmill is not very efficient. However, getting enough exercise on a consistent basis will allow you to eat more while reducing the amount of calories your body stores.