We all know that unhealthy eating behavior is one of the causes of obesity. The latest figures from the CDC show that more than one-third of Americans are obese. Sadly, the number continues to increase every year.
Obesity is obvious; but, there are other signs of unhealthy eating habits such as muscle loss, osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, strain on bones, muscles and joints, and high cholesterol. These maladies are preventable; and diet, as the precursor, sheds light on the importance of making conscious choices about both what we eat and how much we eat.
If you want to live a long, healthy, productive, and independent life, you must consider your nutritional choices.
Healthy eating isn’t always a drastic change, and the results may be quickly noticeable. The benefits in the way you feel, both inside and out, far outweigh the momentary withdrawals from the addicting effect of foods that are killing you.
Some of these benefits include things such as: energy for everything, including those workouts you avoid because you don’t feel up to it; muscle growth and recovery; and mental clarity. Combine healthy eating with exercise, and you will be rockin’ a fitter body in no time.
Even small movements away from unhealthy eating behavior can make a big difference, such as breaking the habit of snacking while watching television. If you must satisfy the urge to chew on something, go for crunchy snacks such as veggies or fruit.
Choose healthy foods that you really enjoy eating. The best plan to build on is one that you will stick to and becomes an overall lifestyle rather than a "diet".
Avoiding saturated and trans fats, simple carbs, and sugars can be achieved simply by making conscious choices such as reading labels and choosing whole, unprocessed foods.
Eating too many empty calories will impede your fitness progress and often leave you more tired and lethargic than before eating. However, with a little conscious effort you can replace these foods by planning healthier meals and snacks, and leaving the sweet treat as an occasional reward.
My rule of thumb: if it’s white, don’t eat it! Cut out the sugar, white flour, potatoes, and white rice. You also need to watch out for those snacks. Here are some recommendations for snacking.
Don’t overlook hydration as an important element when leaving behind any unhealthy eating behavior. It isn’t uncommon for people to not know how much water they should be consuming. Waiting until you are thirsty is not the best way to monitor your water intake.
I never bought into the old 8-oz.-per-day recommendation. There is no one-size-fits-all because it depends on variables such as activity – and, the obvious, we are not all the same size.
If you have read enough of my website, you know that I like rules of thumb. They just make my life easier. So, here's another one of Bonnie’s little rules of thumb. Years ago, I was told that my daily intake in ounces should be equal to half my body weight in pounds. So, a 150-lb. person should consume about 75 oz. of water each day.
Thanks to my daughter's suggestion many years ago, I keep a 33.8 fluid-ounce bottle of water in my home, and refill it when necessary. It's a great reminder to drink water, and a way to keep track of my daily water intake.