I’m sitting at my desk working, and munching on brunch. It occurred to me that many people sit at the desk working and eating, but are you snacking, or filling up on things that are tasty and good for you?
I work out and over the past year have lost around 40 lbs. I want to lose more, but I’m working out and I buy into the trainers telling me muscle weighs more than fat. It does.
One of the major changes has been in my eating habits. There are so many great foods that you can enjoy without adding on the calories.
You can also enjoy healthy snack foods without becoming a gourmet chef or hiring one who specializes in low-fat meals. You don’t even have to order from Jenny Craig™ or Nutrisystem™.
Today’s healthy eating for me has included some of the following.
Overhaul Your Diet: Eat mini-meals
A banana and a glass, no I didn’t measure the ounces, of skim milk. I need the potassium, calcium, and you absorb both better with vitamin D. That happened to serve as my breakfast, which was plenty, because in three to four more hours I eat again. (Sooner, if I get hungry. Remember it’s what you eat that matters.)
Overhaul Your Diet: Veggies make great low-fat munchies
Munching at my desk, today’s snack has been a bag of crisp and tender Snow Peas, raw. Maybe they are an acquired taste, but when you work out and your body needs certain vitamins and minerals it is surprising how you can develop a taste for foods you might not otherwise try.
I have eaten about half the bag of Souther Selects® Snow Peas. They have no fat, no cholesterol, and no sodium. They have 6 healthy carbohydrates – 2 fiber and 3 sugar. I’m also getting vitamins A, a healthy dose of vitamin C, a little more Calcium, and a little iron.
Even if I eat the entire bag, it will only be 85 calories. That’s 85 filling, satisfying calories.
And, they taste great. Snow Peas aren’t dry, but crispy and have just enough of a sweet taste to make you forget your eating something good for you.
Overhaul Your Diet: Another mini-meal with fitness in mind
When you eat multiple times during the day you don’t have to stop for a full blown lunch. Although, if I plan a hard workout tonight, and I do – Karate and cardio at the gym afterwards, I will add have a turkey and cheese sandwich on wheat bread. I don’t know the calorie count. (Shame on me.) I do know it will give me the energy I need for tonight’s workout.
Overhaul Your Diet: Healthy snacking
This afternoon I’ll munch on sweet baby carrots. They contain no fat and no cholesterol. They have 65mg of sodium per serving, which is considered 14 pieces. That’s plenty for a snack. My serving of carrots will have 270mg of potassium, lots of vitamin A, and a little more vitamin C and calcium.
Overhaul Your Diet: Healthy Protein Bar Snack Before or After Workout
If I feel I need it. At some point, before or after my workout I may eat a protein bar. The key to choosing a protein bar is not taste, but protein content versus sodium and sugar content. If I eat an energy bar instead, it will be right before the workout. It will have fewer proteins and more carbohydrates for instant energy. If you are choosing an energy bar or drink watch the sugar and caffeine content.
OverHaul Your Diet: Healthy Dinner
Before it gets too late, I’ll squeeze in a salad. If I didn’t get protein earlier, I’ll put baked or grilled chicken on the salad. If I had a protein bar, I love a salad topped with salsa. (I don’t do dressing, regular or non-fat. I just don’t care for it. It has nothing to do with fitness.) A good salsa adds zest and kick to a salad full of a variety of greens. If I don’t use salsa I’ll toss in some thin sliced apples, grapes, cranberries or other fruit and a handful of unsalted almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
Why bother with nutrition and diet
This may not sound like the diet or nutrition plan your trainer put you on, but I wrote it to make one point very clear. This is what works for me. I’m in better shape than I have ever been in my life, not at the lowest weight, but I have more muscular tone, my heart is healthier, and I’m eating healthier than I ever have. This is what works for me.
To find the best diet and nutrition plan for you follow your body’s cues. There are general principles and plans that work great, especially if you need a highly regimented program, but I have found that by implementing principles from a variety of diet and health plans I am able to sustain my energy and continue to move steadily toward my fitness goals.
Approaching health and fitness goals in this manner helps you make lifestyle changes that you can live with. I has nothing to do with fad diets that have you slim today and bloated next week.
Find a plan that works for you. Borrow a fitness plan or diet and tweak it to your bodies needs. You can always recruit the help of a nutritionist or personal trainer if you don’t feel you have the know-how yourself. You are the one who knows your body. Listen to their expertise, but adapt a lifestyle you can maintain.