Enjoy your food, but eat less-Here are my top 5 things to “eat less” to achieve better health
1.Restaurant food (uniformed choices): Dining out is common, but even registered dietitians cannot always tell how many calories are in the food and what has been added. Many people rely on dining out for a variety of reasons, but they can ask for menu modifications. Also, the best thing to do would to be to check out the menu ahead of time and plan ahead! Most restaurants have websites with nutrition information listed as well as this great tool Healthy Dining. If you don’t have time before arriving to the restaurant, feel free to ask for nutrition information with your menu! Please know I am not saying you cannot have your favorite pizza or burger, but consider having them less often! Most importantly-educate yourself on what you are eating!
2. Refined foods: Foods being stripped of their vitamins and minerals and having to be “fortified” back in and long ingredient lists are just the beginning of the problems with refined foods. Foods from MyPlate and simple recipes can help with this! Scrambled eggs with veggies with a slice of whole wheat toast and a cup of skim milk to start your day- easy and healthy. You can also replace “snack foods” crackers, chips cookies, etc with less refined options like a hardboiled eggs, fruits, veggies, and many more “whole” food options.
3. Sugar: I’m not saying give it up, but research shows we eat too much. Consider limiting soda, juices, and sweetened beverages, sugar filled cereals, desserts and more. Sugar might be hiding places you do not expect it (high fructose corn syrup), so watch the amount you know you are drinking and eating. Also, sometimes these are loaded with saturated and trans fats (baked goods), so eat less of these and you’ll get a double benefit!
4. Sodium: Most of us are unaware of the amount of sodium we actually consume each day! The more processed foods we eat, the more sodium we get in our diet. Try to not use the salt shaker and consider using other spices to flavor food. A good rule of thumb for label reading is to look for no more than one milligram of sodium per one calorie of food (you’ll quickly see how sodium adds up). Refer back to number 2 and have more whole foods-you’ll automatically end up with less sodium in your diet.
5. Alcohol: Like food, many of us do not know how many calories we consume when we drink alcohol. The calories add up quickly (and even more quickly for mixed drinks). Also, along with alcohol consumption comes the likelihood of overeating or mindless eating.
So those are my 5 tips for eating less. Another thing to do overall is decrease the portions and you’ll decrease many of these anyway! See my previous blog post on the SuperTracker on how to learn portion sizes.