For the past year I have been doing a lot of research into a healthier diet. It turns out there is a growing movement with nutritionists, athletes, and diet gurus that there is something to be said for a low carb diet. From what I have read, the American Health Pyramid is actually a terrible way to eat, and has been a major contributor to the obesity and heart disease epidemic we are facing. I won’t go into the whole thing, because I am neither a nutritionist or a doctor, but I assure you that the future of health and diet will be in a low carb high veggie diet.
Though I believe in cutting out most of the carbs and sugar from your diet, I am not a fan of extremism. So I put together five tips on easy ways to eat healthier in the new year. I follow all of these rules and haven’t gained a pound. As a matter of fact I lost six pounds and have easily kept it off! I would also like to clarify that a vegetarian or vegan diet is also, in my opinion, healthy if you do it correctly. But for those of you who eat meat, poultry, and fish, I advocate doing your best to stay away from grains and sugars in all forms.
I love bead and pasta as much as everyone else, but I have learned that on an everyday basis, they should be considered treats. My kids love pasta, so we eat noodles about once a week and I didn’t want to give that up. So I started experimenting with different ways of making veggie noodles and my favorite is spaghetti squash. I love the slightly sweet taste and the noodle-like texture. Now I make the same sauce for my family, but my husband and I have the squash while my kids eat the pasta. They also get some of the squash, but I have no problem with kids having carbs, so long as they don’t have a weight problem. Frankly, my kids are not big eaters and it is an effort to get them to eat anything at all! But the spaghetti squash substitute has really helped both my husband and I loose some weight and keep it off.
Another trick I use is using almond meal in place of bread crumbs when I make chicken fingers for dinner. I just use the almond meal exactly the same way I would use the crumbs- by seasoning them with some salt and herbs and then dredging the chicken in beaten eggs, then the nut flour, and then pan cooking the chicken in some oil. I find it more filling that regular bread crumbs, and nuts have a lot more nutrients than bread. I will caution you that nuts are high in calories, so don’t go too crazy with it.
I have never been a fan of low fat products. Fat doesn’t make you fat. This is becoming more and more clear as scientist figure out why low carb diets work. With that said, there are still good fats and bad fats, and milk fats are not great for you. But they are still better for you than sugar, which is what is being substituted for taste in low fat products. So try using full fat product and see if it makes a difference.
I think this is one of the easiest tips to implement in your new year’s diet. First of all, Greek yogurt is delicious! I think it tastes extremely similar to sour cream, but it has a much higher protein content, which keeps you feeling fuller, longer. I pretty much always substitute Greek yogurt in my every-day dishes for both sour cream and mayo. Though for my nice dinners, I always stick with the original. There is no reason to deprive yourself of one nice dinner a week!
Portion control is the one I struggle with the most. So I have found by putting my dinner in a small bowl I end up eating less without feeling either hungry in an hour or over-stuffed. Another trick is to eat your meal on salad plates, which are smaller than the average dinner plate. By decreasing your portion size you are automatically decreasing your calories, which is a good thing in an overall diet.
By incorporating these five tips into your eating habits, you should probably loose a few pounds and feel a lot healthier. Do you have any tricks you use to eat healthy?