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Friday, March 26, 2010

10 easy ways to improve your diet~

SHARING IS CARING...isnt it? ;)

check these out!!~

Have a Cup of Tea

Don't drink coffee, drink tea. Scientists say that the extremely high content of flavonoids makes tea a really healthy choice, whether it’s green tea, black or some shade in between. The plant-derived compounds are very powerful antioxidants, which help in fighting cell damage and may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Eat Your Breakfast

Mom was right. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. “When you go to bed, the body has to work to keep you alive and that burns calories,” says registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, wellness manager of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 program. “You need to replenish your body when you wake up.” Breakfast will help your body and mind function better during the day and help boost your metabolism to burn more calories. Some smart choices for people on the go: single-serving bowls of whole-grain cereal or oatmeal topped with fruit, or whole wheat crackers or whole wheat muffins topped with cheese or peanut butter.

Downsize Your Dinnerware

This doesn’t mean go out and buy a fancy new set of dinner plates. Rather, start using your salad plates as your dinner plates. Using a smaller plate helps you get used to eating smaller portions. “People will start to really identify with good, healthy portion sizes and will feel very full after they finish a meal on a smaller plate,” Kirkpatrick says. Interesting note: If you own a home built in the 1940s or 1950s, chances are good dinner plates sold today won’t even fit into your older cupboards. Today’s dinner plates average 11 to 12 inches across. Back in the day, dinner plates were only 7 to 9 inches across–the same as today’s salad plate.

Go Crazy with Color

If you do nothing else, “keep food choices bright and vibrant,” suggests Kirkpatrick. That’s because brightly colored foods contain intense concentrations of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants we need to stay healthy. Just compare a bright red juicy apple with a bland beige potato chip or an unnaturally-colored orange cheese chip. “It’s obvious which food choice is going to be healthier for you and which is really going to taste better,” Kirkpatrick says. The same thing goes for grains, like deep brown rice versus white rice, or brown and wheat bread versus processed white.

Stop Obsessing Over Calories

Instead, use the 25-25-50 rule, suggests registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. That means 25 percent of your plate should be covered by lean protein like turkey, chicken or beans; 25 percent should be covered by whole grain pastas, brown rice, or potatoes (baked is preferable to fries), and 50 percent should be covered in vegetables. Vegetables are nutrient-dense, meaning they are packed full of vitamins and minerals, while being low in calories.

Distinguish a Snack from a Treat

A snack fills the requirement of being both nourishing and filling. A treat is neither of those things. A good rule of thumb is to snack once or twice a day, says Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet. Some good choices are apples and almonds, pears and string cheese, carrots and hummus. Treats are cookies, candies, chips and the like. “A treat is just that, a treat, not something that you should indulge in daily,” Blatner says. Instead, keep treats for special occasions. Before long, most people will start to view snacks as an integral part of a daily diet, and won’t even miss treats. An added bonus: People start to feel healthier and may drop a few pounds without even trying.

Enjoy Social Sweets Only

One good way to keep your “sweet tooth” in check is to make sure you only eat sweets socially—and never alone. If you feel the need for something sweet, leave your home or office, grab a friend, and go to a coffee house or even a bakery and indulge in a little something. The key of course is to make sure you don’t completely overindulge. And most important, don’t bring any of those sweets back to your home or office. “You won’t feel deprived at all since you have the added benefit of being social with a friend,” says Blatner.

Indulge in Fancy Fruit

Instead of cake, try making fruits more tempting. “Everyone wants something sweet after dinner, this is just a smarter way to do it,” says Blatner. Knowing full-well it’s tough to get jazzed about an apple, she suggests baking that apple and drizzling it with honey or cinnamon. Take a pear, cut it up, add some nuts, and throw it in the oven. “You can satisfy a sweet tooth without eating a lot of processed junk,” she says.

Crunch on Crudités

One of the questions plaguing dietitians: Why do people trot out a vegetable tray only for a party? Instead, keep these vegetables cut up and available in your refrigerator right at eye level–all the time. Keeps some low-fat ranch dressing or hummus available and that veggie tray will be the first thing you gravitate to when you come home from work. “It really will become second nature,” says Blatner. “And besides, who doesn’t like a veggie tray with dip?”

Water, Water Everywhere

We all know that water is good for us. It helps with digestion, energy levels, weight loss, and can even help keep your skin in top shape. Just how much water to drink really depends on your age, activity level and other factors. A good rule of thumb: kids and adults who are healthy should try drinking water with each meal and between meals. To see if you are getting enough fluid: check your urine. Pale yellow means you are drinking enough. Darker urine or going to the bathroom less than four times a day means you need to up your water intake. Salut!

So from now on....start a healthy lifestyle...no smoking~ *tetbe* hehe

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