Research has shown that many people do better if they decide in advance the eating behaviors they want to change before they start a new approach. So, try these on for size! Most of these suggestions have come from previous Team Weight Loss Challenge members who made significant changes in their food choices and eating behaviors just by having a plan. Here’s 10 real life member tips for healthy eating:
Member Tip #1 Try to eat in the kitchen or dining room whenever you have your basic meals. Think about posture, or using knife and fork. And you might want to take time to enjoy the tastes of your meal. Slow down.
Member Tip #2 Monitor your choices for snacks. Snacks can be a healthy part of your day. A little bit of pick me up such as yogurt, fruit, and cheese. Choose the best for improved energy in the middle of the day. Grazing can be a big part of sustained blood sugars, but you need to have a plan.
Member Tip #3 Overhauling meal preparation behaviors as in the process of “eating while we cook.” This one is a potential hazard to your diet and nutrition plan. Research has shown that eating while you cook might almost double your intake by the end of the meal.
Member Tip #4 Eat real food. When eating “fresh” or “green” you get the natural taste of the food, nothing preserved or adulterated. Digestion can be faster and better. And you will often keep that energy pace going longer.
Member Tip #5 Plan a time in the day/evening that the eating is done for the day. Especially, if you are working at your desk late at night, try not to eat food to stay awake or get through the project. Most people try to finish their eating day by 7:00pm.
Member Tip #6 Have really good behaviors while cooking a meal. Tasting food to make sure it is up to your standards is one thing but, having them right in front of you might lead you to continue eating. Right out of the pot!
Member Tip #7 Get rid of foods that children have had on their plates. It is a bad habit to think that you need to help them have a clean plate. Dispose of the food quickly when they are done eating.
Member Tip #8 Eat slowly, even slower than you are used to. Try a different pace and see if the enjoyment level is a little better. Most research suggests that you take 20 minutes for a full plate of food. Try delay afterwards in the hopes that the food will “catch up with you” and you are able to call it quits.
Member Tip #9 Take time to prepare something for tomorrow to take with you. Nothing is worse than being someplace and being really hungry. I will usually do the prep for tomorrow, while I am fixing dinner. I will make a salad for dinner and at the same time I will have some veggies cut up to put in my bag. I never really try to have a special meal but just something to get through the day. I try to have some leftovers, and extras that I had on hand, like saltines, peanuts, fruit, and cut up veggies, just to have enough to get to the end of the day.
Member Tip #10 Even knowing which meal is going to be the most enjoyed, that is, by choosing foods you would really like to try a new recipe for, is important. You have the meals that are your basics and then you have those that will be special. Dinner is usually the one that is given the most care. It just depends on the time you have and your work schedule.
The overall message here is to suggest that you go over your entire eating experience: when you eat, what the food choices will be, and how you handle the food are all important to the overall experience. You may find out that with just a little tweaking that you will be able to have wonderful results from this year’s Team Weight Loss Challenge that will be potential permanent changes for the rest of your life.
Written by Rita Larsen, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor
Rita is certified in Positive Psychology, University of Penn; has a BS in Dietetics from Kansas State University; and an Internship and Masters at the Indiana University Medical Center.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.