Nutrition for Women
Many women try to keep health and nutrition at the center point of their lives. But new life and job roles can make it difficult. Tons of magazines and media sources tell you how to lose 5 pounds quickly or how to achieve the body of your dreams, but many of these fad diets aren’t sustainable. And unfortunately, if you fail, it can leave you discouraged in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That’s where we want to help. We’ll give you some tips and action steps to help you manage your weight and health sustainably.
Where To Start?
A healthy lifestyle begins in the kitchen. Start by choosing smaller portion sizes, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats and proteins. This can also lead to “this instead of that”. Here are some substitutions the CDC suggests to get you started.
- Use cooking spray instead of butter. People tend to scoop butter and use too much than is needed.
- Load up on fruits and vegetables instead of fries or chips as your sides.
- Steam your vegetables instead of boiling or frying them. Boiling leaches out valuable nutrients from your vegetables and frying adds unnecessary fats.
- If you are eating a salad, dip your fork into the dressing instead of dumping the dressing on your salad. You would be surprised how many extra fats, sugars, and sodium is hiding in your salad dressing.
- For a sweet snack, try apples, bananas, or citrus fruits instead of sweets.
Learn to read a nutrition label. They were changed recently to make them easier to read. Remember to keep half of your plate as fruits or vegetables. Popular substitutions for a meal is to have a large salad, but a lot of bad fats and sodium can be hiding in it. Look for fatty meats, oil based dressings, heavy cheeses, etc are all used as flavor enhancements and lessens the impact of the amount of vegetables you’re eating. The easiest way to solve that problem, make your own dressing!
Eating Well While Eating Out
Many of us are eating out more now than ever before. Americans spend more money on eating out than groceries! So let’s start there.
- Start with your drink. Water is usually brought to your table, so drink it! Many people don’t drink enough water.
- Appetizer salads are good. Keep in mind about the amount of dressings and fatty and sodium laden foods hidden in there, however.
- Manage portion sizes. Share an entrée with some friends or cut your entrée in half to take the other half home.
- Look for alternative sides. Fries don’t always have to go with your burger. Look for a side salad or fruit as a substitute.
- Eat more slowly. This will make you feel fuller faster, leading you to eat less.
What Else Should You Be Doing?
Leading a generally healthy lifestyle is a good place to start. Try reducing the amount of alcohol you consume but you don’t have to cut it out completely! In fact, small amounts of red wine have some positive health impacts. Try to also reduce the amount of sodium, sugars, and fats that you get from snack foods and look for places it might be hidden. Remember our salad dressing example? The same logic applies here.
No One Is Perfect And You Shouldn’t Have To Try To Be
Try the 80/ 20 rule. One of Taher’s corporate dietitians, Melanie Wirth, says that it’s ok to be really good 80% of the time and let loose 20% of the time, especially for women. No one expects everything 100% of the time. That being said, it’s a lot easier to maintain weight than lose weight. So try to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle most days and be ok with eating an extra cookie (or sleeve of them) on other days.