What To Eat After a Heavy Workout

Find out how to build the perfect post-workout meal!

 

So you went to the gym and you KILLED your workout. Now what? What you eat next could make a big difference in your fitness results and your recovery time. Keep reading to get the best tips on what to eat after a heavy workout!

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First let’s start with what you shouldn’t eat:

You want to avoid fat right after a heavy workout. Fat by itself isn’t always bad, of course, but you shouldn’t eat fat right after a workout because you want to get carbs and proteins into your body as fast as you can. Including fat in that post-workout meal with slow your digestion, and you want to start digestion your protein and carbs quickly to get the maximum effect from them!

When should you eat?

We know that there’s a window of about an hour after a workout that’s the ideal time to refuel your body, so it’s important to take advantage of your time and make sure you’re feeding yourself after a workout. If you want a shower first, go for it– it doesn’t have to be the second you drop the weights. But you don’t need to shower, go to your car, run some errands, then get home and cook. Do what you need to do (meal-prepping, anyone?) to find a way to eat a healthy meal post-workout.

On to protein and carbs:

You know why you want protein (muscle building woot woot!) but do you know why your body needs carbs after a workout? They aid in the recovery system for your muscles! You need a good meal after an intense workout that consists of easy to digest (which means faster digestion time) food. Here are a few options to consider:

Eggs

Don’t let the Rocky movies trick you– there is no benefit to consuming raw eggs. In fact, your body will be able to absorb even more of their protein by cooking them. Hard-boiled (easy to prep ahead!) or scrambled, make them however you want to meet your protein goals for your post-workout meal!

Whole Grain Pita and Hummus

Carbs? check. Protein? check. Add your favorite spices to your hummus to keep things exciting, and dip away post-workout to make sure your body has what it needs to recover and grow!

Sweet Potatoes

A baked sweet potato has the perfect dose of healthy carbs to kick your body’s recovery functions into full gear. Pair this with your favorite go-to protein and remember to hydrate yourself!

Rice or Potatoes

While we’re often warned against white starches, they can be helpful right after a workout because the lack of fiber (the reason we’re told to avoid them) actually helps your body to digest them faster, helping you to quickly access the carbs your body needs to begin recovery. Chicken and rice or potatoes is a dish you can even pack ahead of time if you’re really serious about getting that meal in right after your workout is finished.

What’s your favorite post-workout meal?

Find out how to build the perfect post-workout meal!

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What to Eat After a Heavy Workout

So you went to the gym and you KILLED your workout.  Now what?  What you eat next could make a big difference in your fitness results and your recovery time.  Keep reading to get the best tips on what to eat after a heavy workout!

» Show more

 

First let’s start with what you shouldn’t eat:

You want to avoid fat right after a heavy workout.  Fat by itself isn’t always bad, of course, but you shouldn’t eat fat right after a workout because you want to get carbs and proteins into your body as fast as you can.  Including fat in that post-workout meal with slow your digestion, and you want to start digestion your protein and carbs quickly to get the maximum effect from them!

 

When should you eat?

We know that there’s a window of about an hour after a workout that’s the ideal time to refuel your body, so it’s important to take advantage of your time and make sure you’re feeding yourself after a workout.  If you want a shower first, go for it– it doesn’t have to be the second you drop the weights.  But you don’t need to shower, go to your car, run some errands, then get home and cook.  Do what you need to do (meal-prepping, anyone?) to find a way to eat a healthy meal post-workout.

 

On to protein and carbs:

You know why you want protein (muscle building woot woot!) but do you know why your body needs carbs after a workout?  They aid in the recovery system for your muscles!  You need a good meal after an intense workout that consists of easy to digest (which means faster digestion time) food.  Here are a few options to consider:

Eggs

Don’t let the Rocky movies trick you– there is no benefit to consuming raw eggs.  In fact, your body will be able to absorb even more of their protein by cooking them.  Hard-boiled (easy to prep ahead!) or scrambled, make them however you want to meet your protein goals for your post-workout meal!

Whole Grain Pita and Hummus

Carbs? check.  Protein? check.  Add your favorite spices to your hummus to keep things exciting, and dip away post-workout to make sure your body has what it needs to recover and grow!

Sweet Potatoes

A baked sweet potato has the perfect dose of healthy carbs to kick your body’s recovery functions into full gear.  Pair this with your favorite go-to protein and remember to hydrate yourself!

Rice or Potatoes

While we’re often warned against white starches, they can be helpful right after a workout because the lack of fiber (the reason we’re told to avoid them) actually helps your body to digest them faster, helping you to quickly access the carbs your body needs to begin recovery.  Chicken and rice or potatoes is a dish you can even pack ahead of time if you’re really serious about getting that meal in right after your workout is finished.

 

What’s your favorite post-workout meal?

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Skinny Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Yields: 8 servings – serving size: 1 cup – fat 3g – calories:170 – carbs:16g

This is a quick, easy, yet delicious low calorie chicken noodle soup! Taking advantage of a supermarket’s rotisserie chicken makes this recipe only 30 minutes!

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Skinny Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1lb) cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 medium stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups low fat chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat egg noodles
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, add oil and chicken to med-high heat, cook chicken until almost thoroughly cooked.
  2. In a medium-large pot (at least 3 quarts) add chicken and all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. let boil for 15 min. Turn off heat and allow to simmer for 5-6 min. Add crackers on top if desired. Enjoy!
http://revampfitness.com/skinny-chicken-noodle-soup/

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Meatballs With Spicy Marinara Sauce

 

Our Revamp Fitness’ lean version of the classic Italian dish uses ground turkey as leaner, low-calorie alternative to ground beef. Nutritious garnishes like minced onions, parsley, and red pepper flakes give these meatballs a spicy kick with a host of health benefits. After trying one of these warm, chewy balls, your taste buds will be surprised this recipe is both delicious and easy on your waistline!

These meatballs are the ultimate companion to whole-grain spaghetti noodles or pasta, and will forever put an end to fatty, lackluster spaghetti dinners!

Yields: 6 servings – serving size: 2 meatballs – calories:260 – fat: 10g 

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Meatballs With Spicy Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • Meatballs: 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp black pepper, divided
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • Marinera Sauce:
  • 1 (24oz) jar marinera sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix all the meatball ingredients (except ground turkey). Add the meat and incorporate into the ingredients with your hands. Roll into 12 (1 1/2 inch) meatballs and place on a nonstick or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 min. Turn the meatballs over and bake an additional 10 min, or until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, pour marinara sauce and crushed red pepper into a saucepan. Cook on the stove top over low heat until simmering. Add cooked meatballs. Garnish with parsley and onions. Enjoy!
http://revampfitness.com/meatballs-spicy-marinara-sauce/
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6 Super Healthy Breakfast Grains

Find some new healthy breakfast inspiration here with these 6 healthy breakfast grains!

Breakfast can be one of the most challenging meals of the day to prepare, simply because mornings can be so hectic sometimes.  The temptation to eat processed foods, junk, or to just skip the meal altogether is REAL!  Check out these six healthy breakfast grains that can be prepared in advance to help you get a quick and healthy breakfast every day!

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Quinoa

You may have seen it in salads, but did you know that you can whip this grain up for breakfast, too?  Quinoa is a great breakfast grain because it can be prepared in bulk in advance!  Treat it like a cereal and mix it with your favorite milk– whole milk, coconut milk, or almond milk– and heat it.  Add your prepared fruit on top and you’ve got an instagram-worthy healthy breakfast bowl!  The protein in quinoa will help you to stay full until lunch, and you won’t be loading up on highly processed or sugary stuff from a box!

 

Buckwheat

This is a great gluten-free option if you’re craving oatmeal, because you can prepare it the same way.  You can go sweet or savory depending on the ingredients you decide to toss in.  The texture of buckwheat porridge is a bit creamier and less lumpy than traditional oatmeal, and has a slightly nutty taste to it!

Steel-cut oats

A traditional breakfast staple, steel-cut oats make a great start to your day.  Heart-healthy and quick to make on the stove or the microwave (or overnight in the fridge!), buying steel-cut oats gives you more fiber than the instant version.  Add your favorite nuts and fruits to boost the nutrients count!

Muesli

You might not have tried this dish, but you really should give it a shot!  Try this:  warm muesli with ricotta (or greek yogurt) and honey.  It’s quick and savory, and you can add other fruits or nuts if you’d like!

 

Brown Rice

I know that in the western world, rice isn’t a common breakfast, but hear me out:  I had a friend who hated breakfast foods. She’s not a big fan of fruit and doesn’t like honey or yogurt.  She loves savory breakfasts, like eggs and bacon and toast.  So when she went on a stricter diet, her nutritionist suggested she make brown rice bowls for the morning– stirfried veggies that can be batch prepped at the beginning of the week, mixed with brown rice that can also be batch prepped at the beginning of the week– TaDa!  Unconventional?  Absolutely.  Did it work for her? Absolutely.  Maybe you should give it a try!

 

Freekeh

An Arabic grain that you might not have heard of before, this stuff acts as a prebiotic that helps to grow healthy gut bacteria.  It also offers up over 4 times the amount of fiber than brown rice!  Serve it warm with fruit, ricotta (or yogurt), and honey to get your day started right!  You can find this grain in your local arabic supermarket.

 

What are your favorite breakfast dishes?

Find some new healthy breakfast inspiration here with these 6 healthy breakfast grains!

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Food Labels– What Do They Really Mean?

Make sure you know how to understand food labels and ingredient lists!

Understanding food labels can be tricky business– serving sizes might be half of a container that otherwise looks like a single serving to you, and ingredients can go be disguised by other names that you don’t recognize.  Read up below on how to understand food labels, and make sure you’re informed about what you’re putting in your body!

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Serving Size

At the top of the nutriton information panel on the back of each product, you’ll see the serving size.  This might come in grams or another unit of measurement that you don’t keep handy in your brain, but it should also estimate about how many servings are in that container.  Don’t just assume that a small container is one serving– check this information first so you can then inform yourself about the balance of nutrients listed below.

 

Calories

Once you know the serving size, check how many calories are in each serving.  Remember to do the math on how many calories you’re actually consuming if you double up on portions.  A common problem in the U.S. is that many people eat more calories than necessary each day, and even with all of those calories they still don’t meet the ideal nutrients intake recommended by the FDA.  Checking out the calories (as well as the calories that come from fat) is an important step to deciding if this is a food that you want to include in your diet. The nutrition information panel is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.  The FDA suggests that 40 calories per serving size is low, 100 calories is moderate, and 400 calories is high.  Take this into consideration when checking out the back of the box or can!

 

Avoid These Ingredients!

Try to avoid products with trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.  These can contribute to problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure.  By limiting these in your diet as much as possible, you can achieve a more balanced diet and better health.  It’s important to note that these ingredients often appear in processed foods, so you may be able to avoid many of these ingredients by taking the long route of cooking a meal from scratch instead of buying the convenient boxed versions that fill our supermarkets!

Look for These Ingredients!

Try to opt for items that are high in Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Iron, and Dietary Fiber.  Many Americans don’t get enough of these nutrients, despite their high caloric intake.  You can see the percent daily value available on the back of each box (based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet) which can help you to better understand how well a certain food may help you meet the necessary daily intake of specific vitamins and nutrients.

 

Check the Ingredients!

The other aspect of the food label that’s important to understand is the ingredient list.  The most important piece of information to know about the ingredient list is that ingredients are listed in order of quantity.  You want the first several ingredients of any packaged food to be whole ingredients that you recognize, not chemicals or fillers.  If the first ingredient on the list is something you can’t pronounce, it’s probably not very nutritious.

 

Watch Out for Sneaky Names

The next detail to be aware of when reading the ingredients list is that many undesirable ingredients go by different names.  For example, sugar can be listed as plain sugar, but it can also be listed as corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, barley malt syrup, agave nectar, or dehydrated cane juice (and those are just a few!).  Sodium also has several different names that can appear on a label.  Trans fat, something we want to avoid, might not appear at all!  Instead, ingredients that are high in trans fat (partially hydrogenated oil and hydrogenated oil, for example).

Don’t Fall for Gimmicks!

Health food labels on the front of foods can also be quite deceptive, so watch out! ”No added sugar” might make you think that a food is sugar-free, but some foods are naturally high in sugar.  ”Natural” doesn’t mean the same as organic.  It only means that the product began as something natural (such as pears or grains), but it doesn’t denote what may have been done to those natural ingredients on the way to making the product.  Low-fat and sugar-free options often are high in other undesirable areas in order to compensate for the lack of taste that comes with cutting out fat or sugar.  It’s important to read up on the labels that denote ”healthy” food, because they are designed to entice those of us that want to eat healthily!  It’s a sales gimmick!

 

Opt for Whole Foods

We know that the best way to avoid nasty ingredients and increase our intake of quality nutrients is to eat whole foods.  This doesn’t mean everything that comes in a box or a bag is off limits or terrible, but those products DO require a close look at the food label!

 

Those are my top tips about checking out food labels!  What’s your biggest difficulty understanding food labels or ingredient lists?

Make sure you know how to understand food labels and ingredient lists!

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Comfort Food Cure

Use these strategies to get your Comfort Food Cure!

Everybody has a few favorite comfort foods that get them through stressful periods and bring back happy memories from the past.  Unfortunately, many of these comfort foods go straight to our base instincts to consume sugar, fat, and sodium in as large a quantity as possible.  Pasta, ice cream, fast food, and fried foods all fit into the comfort food category because while they offer little nutrition, they’re packed full of these feel-good ingredients.  So how can we get around the comfort food trap?

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Swap out unhealthy ingredients for healthy ingredients.  

Is your comfort food something that, as a base, isn’t the end of the nutrition world, but often packs an unhealthy punch?  Take pasta for example– By itself, it’s not the healthiest option, but it doesn’t have to get knocked off your list totally!  While it’s often served in heavy cream sauces, you can lighten up the sauce ingredients and still get your pasta fix.  Try a vegetarian sauce packed with veggies, or substitute meat for shrimp or other seafood.  Try to hack your comfort food ingredients when you can, because you’ll still get that happy little fix but you’ll be able to avoid some of the less healthy ingredients!

Let’s say you love the pizza from one specific pizza place in town.  Not just any pizza, but THIS pizza.  It can be tough to swap out ingredients if you like it just the way it’s made with this one special recipe.  You don’t have to cut it out of your diet forever, though!  Order the smallest pizza (or other portion of food) that’s possible, and box half of it up immediately to go to the fridge for a meal later in the week, or to go in the freezer if you want to really space out your comfort food fixes.  One or two slices of pizza isn’t going to upset your entire diet or the last 3 months of going to the gym, so have at it!  Just don’t eat the whole pizza (or nibble on the leftovers for 3 consecutive days!).

 

Find self-care strategies that help you avoid comfort food binges. 

The occasional comfort food binge might not do too much damage, but if you are going through a bout of depression, are dealing with constant stress, or other reasons that might lead you to frequently seek out comfort food, you’ve got to find something to take it’s place!  Instead of eating a tub of ice cream, go for a manicure.  Instead of diving into a bag of fast food, buy yourself a nice wine.  Instead of caving to your comfort food cravings, find other ways to take care of yourself or make yourself feel good that don’t involve food.  Taking a new exercise class, getting your car washed, going to the salon, or buying a new outfit might be ways that work for you!

 

What’s your biggest struggle with comfort food?

 

Use these strategies to get your Comfort Food Cure!

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What to Do After a Food Binge

How to get back on track after a food binge!

We’ve all had food-related moments that we’re not proud of– eating a whole pizza or bag of chips, breaking our diet plans and going all out on lunch, or losing our patience and hitting up the junk food aisle of the grocery store. Everyone has moments of weakness, and we live in a culture that capitalizes on our moments of weakness. A food binge doesn’t have to be the drama to end all dramas, though. Here’s what to do next:

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1. Forgive yourself. 

You can’t get a perfect body in one day.  We all know that!  It’s important to remember the flip side of that coin, too– you can’t ruin your body in one day just because of a food binge.  Take a few moments to recognize that you’re human and you let yourself slip into a couple of bad food choices.  In a few days, all of those ingredients will be out of your system.  It’s not a long-lasting mistake, and you haven’t set yourself back lightyears from your fitness and nutrition goals.  Everyone has a moment of weakness here and there.  You’ve had yours, now it’s time to move on.

 

2.  Identify your triggers. 

Something triggered you to make you throw progress and caution and diet rules to the wind and binge on chocolate cake (or whatever your binge food of choice may have been).  Was it stress?  Impatience with your fitness goals?  A craving for a specific food or ingredient?  There is so much psychology behind why we eat what we eat, and it’s important to pay attention to that.  If nostalgia for treats you ate as a child is your trigger, find another way to fill that space by calling an old friend or listening to music from your childhood.  If stress is what brings on a food binge for you, try finding ways to cut back your stress levels, and be proactive by taking up yoga, boxing, or something else that will serve as an outlet for that negative energy before it triggers you again!

 

3. Make a plan. 

How are you going to avoid the things that make you want to food binge in the future?  If you know that walking past a donut shop is too much temptation, make a plan to cross the street before you get there.  If you know that your night out with the girls is going to lead you straight to a drunken McDonald’s run, try eating a filling dinner before catching your cab out for the night.  Having a plan in place will give you a firm alternative when food temptation starts creeping up on you.

 

4. Treat yourself to some self-care.

You’ve forgiven yourself, identified your triggers, and made plans for how to avoid them in the future.  Now it’s time to be kind to your body.  Treat yourself to a night in with a face mask and a detox smoothie, or a hot bath.  Go to a yoga class and then get a manicure.  Do something kind for your body that makes you feel really good about yourself.  Dedicate some time to yourself as a way to get back on track to doing what feels best for your body and your mind.

 

A food binge doesn’t erase all of the progress you’ve made.  In fact, you can even use it as motivation to get back on track!  Just make sure you don’t fall into a cycle of negativity or punishments because you’ve slipped up with a few meals!

 

What’s your go-to way to get back on track after a food binge?

 

How to get back on track after a food binge!

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How Many Calories Are In Your Coffee?

Cut out the sneaky calories lurking in your morning coffee!

Everybody loves a good cup of coffee (or 2… or 3…) to get going in the  morning and stay alert throughout the day, and we know that coffee has some great health benefits to contribute to our diets.  But do you know how many sneaky calories are lurking in your morning cup of joe?

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A typical cup of black coffee (no milk, no sugar, no nothing!) has very few calories — 1 to 2 calories depending on the type (instant, fresh, espresso, etc.).  That’s great news, right?

 

Of course it is, but very few of us drink our coffee black.  It’s easy to go overboard with extras to add more texture and sugar or flavor.  If you go by tablespoon, sugar adds 49 calories to your cup.  Fat-free milk adds 5 calories, Half-and-half adds 20, and heavy whipping cream adds 52 calories! You can see how quickly someone could arrive at a 300 calorie cup of coffee without even noticing it! Not only could your coffee be holding extra calories, but they’re generally empty calories– you’re not getting a good amount of vitamins or nutrients from the ingredients that add all those extra calories!

Even worse, if you drink popular coffee drinks from fast food or cafe type restaurants, you could be getting AN ENTIRE MEAL’S WORTH of calories in a cup!  The ever popular White Mocha Latte (with whole milk, without whipped cream) from starbucks will set you back 429 calories if you order the grande (medium).  And the sacred Pumpkin Spice Latte?  That’s 350 calories with whole milk and without the whipped cream.

 

If you’re looking for ways to cut back on calories in your coffee, try the following tips:

  • Try replacing at least 1 cup of coffee per day with a green tea.  Sweeten with natural sweetener or honey, or go straight green!
  • Limit your coffee orders from cafes.  It’s easy to go overboard and you don’t always know what other ingredients (flavor syrups, etc.) might be stacking on calories.
  • Use low-fat milk and natural sweeteners instead of table sugar and processed dairy creamer powders or liquids.

How do you drink your coffee?  Do you think there are any caloric surprises waiting in your cup?

 

Cut out the sneaky calories lurking in your morning coffee!

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Top 6 Nutritionist Rules To Live By

Try implementing these 6 simple rules that nutritionists swear by and see how your life changes!

We’d all love to live a perfect healthy life, but it can seem unattainable at times.  Between working, raising kids, studying, keeping up with family and our relationships, and everything else that life throws at us, nutrition often takes a back seat and is seen as a luxury.  It doesn’t have to be that way, though!  Try implementing these 6 nutritionist rules to live by in your own life and see what healthy benefits you get in exchange!

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Rule 1: Choose whole foods that are close to their natural source.

If it comes in a box or bag, only requires heating, and foods that you recognize don’t appear in the first 5 ingredients, it’s probably not something you should put in your body.  Opt for easy-to-cook foods and 3-5 ingredient recipes that won’t take you long to cook and still resemble their ingredients when done.  Chickpea curry, Greek salad, pumpkin soup, vegetable stirfrys– they look like their original ingredients even after you’re done cooking them!  Aim for meals like that and you won’t end up putting a bunch of mystery chemicals in your body.  You’ll also avoid a lot of added sodium, fat, and other undesirables.

Rule 2: Eat the rainbow.

The more (natural) colors on your plate, the wider array of vitamins and nutrients you’re getting.  Opt for 3-4 different colors in each dish at minimum.  Think of carrots, peppers, and greens for a simple side salad, then have a fruit salad for dessert.  There are many sneaky ways to get lots of different colors in your meals.  Challenge yourself to get a certain amount of colors in your produce aisle next time you’re there, and see what kind of amazing combos you come up with at meal-times!  The benefit, of course, is that it increases your vegetable intake in general, and specifically your variety of vitamins.

Rule 3: Control your portions at restaurants.

Restaurant meals are almost always bigger than what we would have served ourselves at home, but it’s hard to leave it on the plate and stop eating halfway through, especially when you’re about to pay for that food!  Restaurant food is also often packed with salt and butter and sugar, so the calories a simple meal out can pack could be astronomical!  Try asking for lunch sized portions, asking for healthy substitutes (a side salad instead of fries), or do the old faithful trick:  When your plate arrives, ask for a to-go box immediately.  Before you take even the first bite, put half of it in the to-go container.  Now you’ll be eating less and when your eyes see you’re empty plate, you’ll know you’re done (without having eating the whole.dang.thing.) and you’ll have a lunch or dinner ready to go for tomorrow!

 

Rule 4: Shop the Perimeter.

Grocery stores are tricky places!  The freshest ingredients are usually around the perimeter, and if you get sucked into the cereal vortex of the middle of the store, you’ll also be hit with tons of other processed foods.  Even on the frozen veggie aisle you might be tempted by pizza bagels and ice cream, so keep your will strong!  You may need to venture into the center for other products such as peanut butter, flour, or other staples, but try to get most of your food from the meat counter and produce section and you’re almost guaranteed to leave with fewer processed and high-calorie foods.

Rule 5: Watch out for calorie traps.

Things that we add to food for flavor also often include a calorie or sodium bomb.  Try to avoid sauces that are cream based (including salad dressing!) and stick to dressing your foods in hot sauce, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, lemon, herbs, and spices! Your meals will feel (and truly be) lighter and you’ll avoid piling on empty calories to each meal.

 

Rule 6: Go for the fiber of whole fruit.

Juicing has been a popular trend for a while now, but consider swapping juices for fruit, especially if you don’t make the juice yourself.  Many store-bought juices don’t contain as much of the fruit as the claim and often include added sugar or artificial sweeteners.  The benefit of swapping out fruit juice for the whole fruit is in the fiber, which many of us don’t get enough of.  Try eating an apple or an orange at breakfast and start the day with water or green tea instead of the typical glass of juice!

 

What’s your favorite healthy eating tip that you swear by?

Try implementing these 6 simple rules that nutritionists swear by and see how your life changes!

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