Basics of Healthy Eating

basics-of-healthy-eatingHoliday indulgences spur the #1 New Year’s resolution: beginning a healthy eating routine. But, where do you start? Instead of seeking “quick loss” diets that boomerang back to bad eating habits after the weight drops, you can go back to the basics. You can develop a lifestyle of eating well and keeping the weight off. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be restrictive, dull, and tasteless. Especially if you combine a basic eating plan with an exercise program that excites you. You can adapt a new healthy lifestyle by entering the Zone.

What is the Zone? Created by Dr. Barry Sears, author of “The Zone,” this lifechanging Zone Diet strives to create a metabolic state in which the body works at peak efficiency. The right combinations of nutrients increase energy and weight loss; stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels; and decrease risk of heart and other diseases. The lifetime eating plan consists of low-fat protein, colorful carbohydrates, and omega-3 essential fats and omega-6 fats. It aligns with the Healthy Eating Plate, created by Experts from the Harvard School of Public Health as a guide and an updated version of the food Pyramid. Instead of finding that” diet for you temporarily, let the Healthy Eating Plate lead you toward a lifestyle of staying in the Zone.

The Healthy Eating Plate aims at diet quality. The icon shows a plate on a placemat, with divisions of food items that create a balanced meal. Foods in these categories prevent highs and lows in blood sugar. By eating healthier items, you can curb cravings for junk or food void of nutrition.

One half of the Healthy Eating Plate consists of a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits. These carbohydrates, rich in fiber, provide sustainable energy.

One quarter consists of whole grains. Whole wheat, barley, wheat berries, quinoa, oats, brown rice, and foods made with them, have a milder effect on blood sugar and insulin than white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.

One quarter is protein, such as fish, chicken, beans, and nuts. Limit red meat, and avoid processed meats such as bacon and sausage.

Healthy oils, such as olive, peanut, butter and ghee (clarified butter); coconut, avocado and palm, should be used moderately (cooking, salad dressings). Avoid partially hydrogenated oils, grapeseed, rapeseed, vegetable or soy, corn and margarine, and others.

The Healthy Plate limits but doesn’t eliminate milk and dairy products. Add one small glass of juice per day. And, don’t forget to include exercise.

Change your relationship with food, but don’t’ expect it to happen overnight; just over time.

By eating a variety of tasty, healthy foods in moderate portions, and limiting foods that have no nutritional value, you’ll start feeling better. And, with that you’ll gain more confidence.

Start filling up your plate with the basics and you can stay in the Zone throughout the year.

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