My Midlife Project

Remodeling a Middle-Aged Mom

Friday Five: 5 Easy Rules for Healthy Eating

variety of fresh vegetablesOur ancestors were lucky. They didn’t have many choices about what foods to eat. They grew it, harvested or butchered it, preserved it, ate it.

And they burned as many calories as they ate with the labor it took to put food on the table.

Today most of us don’t have to work that hard to eat — and we no longer think of food as merely being fuel.

Instead of eating to live, we live to eat.

Coincidentally, obesity rates have skyrocketed. According to recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35.7% of American adults are obese.

I’ll go into more detail sometime in the future about obesity, how it relates to poverty and chronic disease, and other topics. For today, I just want to give 5 easy habits to get people started to a better diet and a healthier weight.

5 Habits for Healthier Eating

  1. Eat slowly. Stop when you’re satisfied — not full.
  2. Eat lean protein at every meal.
  3. Eat 2 servings of fruit and/or vegetables at every meal.
  4. If you’re trying to lose fat, eat other carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, sugary foods, etc.) only after you’ve earned them with exercise.
  5. Eat healthy fats daily.

[I adapted this list from the Precision Nutrition (PN) program. I will be a PN certified nutrition coach very soon. If you want to know more, please contact me.]

Here are a few extra suggestions to add to this list. I will give you a bonus five:

  1. Eat only when you’re hungry.
  2. Eat mostly foods that only have one ingredient (chicken, apple, oatmeal, carrots). If you eat foods with multiple ingredients, avoid items with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  3. If you want to add sweetness to your diet without the calories and health risks of sugar or artificial sweeteners, give stevia a try.
  4. Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day.
  5. Stick to these rules 80% of the time. Allow yourself at least one splurge each week.

Why do you think obesity rates are so much higher than they were 50 years ago? Who do you think should find a solution for this epidemic — people or the federal government? What can grass-root organizations do to help?

photo by: Alex E. Proimos

About Brenda

Morning person. Introvert. Longtime runner. Erratic sleeper. Fitness junkie. Lifelong learner. Coffee addict. Volunteer. Health/Wellness advocate. Coach. Blogger.

2 Replies

  1. Excellent suggestions. The biggest one for me has always been eating when I’m bored, frustrated, upset, etc…. Learning to let my body dictate when I eat is what I strive for.

    1. I realized during the past year or two that the emotional eating isn’t as much of an issue for me as it used to be. I don’t know why, how, or when it went away. I think it helps because I don’t keep much junk around the house. Apples and Greek yogurt don’t have the same effect as a package of Oreos! 🙂

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