You’ve tried diets before. You’ve tried eating more of this and less of that. Eating healthier is important to you, so you can avoid illness and pain, and start living that life of joy you crave. Are you ready to feel good? It’s easier than you think. You just need help from the right mentors to help you see you are capable of getting off the dieting rollercoaster ride, and move your wellness journey towards a happier, healthier you! Grab your fork, and let’s dig into these practical nutrition tips from leading scientists and a Registered Dietician, to help you change your life for the better.
1. Have a Plan About Food
Life is busy. There’s so much pressure in life, the last thing you want is to have to think about food. “Have a plan about food,” suggests Registered Dietician, Lon Ben-Asher, Registered Nutritionist at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida. “Having a plan means you’re not buying lunch out every day, where you’re stepping into a minefield… putting yourself in the line of temptations.” It is easier to eat more nutritious, healthy foods when you have a plan.
2. Eat More Whole, Plant-Based Foods
Perhaps the biggest nutrition tip that will change your life is to eat more whole, plant-based foods. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and legumes are awesome examples. “Removing as much processed foods from your diet, eating more whole, plant-based foods, is always going to result in a healthier body,” explains Lon. “It can be really hard in today’s day and age, but try to eat less convenience foods.” Eating more whole, plant-based foods are scientifically proven to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality amongst middle-aged adults.
3. Walk Away from the Pantry
In a stressful moment, eating a bag of crunchy, salty potato chips or a chocolate donut may be just what you think you need. Walk away from the pantry! This nutrition tip will change your life! “Remember that eating is one coping mechanism used to manage stress. It works for the short term, but we can pay a price – in our health, energy, weight gain…” remarks Lon. “The key is to find other coping mechanisms… my favorites are walking …or listening to books on tape.” You do not need to eat to cope. Emotional eating can lead to struggles with weight, sleep, and mood.
4. Don’t Eat Breakfast (If You’re Not Hungry)
“If you wake up in the morning and you are not hungry, then don’t eat,” says Lon. When it comes to healthy eating, rules are not black or white. Each person is unique, as such what you need to eat and when may be different than another person. If you find waking up in the morning, you’re not hungry, then don’t eat breakfast. Listen to your hunger cues! Some people prefer to eat pretty soon after waking, while others find they aren’t actually hungry until an hour or two, later.
5. Make Vegetables the Star
Vegetables should be the star of your plate, according to Kimberly. A true celebrity in healthy diets, vegetables are worth eating more of. Eating vegetables is scientifically proven to promote health: linked with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and incidence of cardiovascular disease, as well as promotes healthier blood pressure and weight loss. Eating more vegetables will truly put a smile on your face! For every extra portion of fruit and vegetables, adults ate each day, their happiness increased exponentially, reports a study in the American Journal of Public Health, after surveying a group of over 12,000 Australians. If you’re thinking, “I hate vegetables,” then you may enjoy this list of ways to make vegetables taste good.
6. Be Mindful When You Eat
Practicing Mindful Eating can help you eat nutritious foods and help you change your life. How often do we eat while looking at our smartphones, in front of the computer, or while watching television? Being mindful when you eat is scientifically proven to make eating healthy easier, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal Open. After a small group of overweight or obese adults was educated on the theoretical aspects of mindful eating, including opportunities to practice them amongst the support of the clinical psychologists and nutritional experts, the adults were less likely to eat when feeling lonely or irritated. They also found it less difficult to resist foods that were not part of their healthy eating plan. Mindful eating is one of the various nutrition tips guests learn about in exclusive lectures and practical sessions, as part of the Pritikin Center’s Longevity Program.
7. Dine Out at Steak Houses
This probably sounds like a strange nutrition tip but, consider how most steak houses offer huge salad bars where you can build your own serving of fresh vegetables, without having to worry about it being served dripping in oily dressing. Plus, steak houses usually offer seafood options that are commonly simply prepared without salt or sauces. Dining out at restaurants can be tricky when you are trying to eat healthy. The best way to dine out is to, “have a plan,” says Lon. “Look at the menu early, hours before you go to the restaurant, and have a plan for what you’ll order.” Ask for food to be served with no added salt, oil, and butter. Lon adds, “…asking for what you need ahead of time is the best thing you can do!” When it comes to dining out, or ordering food for take-out, you have a plan that will help you sustain your healthy lifestyle.
9. Don’t Count Calories
It simply isn’t helpful to count calories, (unless you’re trying to work on your addition skills). Why did we ever start counting calories? The idea was that by stopping to identify the number of calories in a food, people would be able to choose lower-calorie foods, promoting weight loss. That equation may work on paper, but it doesn’t work in terms of human biology. The body is dynamic and there are many factors that influence your appetite. Your body adapts as you alter your eating habits. This conspires against long-term weight maintenance. Lon suggests we ditch the numbers: “Calorie counting and the number on the scale are not measurements of health.”
Foods with Low-Calorie Density that Promote Weight Loss
How do you use this nutrition tip to change your life? The calorie density of natural foods of plant origin:
- Whole grains
(High-calorie density foods include oils, nuts, fried foods, processed foods, baked goods, sugary drinks, and animal meats.)
10. Let Calorie Density Guide You
Pritikin Nutritionists teach guests at the Pritikin Center about the Hunger Scale, a practical and easy way to help you know when to eat, and when to stop eating. Learning about what to eat also helps. Pritikin offers lectures on calorie density to help guide you towards foods that keep you feeling full while helping you reach your health goals. Scientific evidence shows that looking at the energy density (calorie density) of a food is a successful approach to weight loss. Numerous studies have linked significant weight loss with calorie density – with over 3000 adults being observed in various studies. It’s a simple concept – and, it is effective! Combining these two tools with practical events, including visiting a restaurant, shopping, and a guided lunch, helps guests at the Pritikin Center put these new skills into practice.
Your health has been a challenge. It doesn’t have to be.
It is time for you to take a wellness journey. Escape your everyday routine and let Pritikin’s renowned experts help you see how capable you are of changing your life, and succeeding at becoming a happier, and healthier you.
Ready to change your life? Call Pritikin today.
- Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality in a general population of middle-aged adults. Journal of the American Heart Association 2019 Aug; 8(16).
- Evolution of well-being and happiness after increases in consumption of fruit and vegetables.
American Journal of Public Health 2016 Aug; 106(8):1504-10.
- Link between food energy density and body weight changes in obese adults. Nutrients 2016 Apr; 8(4): 229.
- Dehydration affects mood in healthy young women. J Nutr 2012 Feb; 142(2):382-388.
- Individualized hydration plans improve performance outcomes for collegiate athletes engaging in in-season training. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2018; 15:27.
- Efficacy of a mindful-eating program to reduce emotional eating in patients suffering from overweight or obesity in primary care settings: a cluster-randomised trial protocol. BMJ Open 2019; 9(11): e031327.
- The relationship between vegetable intake and weight outcomes: a systematic review of cohort studies. Nutrients 2018 Nov; 10(11): 1626.
- The effect of green leafy cruciferous vegetable intake on the incidence of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis. JRSM Card Dis 2016; 5.
- Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal 2010; 341:c4229.
- A randomized clinical trail of the effects of leafy green vegetables and inorganic nitrate on blood pressure. Am J Clin Nutr 2020 Apr; 111(4): 749-756.