- Fruits and veggies are low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. How important are they to your diet? The United States Department of Agriculture and ChooseMyPlate.gov recommend making them half your plate at mealtime. If you’re having trouble getting them fresh, use frozen, canned or dried fruits and veggies. With the canned option, watch out for too much sodium or salt. Save fruit that’s too ripe for smoothies with fat-free milk or low-fat yogurt – or bake muffins or bread with it. If your family isn’t crazy about fruits and veggies, try adding them to casseroles, salads, soups and sauces, where they’ll be harder to taste.
Americans are heavier today than they were 20 years ago. We also spend a lot more time eating while staring at a screen – on a cell phone, computer, personal digital assistant (PDA) or TV. Plus, we’re choosing screen time over being active. And when your body takes in more calories than it burns, you end up with extra pounds. So be aware of how you eat and use your time. Skip your online chat and meet up with a friend for a walk instead. Take a lunch break from your laptop and enjoy a healthy meal and good conversation with your coworker. At home, make TV time your physical activity time. You can work out without missing your favorite show.
You may be counting calories for every bite you eat, but are you keeping track of what you drink? Water is the perfect calorie-free beverage. Fill a clean, reusable water bottle and toss it in your bag or brief case to quench your thirst throughout the day. If you’re gulping down regular sodas and other sweet drinks, you may be adding a lot of unnecessary calories to your diet. Next time you go for a sugary drink, look at the calorie information on the label. Also, check out the serving size. A single serving might only be 100 calories, but if the bottle holds 2.5 servings, you’re up to 250 calories. So make sure it’s worth it!
Stress goes hand-in-hand with modern life. While we can’t always avoid it, we can figure out how to cope. Some people find positive ways, like exercise, community service or relaxing hobbies. Other people struggle and turn to escapes like junk food or drugs and alcohol. It’s very important that you find support from friends, loved ones or professionals who can help before your stress feels overwhelming. You can also prepare your mind and body to handle stress by taking care of yourself. This means eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and having a routine to your days.