Healthy Diet Strategies for Women

Healthy Diet Tips

 

Many women want to discuss weight gain at their yearly appointment.  As women, we all notice a pound or two immediately.  Unfortunately, we are a media driven society that wants to have the "perfect" body with minimal effort and quick results.  However, the human body is not up to that standard.  In fact, as we age, it can become more difficult to maintain our figures due to the decrease in our body's natural metabolism.  This means we need to watch our diets more closely and exercise more often to maintain the same weight.  Here are some diet tips to help maintain your fitness:

 

1.      Eat with in 1 hour of waking.  This helps rev up your metabolism and begins burning calories.  Skipping breakfast will put your body into starvation mode where it will hold onto calories.

2.      Stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed.  Once you are sleeping, the metabolism slows and this allows calories consumed before bed to turn into fat for storage.  Eating right before bed can also disrupt your sleep.

3.      Drink plenty of water (especially here in AZ).  The body needs to stay hydrated to function properly and remove toxins from the body.  Eight glasses of water or about 2 liters.

4.      Take a daily multivitamin.  Even with a perfect diet, it is impossible to get all the vitamins and minerals recommended by the FDA.

5.      Eat 5-6 small meals or snacks.  Each time you eat it will rev up your metabolism and burn more calories.  Eating 3 large meals is not as effective as 6 small meals/snacks.

6.      Make sure you select foods from each of the food groups

·         Eat whole grains.  This helps add more fiber to your diet.  Fiber is not digestible and will help you feel fuller longer.

·         Eat your vegetables.  Yes, the old line is still true.  Try to fill up on veggies.  Avoid topping them with high calorie toppings such as salad dressings, sauces or butter. 

·         Whole fruits are better than fruit juices or dried fruit.  The whole fruit has fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins.  Fruit juices remove the fiber and dried fruit have more sugar per ounce.

·         Dairy is high in calcium, which is great for bone health.  However, dairy products can be high in calories and fats. Choose low-fat or non-fat milk, cheese and yogurts. 

·         Choose lean meats or beans and lentils for protein.  Chicken, turkey and fish naturally lower in fats.  Adding in leans cuts of beef and pork can widen your choices.

·         Limit you fat intake and choose healthy fats like olives, nuts and olive oils.  Avoid all transfats and limit saturated fats.  Don't add calories by frying your food: steam, broil, grill or bake instead.

 

Remember, the overall goal isn't to fit into that size 2 dress or be able to walk around in a string bikini.  Your ultimate goal should be to improve your personal overall health.

 

 

By Cyndi Ayoub, WHNP

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