Finding the right combination of nutritious foods can be complicated. Avoid sabotaging your health and increasing the size of your waistline with unhealthy choices by learning to cut back on calories, unhealthy fats, and salt. Follow these tips to help you to tackle this somewhat terrible trio.
Cut Back on Calories
Your body needs calories to maintain vital functions, but that doesn’t mean you should overindulge. The average woman should only take in approximately 2,000 calories per day. Read here to see approximately how many calories you need based on your age and activity level.
- Keep a Log- Track everything you eat and drink for a few weeks to show you how many calories you are consuming on an average day, and to help you look for trends, or patterns, in your eating habits. Read our tips and tricks for Keeping a Food Journal.
- Count Everything- Keep a calculator on hand and use it to add up every calorie you take in each day. This will help you monitor and select the foods that will best let you meet your caloric goals. Or, try a handy app on your smartphone that will do it for you!
- Beware of Hidden Calories- A single blueberry muffin can have up to 500 calories! Beware of “hidden calorie foods” by reading nutritional labels and being attentive to serving sizes.
Foods that are high in fat can raise cholesterol, lead to weight gain, and increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. We’ve compiled a list of 38 ways to cut fat from your diet, but here are some of our favorites.
- Stay Away from Saturated Fats- Saturated fats, like lard or butter, can be diet killers and should only be eaten in extreme moderation.
- Avoid Fried Foods- Fried foods may temporarily satisfy a craving, but they tend to be very high in calories and offer almost no nutritional value.
Stomping Out Salt
Diets that are high in sodium often lead to increased blood pressure and other health problems. Doctors suggest that healthy individuals keep their salt intake to less than 2,300 mg of sodium each day. That’s only a teaspoon full!
- Avoid Processed Foods- Processed foods are often loaded with excess sodium. Also, just because a food option claims to be low in fat or calories, does not mean it is also low in sodium. Again, read labels carefully.
- Beware of Sauces- Sauces and dressings often contain enormous amounts of salt. Try substituting your traditional sauce with one of the delicious low-salt sauces that are on the market. Or try our delicious Lemon & Oil dressing that you can make yourself.
- Pass on Fast Food- Sure, it’s convenient. But, fast food is also loaded with unhealthy sodium. Try to avoid fast food at all costs, but if you must indulge, be sure to read posted nutritional information before making your selection. You might just change your mind.
Do nutritional labels look like they’re written in Greek to you? Check out our tips for deciphering food labels.