Did you ever wonder why women who do not struggle with their weight sometimes seem a little more organized and focused? This could be due to their approach or their everyday habits. Habits both good and bad are learned and can affect your everyday lifestyle. Women especially have to wear many different hats in today’s society which can sometimes wreak havoc on their quest for a healthy lifestyle.
But according to the American Dietetic Association, because of the various phases of our lives, healthy nutrition habits are of utmost importance for women.
The organization suggests a well-balanced diet filled with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, low-fat dairy and lean protein.
Just following these nutrition guidelines can help, but it is also important to pay attention to portion control. The ADA says to stick to moderate portions. “If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it's easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy.” They give the examples of 3 ounces of cooked meat which is about the size of a card deck equals one serving.
While whole grains and carbohydrates are important, for carb lovers, keep in mind that one cup of pasta equals two servings, not just one. I suggest sticking to whole wheat or whole grain pastas.
You also want to make sure you are prepared with healthy snacks throughout the day. Waiting to eat until you’re hungry can often result in overindulging. It is important to not skip meals. Your body will react by holding onto more weight as it will be thrown into starvation mode. The most important meal of the day is breakfast. Healthy people with healthy habits, eat breakfast.
According to the Mayo Clinic, what you eat and when you eat clearly affects another very healthy habit, exercise. “If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to eat breakfast which may mean one to two hours before your workout. Most of the energy you got from dinner the previous night is used up by morning, and your blood sugar may be low.”
Their suggestions are to time your meals and workouts for better workouts and healthier habits:
• Large meals. Eat these at least three to four hours before exercising.
• Small meals. Eat these two to three hours before exercising.
• Small snacks. Eat these an hour before exercising.
By implementing some of these expert suggestions, you too can help create that balance and adopt those habits that not only keep you healthy, but set an example for those close to you as well. Remember, healthy habits are contagious.
“Nutrition for Women – EatRight.org” The American Dietetic Association. Web 23 Aug. 2011.
“10 Tips for Healthy Eating – Realtime.net. The American Dietetic Association. Web 23 Aug. 2011.
“Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts – MayoClinic.com” Mayo Clinic. Web 22 Aug. 2011.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training. Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.
Reviewed on August 23, 2011
by Maryann Gromisch
Edited by Jody Smith