being a mom

Have Baby, Will Exercise: If You Want To Be Healthy, Don’t Diet

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If you struggle with portion control Yarrow recommends starting off with smaller portions so you can go back and have seconds if you are still hungry. If you often find yourself feeling stuffed at the end of a meal, Yarrow suggests trying to always leave something on your plate. “Even three green peas,” she says, “leave something there so you can get used to giving yourself permission to not have to finish the entire plate.”

 Planning your meals in advance, whether it’s for the day or for the week can be helpful because you are less likely to reach for something unhealthy as a quick fix when you know the next time you’ll be eating and what you’re going to have. Carrying easy snacks with you, like a small bag of almonds or piece of fruit can help you avoid impulse snack food purchases that you don’t truly want, but have for the convenience.

There are small diet changes you can make that over time can have a big impact on your health. Cut back on soda and juice (try diluting juice little by little if cutting it out cold turkey is too hard). Swap the mayo on your sandwiches for heart healthy avocado. Have air popped popcorn, which is a whole grain, instead of potato chips with your sandwich.

Carbohydrates are a controversial topic with diets today, but whether they come from bread or vegetables, we need them to survive. It seems that humans are wired to enjoy carbs in much larger amounts than fat or protein.Yarrow pointed out that if you were offered a platter of steak or bacon at a certain point you’d get full and stop eating but it’s much easier to keep reaching into a bag of cookies or chips. If you often overindulge with carbs, reach for whole grain rices and breads instead of white or refined versions. Pour chips or cookies out on a plate instead of eating from the package to be more mindful or portion size.

Yarrow opposes setting any particular parameters as to what eating healthy should look like, and she’s right, because to set out a list of rules to follow would be far too similar to a “diet”. Instead she urges us eat as many unprocessed whole foods as possible and to, “Eat what you enjoy and cultivate a desire for foods you like.” Everyone will have natural preferences for certain fruits or vegetables, and Yarrow says that’s fine. It’s the overall variety and range of colors that matters. There’s no need to force feed yourself broccoli if you just don’t like how it tastes. When you’re trying to adopt the mindset of eating healthy foods for your entire life and not for a limited period of time, you need to find foods that you actually want to eat and will crave.

There’s this idea that eating healthy means eating either sad, pre-packaged frozen dinners or bland piles of lettuce topped with grilled chicken, but it doesn’t have to be like that. There are tons of healthy, fast and easy recipes that rely on flavorful spices and small amounts of richer ingredients to create delicious meals that will leave you satisfied.

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  1. Pingback: Life Lessons From Toddlers

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