These 10 simple tips will help you and your family live a healthy lifestyle.
1. Start with yourself – be a positive role model for the kids, siblings, and everyone at home.
3. Have healthy snacks readily available– For example, washed and cut fresh fruit in the refrigerator, baby carrots and fat-free ranch dressing, fat-free yogurt, home-made smoothie, whole-grain pretzels, 100% fruit juice popsicle for the kids, etc. When I am hungry, I want something right away and it helps to have veggies and fruits that are ready to eat.
4. Stay hydrated! Many times we feel hungry but we are really thirsty. Drink at least 1500 ml of water a day (that is 3 of these water bottles).
5. On the road? Have healthy snacks (my favorite: a bag of mixed nuts) with you so you don’t have to stop at a convenience store or pickup fast food. Also, never leave your home without a water bottle.
6. Don’t skip meals – waiting to eat till you are extremely hunger can cause you to over eat.
7. Avoid or limit sodas – these are empty calories that can easily be avoided. Get in the habit of drinking water, milk or 100% fruit juice.
8. Avoid or limit fast food – if kids insist on fast foods then help them choose the healthy sides from the menu. For example, instead of soda they can order milk and instead of fries they can order apple slices.
9. Park your car farther from the store entrance – every step counts!
10. Do physical activity together as a family – go to the park regularly or play your favorite sport together.
Remember: no one has to be deprived of their favorite chocolate as long as it is in moderation. There is nothing wrong with enjoying these foods once in a while.
People of Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy have healthy hearts and low rate of cardiovascular disease which is because of the Mediterranean eating pattern.
What is Mediterranean Diet?
The focus is on intake of fresh homemade meals consisting of: whole grain breads and pasta, fish instead of red meat, grilled and steamed food instead of fried, beans and soybeans, non fat or low fat dairy products and use of olive oil which contains monounsaturated fat. It encourages whole grains, fruits and vegetables that provide fiber, and fiber improves motility and satiety. Refined sugars and high calorie processed foods are prohibited.
Ancel Keys, a nutrition expert, writes that the “heart of the diet is that it’s mainly vegetarian, includes far less meat and dairy than American and Northern European diets, and uses fruit for dessert” (Harvard Health Letter, 2008).
Does it work?
Mediterranean diet works because it is not considered a strict diet but more like a lifestyle modification and the person can enjoy different variety of foods.
Is Weight-loss likely?
This is not a low carbohydrate or a low protein diet. It is a balance of nutrients to ensure health, weight loss and satisfaction because there is no elimination of major food groups but only saturated fat, trans fat and processed foods are discouraged.
- Doctors Health Press Reports on Study: Mediterranean Diet Could Prevent Serious Cardiac Events (prweb.com)
- New Research Shows Mediterranean Diet Is Good For Heart Health (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)