Top 10 Nutrition Tips

1.   Eat more calories - low calorie diets slow down your metabolism. Imagine you are lost in the desert with little water. What will you do with that water? Drink it sparingly. Your body thinks much like this. If your body doesn’t get enough fuel, it has the “desert mentality” and will store more fat making it difficult to lose weight. An adult female should aim for about 1200-2200 calories depending on her age and level of activity.
2.   Eat fat - Fat has gotten a bad rap, especially in the 90’s. However, not all fats are created equal. Eating foods high in saturated fat and transfats are not healthy for your body, but monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good and even necessary for your body to function properly. Lean cuts of meat, avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, low-fat dairy (which limits the saturated fats) are all good forms of fats. You should aim for your fat intake to be 20%-30% of your daily caloric intake (with about 25% being optimal for weight loss). Avoid foods that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats---they are not healthy.
3.   Read your labels - do not go by what the package states on the front. Food manufacturers are allowed to say claims that are misleading. Check the nutritional information on the back or side of the package. Look for the amounts sodium, fat and type of fat, the calories, the sugars, and the serving size. If you are buying a package of crackers, for example, whose calories are high and serving size is small, this is not a good choice for you, unless you can always limit yourself to 4 crackers a day.
4.   If God made it, you can eat it - natural or minimally processed foods (ex. extra virgin olive oil) are better for your body than highly processed foods. The exceptions to this are anything poisonous, for obvious reasons, and portion sizes. Nuts, for example, are very good for you. But, one ounce a day is all you need. Any more than that and you can increase your caloric intake much too high.
5.   Calories in = calories out - think of your daily intake of food and your activity level as a see-saw. If you want to gain weight, decrease your activity level and increase your food intake. If you want to lose weight, you need to increase your activity level and decrease your food intake, being careful to not get too low. (See tip #1)
6.   Eat for health, not just to lose weight - There are so many “fad” diets out there. Why are they called “fad” diets? Because they never last. Life is meant to be enjoyed and it’s meant to be in balance. Eating 10 grapefruits a day will help you lose weight, but no one could do that forever, nor would it help you get the balanced amount of nutrients your body needs. Look at for information regarding what types of foods you need, the amounts, and even recipe ideas to eat healthy FOR LIFE.
7.   Drink water, not soda - soda is one of the worst things for your body. The phosphoric acid it contains leach calcium from your bones, and it does NOT quench your thirst…your body is thirsty for water. Soda can make you feel and look bloated, and some sodas contain in one drink the amount of sugar you are to eat in one day. Diet sodas contain aspartame whose list of side effects are longer than I can type here. Drinking enough water helps you to get rid of water retention, making you look thinner and feel better. It helps flush out toxins in your body. It keeps you from becoming dehydrated which can lead to headaches, mental confusion, and feeling sluggish. It also improves your liver function, which breaks down your body fat to convert it into energy. Water is 100% less calories than soda…i.e. none. Need the caffeine? Drink tea which contains water and antioxidants. Need the sugar? Eat an apple.
8.   Eat more frequently - mini meals broken up throughout the day actually help your metabolism to stay high which enables you to burn more calories throughout the day. Try to limit your snacks to be about 100-200 calories and to contain protein, fiber and carbohydrates. Ex. Low-fat cheese and a few whole grain crackers, an apple with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter, or for days when you absolutely need chocolate: 14 almonds and 1 T of dark chocolate chips.
9.   Write down what you are eating - studies have shown that you are 50% more likely to lose the weight and keep it off, IF you keep a food journal. Keep it with you- you’ll forget how much you ate if you don’t write it down right away. Not a writer? Take pictures of what your eating with your phone. Reminding yourself just how large that burrito was might be all you need to say no to that giant piece of cheesecake.
10.   Educate yourself - learn what healthy portion sizes look like and what healthy foods really are. Research healthy recipes and how to cook for flavor and health. Invest in yourself- hire a dietitian, join a group that provides accountability as well as nutritional advice (weight watchers), buy a good magazine that gives credible nutrition advice as well as providing deliciously healthy recipes (Prevention, Health, Cooking Light, and Shape, just to name a few), invest in good, healthy foods. You only have one body in this life, take care of it!