Basic Guidelines for Nutrition:
• Distribute protein, carbohydrate, and fat throughout the day at each meal (read my earlier post on how to read nutritional labels)
• Choose whole grains and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables over refined grains and simple sugars
• Limit alcohol consumption, when you do drink choose light alcoholic drinks
• Schedule no fewer than four and as many as six meals a day. This helps to control hunger, minimize blood sugar fluctuations, and increase energy levels throughout the day
• Avoid empty calories (calories gained from foods with no nutritional value such as junk food) and highly processed foods (foods with artificial ingredients, sweeteners, etc), which contain many calories and do little to provide satiety (feeling of fullness)
• Drink plenty of water (9 to 13 cups per day).
• Never eat under 1200 calories per day as it’s not sufficient for proper energy and nutrients needed throughout the day.
• Take a multivitamin to ensure that you are getting the nutrients that you may not be getting from the food you eat throughout the day
Basic Guidelines for Weight Loss:
• Make small decreases in food and beverage calories and an increase in physical activity
• Count calories for the first 2 weeks to allow you to become accustomed to knowing how much to eat in relation to serving sizes. (Note: If a sudden diet change presents too much of a challenge up front, it may be easier to begin by decreasing your portion sizes and limiting yourself to one plate or serving. As you get better at eating smaller portions, begin to incorporate healthier foods and pay more attention to nutritional labels)
• To get an idea of how many calories you should eat per day to reach your ideal weight, plug in your information and target weight here: http://www.webmd.com/diet/calc-bmi-plus
• To assist with eating properly, I recommend you use the government site https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/ . This site provides the following:
o Get your personalized nutrition plan.
o Track your foods and physical activities to see how they stack up.
o Get tips and support to help you make healthier choices and plan ahead.
o Provides a food-a-pedia that gives you access to the nutritional information for over 8,000 foods to assist you in making the right choices
Hope this helps!