As we make our way into 2022, there are many nutrition tips to keep in mind. Choosing one of these for each month of the year may enhance your dietary program, improve your weight management capability, and provide a healthier, happier lifestyle throughout the year.
As always, prior to beginning any exercise or nutrition program, please consult your physician.
No. 1 — Begin 2022 with a clean slate! Clean out your pantry and refrigerator leaving only the essentials. All of the special treats of the holiday season should be left behind in 2021. (This includes refrigerators at the workplace!)
No. 2 — While many folks have begun to decrease the volume of sugary sodas they intake, there seems to be an increase in the sales of sports and energy drinks, some of which possess significant amounts of sugar. Drinking plain, cool water if you are exercising for 90 minutes or less, is perfectly acceptable in terms of hydration. Rigorous exercise exceeding 90 minutes, may require electrolyte replacement. However, read the labels carefully to avoid excessive sugar content.
No. 3— Avoid vilifying macronutrients. Often clients will state that they avoid consuming carbohydrates to which we reply that complex carbohydrates are one of our primary three macronutrients (i.e., fats, carbohydrates, proteins) and one of the six essential nutrients (i.e., fats, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins and water). These nutrients, once digested, provide the human body with the energy we require to function. Carbohydrates and fats are utilized as fuel sources and the primary function of protein is for growth and repair.
No. 4 — Concentrate on food portions. Measure a portion, enjoy that portion and then get on with your day. Good rules of thumb are the size of your fist or a deck of cards represents a serving of protein, such as chicken or fish. The size of a golf ball represents a serving of nuts.
No. 5 — Keep fresh fruit and veggies accessible, perhaps in a bowl on the kitchen counter.
No. 6 — Bring your lunch or dinner to work. Healthy portions of leftovers, salads and steamed vegetables are ideal options for mealtime at your place of work.
No. 7 — Eat breakfast. Those who eat breakfast tend to maintain their body weight over time and manage their blood sugar levels more effectively throughout the day.
No. 8 — Take your time enjoying the meal you have prepared. The time you take to leisurely dine may slow down the consumption pace and may allow you to become more effectively satiated.
No. 9 — Alcohol not at all or in moderation. Keeping in mind that one glass of wine consumed daily, 365 days a year, is ten pounds.
No. 10 — Consult with a nutrition expert to design a dietary program specifically for you.
No. 11 — Caveat Emptor! “Let the buyer beware” is a prudent strategy as there are dozens of bogus food products and dietary programs and individuals claiming to be nutrition experts that are not, lying in wait for an uninformed consumer. Good rule of thumb: perform your due diligence and confirm their research is valid, peer reviewed and performed by researchers who do not have a dog in the fight.
No. 12 — Consume a wide variety of foods, infusing excitement about enjoying delicious, healthy foods throughout the year.