Friday, November 1, 2013

How Great is Your Diet?

90 % of Americans say They Eat a Healthy Diet...


We know the byline is largely untrue (no pun intended). According to a study by Consumer Reports, just 1 in 10 Americans admitted to having an unhealthy diet. For so many healthy eating people we still have such an enormous issue with being unhealthy. I had to face the facts that I wasn't eating as healthy as I thought I was.It was this confusion that led me me to give up on losing weight and eating healthy over and over again. My point is: most people don't know what eating healthy is. When the normal diet consists of high saturated fat, fructose, and other processed foods, your idea of diet is very unclear.

The Confusion: 

Many people don't know the first thing to do with these types of foods.
Anything that is processed is inherently bad for you. Yes, I know that you know that but because of the way media portrays "fat" we are confused as to what is processed and what's healthy. 

My first thought about eating healthily  was OMG, I cannot sit here and eat on raw broccoli and carrots everyday for the rest of my life! I rebelled against the idea of eating healthy thinking that if I just exercised enough I would be okay. I thought people who ate healthy were living extreme lifestyles. Then I realized that what is considered "clean" and processed foods are much more diverse than what I thought. 


This are not the only types of processed foods, but the media will have you to believe that it is.

The Clarification:

I actually cringe when I see people at the grocery store who are attempting to go on a diet buy a million lean cuisine dinners. Anything that is preserved in any shape or fashion is processed. In middle school we learned that people didn't always have refrigerators so they would salt their meats to preserve them throughout the winter. That's pretty much what Applebees has done to your honey BBQ wings. Processed foods contain tons of salt and other chemicals. If it falls under this list, it's processed. 
  • canned foods
  • t.v. dinners
  • anything frozen in a box or bag (except flash frozen vegetables and sometimes even those contain loads of salt)
  • almost all restaurant meals unless stated otherwise
  • anything in a box on the grocery shelf
  • most meats in grocery stores
  • lunch meats
  • candy
  • sweets 
  • sugared yogurts
  • anything with white flour
  • cheese
  • anything other than water, tea, or coffee
  • all vending machine foods
Some milk products and fresh vegetables will have chemicals in them or on them as well. I know what you're thinking, well dang what is safe to eat! Yea, it's pretty depressing. But the good news is, you don't have to cut out everything like bread, cheese, milk, and meat. It's just about finding a balance. 

The Alternative:

It's all about changing the way you think about food, about what are the right ways to prepare food, and what are the unhealthy things to eat. Here are some tips to help you get started. 

Don't eat until you're full. If you are stuffed, I guarantee you overate.

Don't eat foods that are smothered in sauces or creams, this is like eating pure fat. Red sauces are always better because they are tomato based.

All flavored drinks have more sugar in them than you need for the whole day. It really would be best if you could cut this all the way out.

Count your calories. Myfitnesspal is a wonderful app and their online community is unbeatable. Really pay attention to your macro-nutrients (fat, protein,carbs). For the longest I never looked at these but when I did it was a reality check. I was still eating way too much salt, sugar, and saturated fats even though I called myself being on a diet.

Flash freeze your veggies to save on money. As a college student I know how it is to be on a strict budget. Who has time to cook and buy new groceries every week when your veggies spoil? I recently learned about a way to preserve your vegetables. It's called blanching your veggies. Basically you boil your vegetables for 2-3 minutes, run them under cold water for 2-3 minutes and then freeze them.

Bonus tip: Put your vegetables and meats into individual bags and freeze them. That way when you come home your stuff can defrost in like 20 minutes instead of 3 hours AND you will only eat what you cut therefore saving you even more money because now you're not wasting food!

I guarantee you I struggle so hard with eating healthy myself, especially not eating until I'm stuffed. But you can't give up because giving up on being healthy is really like giving up on your self. Share your ideas on how you have tried to become healthier. 

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