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Nutrition Tips

Credit to Seventeen Magazine

Robyn Mackenzie

“Nutrition Tips From The Biggest Loser Expert!” Seventeen. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.

I found this article on Seventeen.com when searching for “Healthy Snacks Seventeen Magazine.” I think it is good if you guys check it out! 🙂

Eat breakfast!

They call it the most important meal of the day for a reason! While you’re sleeping, your body actually goes into a mini starvation mode, which means your metabolism lowers and you’re not burning calories as quickly. And when you do eat something, all of a sudden your metabolism starts to increase again.

So eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism in a major way! And studies show that by eating breakfast, you consume fewer calories the rest of the day than people who skip it. So try to make time every morning for the meal!

A spoon containing breakfast cereal flakes, pa...

A spoon containing breakfast cereal flakes, part of a strawberry, and milk is held in midair against a blue background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Know Your Portions!The problem with many of my clients isn’t what they’re eating, it’s that they’re eating too much, even of the right foods. Even healthy foods have calories, and if you eat too much, you’ll still gain weight. So pay attention to not only what you’re eating, but also how much.

Knowing correct portion sizes is so important—you can find this information on nutrition labels. Once you do some research, serving sizes might surprise you! For example, the serving size for cereal is one cup (think two hands cupped together), cooked pasta is half a cup (one handful), fruit is one piece the size of a tennis ball, and three ounces for meat (the size of a deck of cards). Paying attention to portion size is really about focusing on how much you’re eating, and making sure you’re not consuming more than you realize.

Build The Perfect Lunch!

At lunchtime, I tell my clients to eat “a wheat, a meat, and a treat!”

For the “wheat,” choose a serving of whole grain bread and for “a meat,” try one serving of a lean protein, like turkey or chicken. Try combining the two into a sandwich or wrap. The third part of your lunch should be a “treat,” like baked potato chips or pretzels. Allow yourself one “treat” a day. It’s OK if it doesn’t have a ton of nutritional value—just try to keep your treat under 100 calories!

Snack Before Practice!

Keep your energy levels up throughout practice by eating a good snack beforehand. About an hour to a half hour before practice, eat some protein and fiber—like whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese, or nuts and fruit—which will keep you sustained. Avoid foods with lots of sugar before hitting the field, because while your energy will immediately spike, you’ll crash after—and won’t be able to make it through practice!

And unless you’ll be exercising intensely for at least three hours, plain old water is fine! Sports drinks, like Gatorade, Vitamin Water, or Powerade, have too much sugar in them, and actually contain more calories than you’ll burn

Avoid Your Trigger Foods!

Everyone has “trigger foods” that they can’t control themselves around— for example, mine is a certain type of cookie. I tell my clients, like Sunny, to make a list of your trigger foods that you have a hard time avoiding, and then ask your parents if they can hold off buying them for awhile.

Explain that those are the foods you have the hardest time controlling yourself around, and ask if they can possibly find other options for themselves. It’s a tip that seems small, but really helps!

You Don’t Have To Give Up Junk Food!

Since nothing needs to be off-limits and deprivation doesn’t work, you don’t need to give up junk food completely! [I tell] my clients they can have two junk food items a week. If you stick to your treats (remember, lunch is a “wheat, a meat, and a (reasonably healthy) treat“), watch your serving sizes, and allow yourself to indulge only twice a week, you can still eat the foods you love, and then make healthier choices the rest of the week. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing!

Try A Healthier Trail Mix

Most store bought trail mixes incorporate dried fruits that may have added sugars, sugary cereals, and candied or salted nuts. Get around this by making your own version at home! Start with a high-fiber, low sugar cereal like Fiber One Original, Cinnamon Puffins, or Kashi Honey Sunshine. Next, add in your favorite unsalted nuts (like peanuts, cashews, or almonds). Finally, add in your fruit—be sure to look for dried fruit or freeze-dried fruit without any added sugar. Try Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Freeze Dried Fruit or Funky Money freeze-dried fruit.

Make your DIY trail mix on a Sunday and package individual servings in plastic bags, so you can easily grab one to throw in your lunch bag for school!

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