A Few Good Principles to Eat By

In my previous post, I passed along several tips for getting back into the exercise pattern that is necessary for fat/weight loss, and yes, for maintenance as well.

Today, let me suggest several general rules that you can live by in any situation, whether eating at home, at a party, at a friend’s home, in a restaurant, at the office. These rules reflect the choice of foods that provide a low glycemic benefit, which is the way that we eat, and is what I recommend to clients.

Here’s a very simple explanation of the cycle that occurs in your body when you eat high glycemic food (typically carbs that are highly processed, loaded with sugar and calories,  and/or low in fiber).

When you consume high-glycemic foods, your blood glucose spikes, and excess insulin is produced. The more insulin that is released, the more excess glucose that can potentially be delivered from your bloodstream to your muscles cells. With your bloodstream clear of glucose, and therefore its key source of immediate energy, your energy crashes, and cravings begin. Is that you?

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you still feel hungry even after eating a full meal?

Do you feel fatigued, especially in the afternoon?

Do you feel sleepy after eating?

These signs could indicate a dietary imbalance. Changing to a low-glycemic food plan could provide your body with the nutritional balance it is craving.

Here, then, are some guidelines. 

1.  Eat foods in their natural state whenever possible, i.e., a raw carrot is lower on the glycemic chart than a cooked carrot. By this rule, fried foods would be eliminated as well.

2. Eat foods that are harder to digest. 

3. Eat foods that are high in fiber.

4. Don’t use artificial sweeteners. Very few are low-glycemic.

5. Avoid white foods. Cauliflower would be a notable exception.

6. Drink sufficient water. Many times what we think is hunger is actually our body’s cry for water. Test this for yourself: next time you have a craving, drink a glass of water and see if this takes care of your craving. Extra benefit of drinking water: no calories!

7. Time your food intake, that is, eat at regular times. It does seem to be beneficial to eat smaller frequent meals (which includes healthy snacks) rather than three large meals. Skipping meals interferes with your blood sugar levels, and can set up your metabolism to be in ‘starvation mode.’ More on that at another time.

8. Make a commitment to yourself to be healthy for life.

You don’t have to carry around a calorie counter, a carb counter, a food list. Choose your foods with these simple guidelines in view, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how good you will feel.

If you have questions or comments, make a note below or contact me by email.

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