In a short discussion with one of our barre clients, it became apparent that she was overwhelmed with the idea of changing her diet. I got the sense that she didn’t know where to start. Generally, when I don’t know where to start, I simply don’t start at all. So, here is my stab at creating a starting point for her and for everyone else who feels overwhelmed when they read articles relating to nutrition.
Consider increasing the portion of your plate, sandwich, omelet, or (insert other) that includes veggies and/or fruit. Reduce the amount of meat or cheese and pile on the veggies.
Make a lean meat, beans or legumes ¼ of your meal, and increase your veggies to 2/4, with the last ¼ dedicated to a whole grain, legume, bean or fruit.
Avoid foods that are made with white flour or “enriched wheat flour”. Packages should read 100% whole grain, or 100% whole wheat. “Made with” only indicates that the food has some whole grains. Usually less than half of the food is made with whole grains.
Easiest way to improve what you put in your body; throw out foods that list white flour and/or sugar on the ingredient list. When you go to the store, don’t replace them. Stock your pantry with nuts, whole grain products, and canned veggies without salt listed on their ingredient list. (You’d be surprised. Look for sugar listed on canned veggies too.)
Stock your fridge with plain greek yogurt and add fruit, reduced fat milk (you need some fat to burn fat and we’ll talk about that another day), fresh fruits and veggies, reduced fat cheese, and lean meats and proteins.
Lastly, if you love sweets (I don’t trust those who do not), consider purchasing smaller, pre-portioned packages. They are a total rip off, because you get less for more money, but hey, we can’t always trust ourselves to stop at one cookie, and last thing you want to do is deprive yourself and wind up on a clock tower with a semi-automatic weapon, and NEVER, ever, ever, starve yourself! It actually makes you fatter. I promise! We’ll cover that in more details another day as well.
So, where to start is not as important as starting. And one final tip, don’t set yourself up for failure. Pick one or two changes to start with and add additional changes later.