Getting Real With Shadra Bruce
As someone who has struggled with weight all my life — and who has watched family member after family member deal with conditions like heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes – I am interested in learning how to live a healthier lifestyle and how to teach my kids to be healthy. What I’ve learned over time, after regaining the weight I lost using pills and fad diets, is that quick fixes really don’t work. What works, and what you will hear most nutrition experts advocate, is making small step-by-step changes to your lifestyle.
People who have the most success, not just with losing weight but with maintaining a healthy way of life, make incremental changes to their diet and their activity levels that can be maintained for the long term. That is really the key to success: Whatever you are going to do, you have to be able to make it a long-term habit. Nutrition is fundamental in overall health; it affects energy, mood, sleep patterns, menstruation cycles and memory. It’s more than just diet changes, though — it’s a matter of changing your whole lifestyle. The changes you make have to be changes for life.
Skip the Diet and Eat Right
We live in a fast-paced, oblivious society where exercising and healthy eating are low on the list of priorities – if we’re not eating fast food, we’re eating processed food. Most of us are eating on the run, at our desks or in front of the TV, and that creates a disconnect from what we’re eating – and how much. We’re simply not thinking about it. Studies show that when you eat while watching TV, you eat hundreds of extra calories without even realizing it – and an extra 100 calories a day every day for a year amounts to TEN pounds.
There is no trick to weight loss: reduce portion sizes, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, and add activity everywhere you can.
READ MORE: Eat less and move more to make healthy progress with weight loss.
Eight Healthy Changes to Make Right Now
- Cut out all foods made with white flour, like white bread
- Stop consuming anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil
- Eliminate high-fructose corn syrup
- Add fruits and vegetables – it doesn’t matter which ones
- Start eating omega-3s like salmon and other fish, nuts, or even a fish-oil pill if there’s no other way
- When you eat grains, make sure they are whole grains
- Always eat breakfast
- Always keep your sugar-to-fiber ratio low (don’t eat foods where the number of sugar grams exceeds the number of fiber grams)