I’m currently on Weight Watchers, and besides counting points, there are the Good Health Guidelines that help you to stay healthy and get your body in optimum shape for weight loss.
- Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day.
- Choose whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and oats, whenever possible.
- Include two servings of milk products – low fat (1%) or fat-free – each day.
- Have 2 teaspoons of healthy oils (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower or flaxseed) each day.
- Ensure that you are getting enough protein by choosing at least a serving or two of lean meats, skinless poultry, fish, beans, soy products, and lentils.
- Limit added sugar and alcohol.
- Drink at least 6 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day. The best choice is water.
- Take a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement each day.
- Get in at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
For me, it’s really becoming hard to remember these guidelines. I do follow a few of them, like avoiding alcohol, getting my water in, and incorporating whole grains when I can. However, I want to follow all of them, so I’ll be incorporating the ones I have trouble with, one per week. (My Weight Watcher weeks are Thursday – Wednesday, since I attend Wednesday meetings.)
First, I’m going to aim to eat my fruits and veggies, since I usually have 2-3 servings a day, and it would probably be easiest for me to incorporate into my diet. Here’s what Weight Watchers considers a fruit/veggie serving.
Fruits, vegetables and leafy greens
Serving sizes are 1 cup for leafy greens and 1/2 cup for all other vegetables and fruits. The lettuce alone in a large salad may well count for 2 or more vegetable servings. The default portion for most fruits and vegetables is 1 cup.
Sound too hard? Well, here are some great ways and ideas to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet.
- Add fruit to your cereal, oatmeal, waffles or pancakes at breakfast.
- Create your own yogurt flavors with plain yogurt and different combinations of fruit.
- Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips or pretzels. Keep sugar snap peas, raisins or carrot sticks in your car, your office or your backpack.
- Use chunky salsa instead of thick, creamy snack dips.
- Drink 100% juice instead of addictive coffee, tea, or soda.
- Going out to lunch? Take a trip to the grocery salad bar. Use lots of dark green leaves and other vegetables instead of piling on all of the extras like eggs, bacon, or croutons.
- Add frozen veggies to any pasta dish.
- Keep fruits and vegetables in line of sight. Grapes, oranges, bananas, and apples make a colorful bowl arrangement on the table. If you see them, you will eat them.
- Dried fruit is just as portable as potato chips — and less messy. Plus, it’s an easy way to increase your iron consumption.
- When cooking vegetables, makes 2-3 times more than you need and immediately store the extra away for tomorrow. It will save you time later on when you might not feel up to the task of cooking.
- Dried fruit tastes especially good when added to a basic trail mix.
- Add your own beans and vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cabbage) to canned and quick-serve soups. The beans will add protein while the veggies will pack in some extra vitamins.
- If you must have pizza, load on extra veggies and pineapple.
- Try berries, melons or dates for a naturally sweet dessert rather than the usual candy bar, cookie, or ice cream sandwich.
- Frozen fruit and veggies are nearly as healthy as the fresh stuff, and only take minutes to prepare.
- Combine fruit with your main meal courses. Raisins, apples and tangerine slices add sweet, crunchy variety to a salad. Apples complement pork and orange slices are perfect with chicken.
Anyone want to jump on the fruit/veggie bandwagon with me? I can’t wait to take a trip to the produce stand and have some fun!