It’s hard to unlearn old/bad habits. While I assumed I had it all right, I was sadly mistaken.
My eating habits has to be revamped—for my health and diet.
Once upon a time, I could eat what I want, when I wanted and how much I wanted.
Those were the good old days. Gone are the days of not counting calories, all-you-could eat buffets and skipping meals.
How easy it was for me to rely on my high metabolism that burned calories through avid walking, climbing and Zumba.
But I had it all twisted: Exercise must compliment a healthy diet.
My exercise instructor, Danielle often says: “Garbage in, is garbage out.” In other words, you are what you eat.
And menopause didn’t help matters much. Weight gain and slow metabolism became the norm for me. I remember sharing my mortification to Danielle, when I modified my diet and starting working out 4-5 times a week, only to learn I lost ONE pound.
“This can’t be,” I said with disbelief. “I’m doing everything I know to keep my weight in check.”
Danielle replied: “Check your eating habits. Write down what you eat for one week.”
The realization was an eye opener. Take a peek:
Breakfast: Large coffee, bagel with butter or sometimes grilled Texas grilled cheese sandwiches.
Lunch: Salad with all the topping, salad dressing filled with calories and fat. Soup or a super large meal.
Dinner many hours later and famished: Anything I could carry out.
What’s missing from this list?
A healthy diet includes lots of water and smoothies made from fruits and/or vegetables. Most times, these items were totally eliminated from my diet altogether or I felt they weren’t important. Also, I remember a nutritionist stated that creating a balanced diet includes proper nutrients and portions. While this sounds good in theory, I Googled healthy diets and this is National Health Services recommends:
The range of foods in your diet should include:
- plenty of fruit and vegetables
- plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods – choosing wholegrain varieties where possible
- some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
- some milk and dairy foods – choosing lower-fat varieties where possible
- just a small amount of foods high in fat and sugar
While this list is well and good, it’s still felt vague and left me with more questions than answers. How much fruit and vegetables are necessary daily, weekly to get the proper nutrients. And the theory of eating bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods isn’t necessarily true for a healthy diet. Bread consists off flour which produces calories and packs on pounds. That is why, I have chosen to give up eating bagels and any other forms of breads from my diet. And many people and restaurants have now prefer brown rice as opposed to white rice. This list could work, but I felt I needed more guidance.
For me, I needed to enroll in a nutrition class to learn how to eat healthy. I found that the local hospital offers free nutrition classes. According to the description, the class focuses on making healthy choices and selections by learning proper nutrition tactics. The class also emphasis meal planning, healthy snacks and fistful portions.
I also discovered some churches, community centers and senior citizen centers are now offering nutrition classes for free or minimal cost.
Sounds like a winner to me! Here’s to re-education, re-evaluation and reorganization of the foods I take in and the ones I leave out.