Ellie's Top Ten Tips for Healthy Living
Learn how to become a better eater with help from Ellie Krieger.
- Think Drink
Staying well hydrated is key to feeling good. So make sure you drink enough: on average that means 9 cups of fluid a day for women, and 13 for men. Caffeine-free calorie-free beverages like water are best, but fruit juice, milk, sports drink and soft drink are also hydrating. Surprisingly, even caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea contribute to your total fluid intake.
- Sweet Tooth Satisfiers
When your sweet tooth is calling, try satisfying it with something healthy, like a few slices of sweet juicy mango, or sliced apple and pear made special with a sprinkle of cinnamon. If it's a cookie you crave, try biscotti — they have fewer calories than most cookies. If only chocolate will do, go for it. Just opt for dark chocolate (which has the most antioxdants) and keep it to an ounce, about the size of three fingers.
- Sleep Yourself Thinner
Studies show that chronic lack of sleep can actually alter the balance of hormones that help regulate appetite. So if you don't regularly get at least 7 hours a night it might leave you hungrier and ultimately heavier. Life is hectic and it isn't always easy, but now you have another good reason to get your Zs.
- Take a Stroll
Tonight after dinner, don't just plop in front of the TV. Call your neighbor, gather the family or leash up the dog and go for a stroll. You'll get some fresh air, share some valuable time together and no matter how slow you walk you'll burn about 100 calories a mile.
- The Family Meal
Want your kids to eat better and be healthier? Eat dinner together. Between work schedules and after school activities, it is tough to get the whole family around the table all the time. But even if you can't do it every day, make a point of it as often as possible. Kids who eat with their families regularly have better nutrition, and are less likely to adopt bad habits like smoking.
- Cheese Primer
Everyone loves cheese. It is delicious and it is packed with calcium and protein. But because it is loaded with saturated fat, it's one of those foods to eat smartly. For everyday, choose reduced-fat cheeses like part-skim mozzarella, reduced-fat cheddar or low-fat cottage cheese. When only the full-fat version of a cheese will satisfy, use the most flavorful variety you can find, like blue cheese, extra-sharp cheddar, feta and Parmesan, and use it sparingly. Remember, with fantastic, full-flavor cheese, a little goes a long way.
- Three Questions for Your Waiter
Dining out is one of life's great pleasures, a time to unwind with friends, try new foods, relax and be served. Here are three questions that can help you keep it healthier too. 1) Can I have that grilled or poached instead of fried? 2) May I have sauce on the side? 3) May I please have the rest of my meal to-go? These three little questions can make a big difference and most restaurants are happy to oblige.
- Smarter Starters
There is no need to skip a starter if you are watching calories. It turns out the right appetizer can actually help you eat fewer calories over the course of the meal. Go for starters like green salad with light dressing or a broth-based, chunky soup like minestrone. They give you lots of satisfaction without a lot of calories, so you wind up eating less at the rest of the meal.
- All About Alcohol
You have heard the reports that drinking wine is good for your health, and if you are like me, when you did, you practically threw a ticker-tape parade. It's not just red wine that has health benefits (although red wine seems to have the most). Alcohol in general can protect you from stroke and improve your cholesterol. But the key is to drink in moderation, which is defined as one drink a day for women and two for men. Any more than that and alcohol's benefits are quickly swallowed by its risks. For the record, one drink is 5 ounces of wine, a 12 ounce beer or 1 ½ ounces of spirits.
- How to Eat Pizza
Everyone knows a double-cheese pepperoni pizza probably isn't the healthiest meal choice. But pizza done right can actually be good for you. Just take a cue from how they eat pizza in Italy. They go easy on the cheese, use fresh herbs and vegetables and they make a nice, thin crust. So next time you are craving pizza, ask for a slice of thin crust veggie pizza, light on the cheese. Toss in a big side salad and you'll have yourself a pretty healthy meal.