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Eat To Live, Don't Live To Eat

Por Claudia M. González, MS, RD, LD/N* -

Food provides your body with the energy needed for daily living. However, we often eat out boredom instead of for nourishment.

Because what you eat impacts your health, how much and what kind of food you eat plays an important role in your well-being. Healthy and well-balanced meals contribute to a full, healthy life.

Food plays a positive role

Food comes in many different forms. Yet it all contains nutrients that serve unique functions in our bodies, such as supplying cells with required energy and serving as the raw material for growth, restoration, and maintenance of tissues and vital organs.

The seven vital components of food include: carbohydrates, fat, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Your daily diet should include all these components in order to stay healthy. Many health problems result from an unbalanced diet, poorly planned daily meals, and lack of exercise.

Hunger and satisfaction ensure that your body gets the proper amount of food necessary to fulfill energy requirements. But often people eat more than they need. This is one factor that has contributed to an increase in overweight, obesity, and certain chronic diseases across the United States in both children, and adolescents and adults.

Just the right amount

Learn to listen to your body, its needs, feelings of hunger, and your appetite. To fulfill your nutritional needs, eat a variety of foods that belong to the following 5 categories:

  1. Bread, cereals, and other whole grain foods
  2. Fruits
  3. Vegetables
  4. Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and other sources of vegetable protein, such as beans, peas, nuts, and seeds
  5. Dairy products

Eat small amounts 3 to 5 times a day instead of one big meal and several snacks. Never skip breakfast. Your body functions better if you stay on a consistent meal schedule. People who don’t adhere to a regular eating schedule, of at least 3 times a day, have a greater tendency to gain weight.

Your plan for success

Do you ever ask yourself why it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off? Losing weight is easier than you may think. Planning your meals is the first step to improving your diet.

Keep a well-balanced diet in mind when shopping for groceries. Make your list ahead of time. Avoid adding junk food. You'll have an easier time resisting junk food temptation if you don't buy it. For example, to help avoid eating chocolate or sweets, keep a healthy substitute on hand, like an apple or yogurt.

Programs such as MyDiet™ focus on the basics for achieving a well-balanced and healthy diet. MyDiet™ will get you away from fad diets by highlighting what your body needs from a nutritional standpoint. This program fosters changes in your lifestyle that guarantee success and prevent you from falling into a yo-yo cycle of dieting (one diet after another).

Eat to live. Don't live to eat! Give your body one of the best gifts that you can: a customized nutrition plan, optimum weight, and a healthy life.



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