The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics urges everyone to savor the flavor of eating right. This theme reminds us to eat mindfully, taking time to enjoy the flavors and food traditions and social times that eating can add to our lives.
Eating mindfully also means thinking about the nutrient value of the foods we consume and putting together meals that are nutritionally balanced, as well as tasty.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds us to eat a protein-rich breakfast as this boosts one’s metabolism, balances blood sugar levels, and helps one eat less throughout the day. Many people think that avoiding breakfast is a good way to cut calories and lose weight. However, skipping breakfast has been associated with an increased prevalence of obesity.
Many times people say that they aren’t hungry in the morning and this may be due to late night snacking that could be avoided when starting the day with a healthy balanced breakfast.
It is projected that skipping breakfast and then snacking late at night leads people to consume over 50 percent of the total necessary calories at the end of the day.
The Academy notes a study on weight loss that demonstrates that those who ate the largest amount of calories for breakfast and the least amount for dinner were able to lose more body weight, decrease their triglyceride levels and have a higher sense of satiety when compared to others in the study who consumed the same amount of calories but ate most of their calories at night rather than in the morning.
In order to change your pattern if you are not a breakfast eater, start by having a small protein-rich breakfast and take note of how much more energy you have. It is recommended that your breakfast supply at least 20 percent of your total daily calories, which for the average 2,000 calorie a day requirement is about 400 to 500 calories. It is also recommended that the breakfast contains at least 15 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
Another very important aspect of everyone’s diet is pure clean water. Most people don’t think of water as a nutrient but it is the most essential nutrient that we take in. We can live for quite some time without the vital nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and even calories, but without water in three or four days, we expire.
Water is essential in maintaining the proper body temperature, carrying nutrients throughout the body, lubricating joints, ridding the body of metabolic by-products and as the medium for most metabolic processes.
Dehydration is a serious problem and can lead to cramping, loss of mental focus, and an increased risk of heat stroke which can be deadly. Any athlete knows how important it is to keep hydrated, but it isn’t just important for athletes, everyone needs to be well hydrated to perform well physically and mentally.
Dehydration is especially dangerous for young children and the elderly. Water consumption is based on body weight. Generally it is recommended to drink in ounces one half of your body weight measured in pounds.
For example, if you weigh 100 pounds then you should drink 50 ounces of water per day and if you weigh 200 pounds then you should drink 100 ounces per day. This is a general recommendation because it depends on what you are doing, how hot your environment is and various other personal factors such as illness or pregnancy.
Fluids such as tea, coffee, or juicy foods such as cucumbers and watermelon also count toward your water consumption.
You can tell if you are properly hydrated if you are rarely thirsty and if your urine is colorless and odorless. Proper nutrition is fundamental to good health. Eating and drinking thoughtfully can optimize your lean body mass /fat ratio as well as supply you with the nutrients you need to live actively and well.
Happy Nutrition Month!
Jane Riley is certified as a personal trainer, nutritional adviser, and behavior change specialist. She can be reached at email@example.com, (808) 212-8119 and www.janerileyfitness.com