Monday, January 10, 2011

When Temptation Lurks: Tips on Eating Healthy in Any Situation

This week, we have a guest post from our friends from "An Apple A Day" blog which is an overseas blog featuring simple tips on how to stay healthy. I was contacted by one of their team members who was impressed with Fitness Malaysia's blog (ahem ahem) and asked if they could write a guest feature. I said sure thing, and so they were kind enough to email me a blog post. How kind of them? Thanks again Tara for organizing all this.

Anyway, enough ramblings from me, here is this weeks post from our friends at "An Apple A Day". Please do check out their blog as well as it is fun, simple and extremely informative. You can click here to check it out.

When Temptation Lurks: Tips on Eating Healthy in Any Situation

Edward Stern is a guest blogger for An Apple a Day and a writer on earning your nursing degree for the Guide to Health Education.

When you cook for yourself at home and follow your own schedule, it is much easier to stick to a diet and eat healthy. Where many dieters trip up is outside the house. Parties, festivities, and road trips present all kinds of food temptation: snacks, desserts, chili cheese dogs, and other high-calorie food can sabotage healthy eating habits.

However, you don't need to be a hermit to keep eating healthy. There are compromises you can make to indulge a little during special occasions but also keep on track with your dieting goals. Oftentimes, the most successful dieters are the ones who know how to make these compromises. Read on for tips on eating healthy in some common situations that have the potential to wreak havoc on a diet.

Game Day
  • When tailgating or huddling around the big screen with close friends, chips and dip are a staple of any pre-game spread. Having a couple handfuls of chips won't hurt a diet, but drowning them in dip will. Avoid nacho cheese and other processed dips, especially any containing ranch or sour cream. Instead, enjoy pico de gallo and other more natural salsas, and add a little homemade guacamole (store-bought brands tends to have a lot of added sugars.)
  • Go easy on the beer—alcohol is full of empty calories that do nothing but expand your waistline and shrink your head. Nurse one or two light beers if you're going to drink, and leave it at that.
  • If you're going to the game, don't eat the junk sold at the concession stands. Hot dogs are chock full of fat and calories and won't fill you up, and much of what else is sold is heavily processed. Eat beforehand at a tailgate and try chicken sausage, which tastes great and has a quarter of the fat of a bratwurst. It'll keep you thin and your wallet fat.
At a Party
  • When you’re attending parties with appetizers, eat slowly. It's very tempting to overindulge in the cocktail weenies and other gourmet snacks offered by wolfing them down, but that leads to overeating and the intake of too many calories and too much fat. Pace yourself, eat one thing at a time, and you'll be amazed at how full you get off so little.
  • If a buffet is offered, load up on healthy options like fruits, vegetables, rice, and pasta dishes. These healthy and high-carb foods are filling and will give you energy to be your most social. Just watch out for any pasta salads—creamy dressings are high in fat so eat sparingly.
  • If dessert is offered, you don't need to deprive yourself. Try just a little bit of everything, and really watch your portions. Many diets are wrecked by cravings and binge eating, so if you treat yourself with a slice of cake occasionally, you'll stay on track. If you're being really good, scrape off the frosting—it's pure sugar and empty calories.
On the Road
  • Road trips are notorious diet-wreckers for the constant snacking many partake in. Forget the Cheetos and Hostess desserts. Instead, buy fruit or trail mix. Nuts are a great source of protein and fiber which fills you up. If you have to have chips, try baked brands or the new Pop Chips—both use significantly less oil.
  • It's inevitable that at some point you'll make a trip through the drive-thru. Order diet soda (or better, just water) and a grilled chicken sandwich and/or salad which many fast food chains now carry (sorry, no bacon or ranch sauce, and if you're being really good, no mayonnaise or cheese). Fries are very unhealthy, but if you have to have them, get only a small order.
  • It's tempting to want to eat out every night, but restaurants are a drain on your funds and your dietary ambitions—the temptation on the menu is often too great. Make a couple trips to the grocery store along the way to your destination where you can stock up on sandwich fixings and fruit. Many grocery chains have food to go, such as hot soup and pre-made sandwiches, and these are a good way to go.

There you go guys. Simple and useful tips for all situations. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.

PS: Don't forget to keep yourself free for our talk "7 Habits of Healthy & Fit People" this coming Sunday (16 January 2011) at 2:30pm. Tickets are selling fast, so do email me if you want to book your seat before its too late.


Datin said...

Obviously you don't realise what they conned you into doing. They just got you to put in the keywords "nursing degree" and link it back to their blog - for free. Which is what they actually wanted.

Rajan said...

datin: Its not a con job. I am more than happy to help to promote other fitness and health websites. It doesn't cost me anything, so why not. No harm helping others right?