Shopping for home essentials and grocery-you either love it or hate it and there is no midline between both. Whatever it is, one must eat to stay alive and one must eat nutritious foods to stay healthy. Consuming freshly prepared homemade food is the ultimate requirement for a healthier ‘you’. It is better to pay a visit to the supermarket during weekends to stock your essentials for the forthcoming week without any hassle. Beware, shopping in supermarkets is quite tempting. All the attractive chocolate wrappers, freshly-baked goods and ready-to-eat products can lure your attention and divert you off your task. Follow these tips to become better at shopping only for your required products:
Frozen & Canned Foods: If you have noticed, any supermarket does not have a window and neither are essential products stacked at the start of these shops. Rice, dhal and other essentials sit at the extreme corners of the stores which force the shopper to pass through other sections of the supermarket. During this short journey, our eyes wander everywhere, pick one or two unwanted products before you start shopping for your required ones.
Fresh produce, dairy and lean meats are stored in the outer aisles of the store while processed/packaged foods line the inner aisles. The middle aisles offer some interesting and healthy choices-frozen and canned foods that are a great way to load your body with all types of produce (Seasonal or non-seasonal) without all the salt, sugar and sauces. Most of these frozen veggies and fruits have been harvested during their peak season and immediately flash frozen to retain key nutrients and taste. That’s the reason why frozen produce is sometimes preferred over fresh produce.
The only canned veggies to avoid are carrots and beans that are stripped off their nutrients and packed with loads of salt. Canned legumes such as black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans and white beans are best consumed when canned as they save your soaking and cooking time, provide you with plant protein and stock you with more fiber. Only concern here is sodium and washing these legumes in running water helps to reduce sodium content by as much as 30%.
Bend A Little
Branded food products pay more to stay on top shelves in supermarkets and obviously they are going to cost you more. It doesn’t harm to bend a little and look through the lower shelves where you can find exact alternatives matching the same quality of your branded food products (at a lot cheaper price!). Use this saved-up money to buy some more fresh produce, maybe exotic fruits that your children would love to explore.
Eat Local Produce
Canned or frozen produce is available year-round and we don’t hesitate to pick them. But when you buy fresh produce that is available during the season, it is not only fresh but also tastes better and without much protective chemicals or artificial ripening agents. Off-season produce costs more, its less sustainable, uses nonrenewable energy sources such as transport and finally doesn’t appeal you much. You must first know what produce is available in which season to choose from them. Get to know them from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Save the Flyer
Newspapers and magazines serve as advertising platforms and our local grocery stores use these to distribute flyers promoting their products. People often either throw them away or use them as paper sheets to scribble their thoughts. But, next time use this as a means to plan your weeks’ meals even before visiting the supermarket. Some stores even post their products/ads online and provide discount coupons as well!
Fill Your Stomach Before Filling Your Shopping Basket
Never visit the supermarket on an empty stomach as it triggers you to buy all that you see-baked goods, ready-to-eat foods and more. Eat well or carry some snacks with you. It is even more better to carry a shopping list which prevents unwanted shopping additions and helps you buy wholesome foods that you need. Choose recipes for the upcoming week, save the ingredients needed and use the grocery list to buy these required ones.
Online shopping options might have made a few of you lazier, but they also benefit in terms of buying the needful. Once you have the shopping list handy, all you need to do is look out for these options online and buy them with the click of the mouse.
Every single day opens up a sea of opportunities to good health-eat better, work out better, exercise more and so on. This day’s health choices might seem to be trivial at the moment, but these small decisions add up to positive behavioral changes or negative ones later in life. Given here are some great options to make use of every single opportunity to eat well and stay in shape.
Excuses are many to skip breakfast-getting late for school or office, not used to preparing breakfast or have no time to eat one. But, eating a well-balanced nutritious breakfast keeps you from overeating other meals or even binging on sugary or processed foods. People sometimes have the habit of drinking 2,3 or even 4 cups of coffee to keep themselves energized. Skip the coffee and take a brisk short walk around the block instead. Such small amounts of activities done twice or thrice a day gives you a positive frame of mind than gulping down cups of sugary coffee. Get to know interesting but simple breakfast recipes and ideas from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Utilize your lunch break wisely to invest some time in activity too. Curb yourself from eating out if the restaurant menu offers not-so-nutritious menu items and if the queues are going to be much longer. It is always suggested to pack a nutritious meal that fulfills your body needs and saves you time to take a short brisk walk around your office building.
Leaving Home from Work
The priorities you set as you leave office mold your overall health, motivation and efforts toward behavior change. You may think of going for a quick peak to your house before heading to the gym. But don’t do this unless you’re required to do so as going home may derail your workout plans due to some obligation from your family members, pending household chores or simply you may feel like relaxing in the comfort of your sofa and watch tv instead. To avoid such mishaps, take your gym bag to office and go to gym straight from office. This action of yours also helps to avoid temptations such as accompanying your co-worker for happy hours at a pub nearby or heading straight home after a hard day at office.
Preparing dinner provides you with the opportunity to store some snacks that can be utilized for the rest of the week. For example, if you are using carrots or bell peppers for dinner tonight, don’t stop with peeling the amount required for the meal but chop few extra portions that can be consumed as snacks later. Also, when something is already prepared and kept in front of your eyes, you are more likely to avoid reaching out for junk foods. For instance, you can eat sliced-up veggies dipped in hummus as a snack or a post-workout energy boost.
After a long day of eating healthy food and exercising, don’t ruin your entire efforts by going for a late-night binge on chocolates, pastries, cookies or chips. One simple way to curb this is to brush your teeth soon after dinner sending a signal to your brain and body that you are done with eating for the day.
Lastly, ensure that you get a good night’s sleep by turning off your electronic gadgets, dimming lights, meditating etc. Your clarity of thoughts, energy level and outputs depend on your sleep patterns.
Individuals love the ‘blame’ game. We blame different issues for lack of success in any of our endeavors. Obesity has reached the stature of a global epidemic and healthcare industry is completely focused on analyzing and curbing risk factors that contribute towards this epidemic, all the more in premenopausal women. While women blame genetics for their expanding waistlines, a new study has found that exercise outdoes genetics in overcoming obesity as a woman grows old.
Exercising, eating healthy and staying active is the simple truth to a healthy body weight. Some people find it easier to ensure a healthy body weight due to their DNA. Some studies show that having the right gene can create a strong impact on weight loss. Researchers showed that the APOA2 gene affects how a person’s body reacts to what he/she eats. Individuals who had this gene and who ate ample saturated fats became overweight/obese.
When the diet was high in saturated fat, people with one version of the APOA2 gene had a higher BMI than people with the other version. When the diet was low in saturated fat, the BMIs remained the same irrespective of the gene version possessed by individuals. This clearly shows that it is not the gene alone that can have a strong impact on an individual’s body weight. Only when the gene is combined with saturated fat foods, do we witness greater weight fluctuations.
Earlier studies related the influence of genetics on body mass index (BMI) right from childhood to early adulthood. But not much research exists on the effect of obesity genes later in life and if it can be overcome through exercise or eating habits.
A study on over 8200 women showed that physical activity surpassed genes in determining obesity risk and this was exceedingly high in the oldest age group (women aged 70 years or older). There is this inappropriate assumption that aged people must refrain from certain exercises and activities. Age is only a number and what counts is the fitness level of the individual. Exercise improves muscle mass, balance and bone strength in ageing individuals besides improving mood, concentration and cognition. Our genes stay with us until our death and no magic or action can change them. All that we can do is improve our healthy behavior, specifically in older adults, for maximized well-being and quality of life. Elderly people who require healthy changes to their lifestyle and eating habits can get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com.
Dietitian Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.