After yesterday’s Inside Tracker post, someone asked what sort of changes I had made to improve my cholesterol numbers. And well, I can’t tell you specifically what changes had what effect, but over the past few months, here’s what I’ve been working on in regard to my diet.
Hydration is hard. There are all sorts of studies that say how much water you need, but basically, the number seems to be somewhere between half an ounce to an ounce of water per pound a day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you need between 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. If it’s hot, if you’re working out, if the air is exceptionally dry, you need to be drinking on the higher end. If you’re sitting on the couch, you can be on the lower end. I aim for at least 100 ounces a day. It was going really well through the fall, and now, not so great. So I’m working on it.
I was the queen of Lean Cuisines for lunch every day. When those suckers were on sale, I would stock up. But that has entirely gone by the wayside.
I try to keep my added sugars low. I don’t worry about fruit sugars, but no more snacking on sweets. I eat a lot of Kind Bars (with 4 or 5 grams of sugar) and drizzle honey on my oatmeal, but that’s about it. It was a tough switch, but worth it. I don’t crave sweets like I used to.
No more lowfat products for me. Full fat Greek yogurt. 4% fat cottage cheese. They’re more satisfying and help prevent cravings. Also, those flavored yogurts? Check out the sugar content. It’s ridiculous.
I’m doing my best to ensure that I meet my veggie intake daily. This often means a giant smoothie filled with chard and kale and whatever else I can cram in, but hey, a bit of pineapple thrown in masks the flavor. I figure it’s better than nothing. I also try to eat a bit of avocado every day (as if this is a hardship) to get those healthy fats and other vitamins.
Really, a big key has just been eating mindfully. The other day, I threw away part of a cookie because it wasn’t that good and I realized it just wasn’t worth it to be eating it. Admittedly, I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit lately (I blame the Girl Scouts and their evil cookie ways) but I’m working on getting back to it and getting off the weight plateau I’ve hit. I know that my weight loss has had a positive effect on my health, but I have a ways to go.
To be honest with you, it’s not been that hard. It takes commitment, but none of what I’m doing is a challenge. I’m still a lazy cook. Lunch is often baked chicken, sweet potato, and a veggie. It looks like I’m eating clean, but mostly I’m just too lazy to do anything else and it’s easy.
It’s all about figuring out what fits best into your schedule and way of life. You don’t need to be spending all your time in the kitchen to eat properly.