Elisa Zied, author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips, says brides make five common nutrition mistakes. Here’s her quick fix.
DON’T Skip Meals
Why it’s bad: Skipping meals can contribute to excess calorie intake and overeating at a later meal. The bigger the meal, the more likely excess calories will be stored as body fat, especially if the meals are fatty.
Alternative: Eat four to five times a day; perhaps three meals and two small snacks. Include foods rich in protein and fibre, such as an apple and a small handful of nuts. This tapers hunger, keeps blood sugar steady and prevents overeating. When away from home, prepare portable snacks so that a nutritious snack is always on hand.
DON’T Dramatically Cut Calorie Intake
Why it’s bad: Consuming too few calories is hard to sustain and won’t provide enough nutrients to maintain health. Without enough calories, the body will lack energy.
Alternative: Don’t let total calorie intake dip below 1,500 or 1,600 calories a day. Trim calories to that level with small steps: take a few less bites at meals, switch from a bagel to a whole wheat English muffin, or one slice of cheese on a sandwich instead of two. When cake and menu tasting, take just enough to determine what tastes best.
Why it’s bad: Over-exercising increases risk of injury. Also, a heavy workout routine may be hard to sustain, especially if combined with too few calories, which saps energy.
Alternative: Start or pump up regular exercise, but do it gradually. Select activities you enjoy, perhaps biking or swimming, and do them more often. And walk more; every minute walking helps burn calories. Create a workout routine that can be maintained and adjusted for the long-term.
DON’T Avoid Carbs and Load Up On Proteins
Why it’s bad: The body needs carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates provide glucose,which powers the brain and nervous system. Cutting carbs also may cut fibre.
Alternative: Include carbohydrates in daily intake, but be mindful of portions. Choose whole grains such as oats, popcorn and whole wheat bread. Stay within dietary guidelines to keep amounts adequate. Most women need five grain servings and three or more cups of fruit daily.
DON’T Drink Your Calories
Why it’s bad: Alcoholic beverages, sports drinks, soda, decadent coffees and sugary beverages add calories and often sugar and fat. Because drinks (including alcohol) don’t fi ll you up like a meal, high calorie intake is easily overlooked.
Alternative: Limit liquid calories. Read labels to avoid drinks with sugar and/or fat and too many calories. While at parties and events, limit intake to one or two drinks and alternate alcoholic beverages with non-caloric drinks. At the coffee shop, ask for drinks made with skim milk and without whipped cream.