You might think that with all their training, knowledge and understanding of the body, healthcare providers would have no problem making the best decisions every day. But they are just like the rest of us: they need a full arsenal of healthy eating tricks to combat demanding work schedules and impossible family calendars. Not to mention temptations around every corner–every day seems full of situations designed to encourage poor eating.
We asked several of our doctors what they do to stay on track. Here’s what they told us. Pick just one tip from the list and try it for a few weeks!
Eat Breakfast Every Day. “There are a lot of things I do every day to maintain a healthy diet, but one of the most important is eating a healthy breakfast. Your body has been fasting all night. The longer you go without food, the more likely it is that your body will go into starvation mode and store the calories you eat later in the day as fat. Combine that with the fact that you’ll be ravenous by lunch or dinner and much more likely to binge on whatever is available rather than making healthy choices.” Damon Warhus, MD, Peterkort South
Keep Track. “Keep track of what you consume each day. Studies have shown that people who write down or keep track of what they are eating lose weight and maintain their weight loss easier and longer than those who do not. One easy way is an app on your smart phone. MyFitnessPal is one example; it’s free, easy to use and will even help you determine the appropriate calories you need to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight.” Lisa Pew, MD, Tualatin
Veggies First. “When I was a little girl, I ate my veggies, but they definitely weren’t my favorite part of the meal. So I would make it a point to eat them all first and get them out of the way so that I could “enjoy” the rest of the meal. It turns out that that’s a great strategy as an adult. Eating a full seven daily servings of vegetables and fruits consistently turns out to be a lot of food. It can take some planning to get it all in, but it will fill you up. After you finish off a full plate of veggies, enjoy the rest of your meal of lean protein, whole grain carbs and healthy fat. You will be less likely to take seconds, and won’t have much room for anything else. A similar approach can be used for water intake- drinking a full glass before your meal will help fill you up, quench your thirst, and make you less likely to indulge in soda, juice or other high-calorie drinks.” Laura Morrison, MD, MPH, Peterkort South
Make It Easy. “The healthiest choices are not always the most convenient ones, so find ways to make it easier to make good decisions. I recommend buying a bunch of veggies at the start of the week and cutting them up to make snack-size veggie bags that are quick—and satisfying—especially when paired with a healthy fat like hummus or peanut butter. Whether you’re rummaging through the fridge after a trying day or grabbing something for afternoon snack as you’re walking out the door in the morning, having these snacks ready to go will make it much easier to make a healthy choice.” Danielle Dion, MD, Peterkort North
What tips do you have for eating healthier? Leave them on our Facebook page!