The Fault in Our Diets

By Kathryn S.

It’s no secret that you retain information a bajillion times easier if you’re well nourished.  It’s also no secret that almost all middle and high school students have horrible eating habits.  Eating a healthy breakfast and lunch will increase your performance in school in just about every area, but that’s not why I’m here.  I’m not going to list off all of the reasons why you should ditch the junk, because let’s face it, we’ve heard this same lecture a thousand times before.  Instead, I’m going to share with you a couple of tips to make healthy eating easier.

  1.  Eat breakfast

Skipping breakfast isn’t going to help you lose weight.  Instead, it will do the opposite.  By starving your body you are putting it into survival mode; which slows down your metabolism and converts the energy you do have into fat.  Even if you aren’t normally hungry in the mornings, eating a small breakfast will actually help you lose weight.

Some easy breakfast ideas are:

Omelettes: Omelettes are surprisingly easy to make; they are low in calories and you can almost put whatever you feel like in them and they will taste delicious.

Green smoothies: If you don’t have a huge appetite in the morning, green smoothies are a great choice for you because they are chock full of vitamins and minerals you can’t get elsewhere, and they are super light and easy to make.

A bowl of fruit: If green smoothies weird you out, eating a bowl of fruit in the morning will still give you the vitamins you need to start your day out right, but it won’t be as filling as other options, like a piece of toast.

  1.  Stay hydrated

Drinking water throughout the day not only helps you feel better, it will actually help you lose weight.  Drinking cold water boosts your metabolism, cleanses your body of unwanted toxins and it helps to suppress your appetite.  It also burns calories!

Here’s are couple of ways you can use water to your advantage:

Drink water before you eat.  It will help you feel full faster and will, therefore, reduce your food intake.  You reduce your calorie intake per meal by about seventy-five calories by doing so.

Drink ice-cold water.  Drinking colder water will burn more calories because it will take more energy to raise the water’s temperature to match that of your body’s.

Make sure you’re drinking enough.  It’s recommended that you drink about half an ounce of water per pound that you weigh per day.  You don’t necessarily need to follow that rule religiously, but just make sure you keep a water bottle with you and drink it throughout the day; it will help you think better.

  1.  Pack lots of snacks

We all get hungry throughout the day, and eating snacks is something that we shouldn’t be ashamed to do.  What’s important is that you’re eating healthy snacks.  By bringing plenty of healthy snacks from home you won’t be as tempted to buy ones that are high in fat and sugar.  You don’t have to eat all of the snacks you pack, but at least you have options now that are healthy and you don’t need to feel guilty about eating.  Choose snacks that are high in protein and low in fat, it will improve your brain performance.  You need snacks that won’t make a mess either and are easy to eat in class.

Some healthy snack ideas:

Dried fruit is simply delicious and, contrary to the common belief, it is low in calories.  A quarter of a cup of dried fruit is equal to one serving of fruits and vegetables.

Veggies and hummus.  I know.  It sounds gross.  Who even eats vegetables anyways?  Hummus however, is high in protein and tastes amazing.  If you can’t stand the taste of raw veggies on their own try dunking them in hummus, or another low-fat dip of your choice.  You will be surprised.

Yogurt is low in fat and high in protein.  Just make sure you buy the kind with active cultures!

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