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Nutritional Guidelines

Proper nutrition cannot be summed up on one page, however, learning some basic principles may help.

Always consult with your physician whenever making
changes in diet or exercise. Not all diets are for everyone!

Incorporate a variety of healthy, nutritious foods into your diet. Choose from all of the food groups, with special attention to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. This will ensure you receive adequate amounts of essential vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients (phytonutrients) which protect and maintain good health. Taking a daily multivitamin is also a good idea for most healthy individuals.

Do not eat the typical American diet.Most people will become overweight and unhealthy. Portion sizes are much too large creating a calorie overload forcing the body to store excess calories as body fat. Usual American servings are 2-3 times the amount needed. For example, a typical restaurant serving of pasta today is 4 cups, (800 calories!) and that's not counting added oil, or cream sauce! Plan healthy meals ahead of time and always measure items such as starch, oil, dressings, peanut butter and others with a measuring cup, teaspoon or tablespoon to get a handle on your actual calorie intake.

Eat periodically throughout the course of the day and monitor your total calorie intake. Rather than "saving" most of your foods until dinner, try eating 4-5 small meals throughout the day. (Skipping meals is counterproductive.) Eat every 3-4 hours to avoid becoming ravenous and overeating at the next meal.This will also help to process calories more efficiently and promote effective fat burning and weight loss. The key is choosing foods that keep you satisfied, and staying within a daily calorie amount that is appropriate for you. Our registered dietitians can help.

Avoid large meals before workouts. Instead, have a small, balanced meal of carbohydrate and protein, like yogurt and a piece of fruit, or a small nutrition bar, 45-60 minutes prior to your workout. Do not wait too long to eat after your workout either because you may find yourself ravenous, from a blood sugar drop, and overeat. Also it is important to replace the nutrients and carbohydrates burned during exercise. Our dietitians can help you plan the right nutrition program, specific to your needs.

Drink plenty of water. The old saying of 8- 8oz. glasses may not be enough, especially in hot weather or with excessive sweat. Always keep water accessible while exercising and try to keep alcohol and caffeine to a minimum since they are non-nutritive and act as a diuretic, increasing the risk of dehydration. Watch out for sports drinks, soda, juices and other liquids containing high amounts of sugar and calories. They add up FAST! Also if you are performing an endurance workout (greater than 90 minutes) be sure to talk to our dietitian about ways to replenish carbohydrate, sodium and potassium.

Enjoy what you eat! Experiment with different spices and types of fresh foods. For example, try exotic mangoes, papaya or jacamas. Be careful with overly rigid expectations. Don't deprive yourself of foods you enjoy; instead have them in moderation. This type of reasonable eating is helpful in attaining a healthier lifestyle and eating plan overall. If you are unsure of how to accomplish this, contact one of our registered dietitians. They will help you change the deprivation and guilt mindset that accompanies yo yo dieting.

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