Springtime Slim Down Secrets

IMPORTANT DAILY HABITS OF HEALTHY PEOPLE WHO MAKE IT LOOK EASY

Ever secretly coveted that slim model-type next to you on the train in her LuluLemon garb who just looked so effortlessly thin, gingerly sipping on her green smoothie? Wonder how she does it?

Here’s how those of us in the secret health tribe maintain our habits:

WE SNOOZE
We recognize how sleep is both extremely delightful and essential to appetite control. When you don’t get enough sleep, your hormone levels of a chemical called leptin, which regulates appetite, is dulled. You are then prone to overeating; plus you’re grumpy and sleep-deprived, so you may turn to food to revitalize yourself.

WE EAT BREAKFAST
There’s so much evidence that starting your day with a solid healthy meal inspires you to keep up the good work. People who eat breakfast are also less likely to compensate by over-eating later in the day. Smart breakfast eaters always include a complex carbohydrate, like an in-season springtime fruit or plain oatmeal, plus a clean protein, like an organic egg or organic almond butter (watch out for ones with added honey/maple syrup).

WE SNACK
We recognize that we require fuel throughout the day and sometimes meals just aren’t sufficient to fill in the gaps. Smart noshers always have a fruit and some nuts or a clean protein bar stashed in every handbag, office drawer, or car. We snack to curb us over until the next meal, prevent overindulgence, and get more fruit/veggies in our diets. Choose fruits in season—they’re cheaper and fresher.

WE DRINK
Water, tea, and even coffee! We hydrate to make our skin dewy, our lips moist, and our tummies happy. We don’t like to mistake hunger for thirst, either. We spice it up with things like green tea, black, high-quality coffee seasoned with cinnamon, and sparkling waters.

WE INDULGE..MODERATELY
We don’t let guilt rule us. We realize that dessert is sacred, and we select our indulges wisely. We won’t waste it on some grocery store cake in the office; we’d rather savor every bite of an artisanal pie made with local seasonal fruits and grains from a local bakery (Check out Madruga in South Miami).

WE MOVE
We recognize that exercise in the name of burning calories is not fun and creates a culture of guilt. We run, jump, play, swim, and dance. We realize that movement is about strength, mobility, flexibility, speed, and endurance; not a compensation for eating.

WE PREP
You’ll never catch a dietitian without a weekly idea of what she/he has in store at home or in the office.

WE INVEST
We trust the only nutrition expert there is: the registered dietitian; not a health coach, a trainer, or an “integrative nutritionist” with an online degree. We know that we can’t do it all without a health professional’s advice. The health tribe’s number one focus is your health—your truest asset!

By MONICA A USLANDER, MS, RDN
Essence Nutrition, essencenutritionmiami.com
@eatlikemonica