Submitted by Carrie Riggin — Correspondent
I recently attended a party with a cocktail in hand (health nuts drink, too) and a chip I was ready to dip into an amazing-looking, delicious, meaty and cheesy dish. While living out this food fantasy, I get interrupted by a voice asking, "Dont you write a health column?"
I replied, "Excuse me?" He said, "I just saw you eat three chips and now you are about to eat your fourth with dip! Do you actually live what you write about?"
The food police had officially ruined my moment of bliss.
How dare he? I live and breathe a healthy lifestyle; putting clean foods into my body, sweating hours on end at the gym and spending most of my time educating others on ways they can become a healthy, happy person. Yet heaven forbid, one day out of the week, I let myself splurge a little (as you can see, Im still a little heated about the exchange).
Well, let me tell you Mr.: Being healthy and fit is a LIFESTYLE. Its not about restricting yourself every hour of every day, never partying, never having margaritas with girlfriends or wine on date nights. Wheres the fun in that? Life is too short. Being healthy is about treating your body right, but knowing when to let go a little. Having a balance is what will keep you mentally sound and looking your best.
Im not saying eat the burrito at 4 a.m. and then wake up for Burger Kings breakfast. If you want to indulge, go ahead, but jump right back on the right path the next day.
My motto: "Everything in moderation." Having a balance work, life, play and exercise is what's going to keep you from going stir crazy. And that, friends, will help you find the balance your body seeks. When your body is finally content, your weight will settle and you will be the best you.
Tricks to Eat and Drink in Moderation
Use smaller plates: This will automatically force you to cut your portions in half. Fill ½ the plate with vegetables, ¼ of lean protein and ¼ complex carbohydrates.
Have one or the other: If you want dessert, dont have the glass of wine. If you want McDonalds fries, skip the hamburger and McFlurry. Dont ever deprive yourself; indulge in one or the other. It balances out calories, keeps you sane and your cravings at bay.
Allow a cheat day: Eat clean six days a week and cheat on the seventh! But with only ONE meal you crave most. This cant be an all-out binge fest though; otherwise you risk undoing all the hard work you put in that week.
Eat like a king ... at breakfast: Do you crave that higher carb bagel? Indulge fully in the morning; it will give you energy for the day and by bedtime you will have worked it off!
Eat like a rabbit the rest of the day: Enjoy your favorite clean eats without guilt all day just space them out. I love high calorie foods: nuts, dairy, peanut butter and the list goes on. You can eat it ALL, all day (as I do), but spacing meals out keeps your metabolism high (continuously burning calories), blood sugar levels stable and your tummy (and mind) satisfied!
Enjoy a cocktail: If you love cocktail hour with the girls or football Sunday with the buddies, theres nothing wrong with throwing back a few. Just not 20. And keep in mind some beverages are better than others. If you have to sip, pick red wine over sugar-infested margaritas, and swap dark-liquor drinks for light. Keep your intake to two glasses per day. Studies show that staying social keeps your mind and body healthy, too.
P.S. The photo of the gorgeous, fit woman below is Jennifer Nicole Lee, Americas most famous fitness model. She eats and drinks what she wants, and still stays in the best shape. It can be done!