Updated Dietary Guidelines for the US | Lets Talk

DietaryTitle

The federal dietary guidelines were officially updated the other day, and I’ve decided I want to talk about it just a little bit.  Be warned: If you’re a reader of my blog, you might be into the Weight Watchers/healthy eating lifestyle already, so the likelihood of you finding new information about how we should eat is very low. That being said, read on…

Read more

Weight Watchers Back to Basics: Good Health Guidelines

Have you ever wondered what the silly little things that you check off and earn smiley faces on your tracker for achieving actually mean?  The Good Health Guidelines are there on your tracker to encourage you to to spend your Points Plus target in the healthiest way every day.  Think of it as an eating “to do” list.  Sure, you can (and I have) spend half of your Points on chocolate and chips and margaritas (or all 3, depleting your daily and weekly Points..), and if you stay in your Points range you would still lose weight on that not so healthy diet of sugar and greasy, but you would be hungry (because you couldn’t eat much of it) and feel miserable.  Enter: GHGs to save the day, keeping you healthy and spending your Points wisely.

So, what are the Good Health Guidelines?  Lets discuss.

Water

You should be drinking at least 6-8 8oz glasses of water daily.  Hydration is SO important for our bodies as we are made mostly of water.  Bad things start to happen when we get even slightly dehydrated.  I’ve also heard of taking your weight, divide by 2, and that’s how many oz of water you should drink daily.  My favorite trainer, Ms Jillian Michaels, says that you’re good as long as your pee (sorry, I’m going there) looks like light lemonade, not dark amber apple juice.  Which ever way you choose to track your hydration, set a little goal and check off those water marks.

Fruits and Veggies

Seriously a no brainer, especially for Weight Watchers members.  Fruits and vegetables are the smartest way to spend your points because they don’t cost you any!  Get at least 5 servings in every day.  A banana at breakfast with a cup of berries in your cereal, two done before 8am!  The WW routine “Have a fruit or vegetable with every meal or snack” is one of my favorites.  When I do it, I feel so much fuller and get to eat a lot more food (healthy food!) with my meals and snacks.  I know this one can sometimes be tough, but with a little extra planning and creativity (pumpkin in my oatmeal?!  Yes!) you CAN do this.

Lean Protein

Non fatty fish (tilapia is my fave), lean turkey, chicken, or beef, eggs (or egg whites/beaters, etc), tofu, whey and soy are ALL wonderful options here.  Shoot for 1-2 a day, although I try to get a decent amount of protein in with every meal.  When in doubt, check for that little green Power Food triangle in your etools tracker (or in your Power start guide or other WW book) to see which protein is best.

Low/non Fat Dairy

2-3 servings daily.  Fat free Greek yogurt is my favorite here because of the tasty protein punch it gives as well.  Dairy is an excellent source of protein (sensing a theme here?).  Other good choices are skim milk, fat free cottage cheese and fat free (or low fat) cheeses.

Multivitamin

Take one.  End of story.  Can’t swallow those “big” pills?  There’s a gummy option.  You need vitamins to be healthy.  Talk to a pharmacist or doctor, figure out which one is right for you, and suck it up and take one every morning with breakfast.  The end.

Healthy Oils

I have a hard time with this one.  You should get 2tsp of healthy oils daily.  Flaxseed, Extra Virgin Olive, etc.  I take a potent fish oil pill every morning and sometimes call it a day, but I use supplements like chia seeds and will use EVOO spray to cook with.  If you’re better at this category than me, congratulations and keep  it up.  If not, then while you’re at Walgreens getting those multivitamins you no longer can make excuses about, pick up some fish oil too.

Activity

Ideally this means you get a workout in every day.  If you’re not a very active person (something to work on) then get up and go for a walk after dinner (or first thing in the morning), or move for 5 minutes every hour.  Do SOMETHING.  If you’re like me, I won’t check off that silly box until I’ve worked up a sweat worthy enough of the silly smiley that accompanies it.

 

That’s it!  Those guidelines aren’t so complicated, are they?  Didn’t think so.  Using these guidelines to help you determine what to eat will guarantee a happier, healthier body, and truthfully, if you make it your goal to fill these guidelines up every day, odds are there will be some Points leftover for you to do whatever you want with.  Hello delicious cupcake!