With spring nearly officially here and summer just a few short months away, now is the time to get healthy and fit just in time for bikini and summer vacation season! Renowned registered dietitian Sylvia Melendez-Klinger joined me for an interview this morning to discuss diet fads, how you can get healthy and fit while still enjoying your favorite foods and drinks, and much more!
Candace Rose: There are so many diet fads out there these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. What really works?
Sylvia Melendez-Klinger: “I have seen them all. I’ve been practicing for 30 years, I can tell you that what really works is classic, we need to build healthy habits first and master to the more challenging ones. We need to find balance between the things that we eat and what we drink and our exercise, and we need to be patient. These things take time. They’re not easy, but they’re not impossible.
This is why we’ve teamed up during National Nutrition Month to really bring you these wonderful tips to help you to be more successful in your journey.”
Candace Rose: Is it possible to get fit and healthy and not have to give up our favorite foods and drinks?
Sylvia Melendez-Klinger: “Absolutely, and that’s the secret. We are humans and we love to eat flavorful delicious foods – no question about that, but unfortunately a lot of them do come with a lot of calories. We still have to find a way to have flavorful and delicious foods that are not packed with too many calories or find a way to eat them a little bit less. For example, a great approach that is simple is including low calorie to no calorie beverages. A recent study showed that people that actually include low calorie beverages instead of just plain water lost more weight, they were able to keep off the weight longer and they were actually less hungry during the day.
Simple little things like that, whether it be including these low calorie beverages, or having a small plate or a small cup or actually finding a variety of foods on the plate by including two and three food groups at every meal; sleeping more, or even getting up from your couch or your chair every 15 minutes to burn off some calories. All of those things really add up to really burn or decrease the amount of calories that we have every day without really even noticing that we’re actually making that deficit.”
Candace Rose: How can those of us with a sweet tooth swap out sweet treats for better options?
Sylvia Melendez-Klinger: “We love sweets, especially between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. we have those cravings. Snacking has become the next meals. They’re meal replacements because they’re 400 and 500 calories (about the equivalent of a meal), so we have to find ways to make those snacks less than 100 calories. A perfect example that I love are Wonderful Halos mandarins. They are packed with vitamin C. They are so flavorful and sweet. They are seedless, they’re easy to peel, portable and only 50 calories. It’s a wonderful example of taste with low calories that really hit the spot when we need it the most.”
Candace Rose: Can you talk to us about mindful eating? What is it?
Sylvia Melendez-Klinger: “I love it because it’s the art of really staying focused in the moment. When we apply it to eating, it’s about helping people to really put all of the senses into place when you’re eating. It’s the touch, the smell, the vision, the hearing – all these senses into place so we can not only enjoy our foods more and feel good about it, but at the same time eat a little slower and pay attention to everything we put in our bodies.
It’s important that we chew each little bite 15 times to make sure our brains are registering that we are feeling full. You want to be about 3/4 full and no more than that, and that’s your natural cue to say you’ve had enough and it’s time to really stop.”
Candace Rose: Thank you so much, Sylvia. Where can we go for more information?
Sylvia Melendez-Klinger: “You can find all these tips and many more, and recipes on my blog at HispanicNutrition.com.”
This interview is provided by The American Beverage Association and Wonderful Halos. Candace Rose Anderson was not compensated by any sponsors for this interview.