Many of us decided with the new year that we were going to lose weight, and exercise to be healthier. That always sounds like a good idea, however; making it happen requires planning and hard work. When we do something consistently for 30 days it become a habit. That said, losing weight requires planned and mindful eating. The latest diet fads always sound inviting with a guarantee of results. Whatever you have done over the years to gain unwanted weight will need to be addressed and acknowledged to make changes. A careful look at how we eat, how much we eat, and where we eat is important.
As a nutrition professional, I usually ask my clients to keep a journal for one week, which proves to be difficult for some people. We need to discuss the food intake before recommending changes. What are your likes and dislikes, what are you willing to change, do differently etc.?
Healthy eating should start at home, because eating together at home is also good for healthier family life. We are frequently crunched for time and all around us we see quick fixes to help us with meals. How many times are you tempted to stop at KFC or some other place to pick up dinner? I refer to fast food places as a fat, sugar and salt fix. It all tastes good. Remember restaurants are in business not to prepare healthy food but to prepare tasty food and make money. It’s up to us, as difficult as it may be, to make better choices.
Below are some general guidelines that should be followed to help with developing healthy habits?
MyPlate is a reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. This means:
- Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.
- Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
- Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles.
- Support healthy eating for everyone.
- Eating healthy is a journey shaped by many factors, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, access to food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count.
- Focus on making healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy to get the nutrients you need.
- Eat the right amount of calories for you based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level.
- Building a healthier eating style can help you avoid being overweight and obesity and reduce your risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
- Go to MyPlate.gov for more information on developing healthy eating habits.
By: Jo Ann Pegues RDN, MPA