The beginning of the year is the best time to set ideal and realistic goals for a healthier lifestyle.
Taking Baby Steps
Remember it is always best to start slow. Change is hard. Making small, gradual changes in your eating patterns is the best way to overhaul your diet. Ideally, it is best to make just one change each week, to give you time to get use to the new behavior. Your ultimate goal should be to establish new eating habits that can be sustained for a lifetime.
Eat A Variety Of Foods
You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health and no single food can supply them all.
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Tip: Snack wisely. Snacking on protein and vegetables are a great way to get in the extra fiber and protein to help build muscle and lose weight. Using nuts, nut butter and veggies are great snack options.
Fiber It Up
Did you know that there are 20 different whole grains in the world? Whole grains, unlike refined grains, contain the entire grain kernel and are very nutritious. Refined grains have been processed in a mill to remove the bran and germ. Hence, they lack in nutrition.
Eating more whole grains such as millet, buckwheat, oat, sorghum, quinoa, wild rice, amaranth, barley, and corn are great way to increase intake of protein, fiber and many important vitamins and minerals.
Get On The Move
Too many calories and not enough activity can result in weight gain. Moderate physical activity helps burn off extra calories. It is not only great for your heart, but for the entire body. Make physical activity part of your daily routine. Use the stairs instead of the elevator (up and down stairs!). Go for a walk during your lunch break. You don't have to be an athlete to get on the move!
Eat Moderate Portions - Reduce, Don't Eliminate Foods
If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it's easier to eat all the foods you enjoy without having to eliminate any. For example, some reasonable serving sizes to remember is that meat should always be at least the size of the palm of your hand and grains should be about the size of your fist. Tip: If you are eating out, split your meal with a friend.
Remember, It Is All About Balance
Don't feel guilty about the foods you love, rather eat them in moderation and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.
If you would like to learn more about eating healthy in the New Year please schedule an appointment with Sahar Berjis, RD at Inner Health & Wellness a division of BASS Medical Group by calling 925-238-3240.
Author: Sahar Berjis, RD