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Keeping your New Year’s nutrition goals in 2012
by Jean Weinert
Jan 05, 2012 | 2248 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
USING FRUIT such as apples and oranges for dessert instead of sweets helps lessen the desire for sugary foods over the long term.                                Stock photo
USING FRUIT such as apples and oranges for dessert instead of sweets helps lessen the desire for sugary foods over the long term. Stock photo
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As we begin a new year, most of us set goals to improve our eating habits. Nutritional goals need to be simple and realistic to be effective. Small changes can make a big difference. Eating healthy food should be about feeling great — physically and emotionally. I love the idea of “splurging” on yourself. Take the time to plan and prepare great food - because you are worth it. There is no other decision that you make in your life that has more power to dictate your future health, happiness and productivity than your daily food choices.

Eight Simple Tips for Healthy Eating

1. Eat regular meals and snacks. Try to eat about the same time every day. Don’t go longer than four hours between meals and/or snacks. Don’t skip meals (when you do your body doesn’t use calories efficiently — you get over-hungry and you eat more than you need).

2. Include complex carbohydrates (whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, beans, etc.); protein (lean meats, fish, eggs, and cheese); fruits; vegetables; and low fat dairy in each meal. By including all of these, you provide the nutrients your body needs to stay satisfied and well-nourished.

3. Limit your intake of fats by avoiding fried foods and creamy dressings.

4. Use fruit for dessert. Eat the orange, apple, blueberries, instead of the orange sherbet, apple pie and blueberry cobbler. By using fruit as your dessert, you satisfy your “sweet tooth” and minimize your desire for cookies, cakes, candy and ice cream.

5. Watch portion sizes. Resist the temptation to “super size” meals. Think to yourself every time you sit down to eat: “I will eat again in just a few hours.” This helps you avoid the “feast and famine” routine.

6. Cut liquid calories. One 12 ounce can of pop or other sweetened beverage has 9 teaspoons of sugar. Water is the best thirst quencher; but if you must flavor it, be sure you are not adding calories.

7. Separate emotion from eating. Don’t eat to “fix” boredom, sadness, anxiety, stress, etc.

8. Exercise for fun. Find something that you love to do and do it at least 4-5 times a week for 30-60 minutes (you don’t have to be good at it). Try new things to avoid boredom and do them with a buddy. Exercise makes everything in your body work better - including your mind.

Remember to not be too hard on yourself. I like to say: “Eat really good most of the time. When you ‘goof’ — and you will — make it small, recover quickly, get back to healthy eating and don’t waste any time feeling guilty about it.”

“Health is a sacred process. Food is not something you pull off the shelf, it has a life force to it.” — Dr. Mehmet Oz

Jean Weinert, R.D.C.D. is a Consultant Dietitian at the Tanner Clinic in Layton.

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