This time of year, many of us will make resolutions to be healthier. Su Yu, Registered Dietitian, shares these tips to help jump start the new year with healthy eating habits:
1. Set your New Year resolution realistically. If weight loss is the goal, quantify the amount of weight loss you want and the length of time you will do it. Give yourself enough time and remember to be patient.
2. Be active. Exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. If you are taking public transportation, opt for getting off a stop earlier than your actual stop and walk home or walk to work. Encourage a colleague to go out for a 10 minute lunch walk with you. Take the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator.
3. Choose a healthy diet by incorporating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
4. Decrease the intake of saturated fats and concentrated sweets (i.e., fatty meats, deep fried items, butter, cakes, cookies, candies, muffins, donuts, etc.)
5. Choose healthier cooking methods such as baking, grilling, broiling, boiling and steaming.
6. Monitor food portions. Make of your lunch or dinner plate from vegetables, from protein (meat, poultry, beans and dairy) and from grains (rice, pasta, bread and cereal). A serving of protein is 3 oz. of meat, 1 cup of milk or 1 oz of cheese; a serving of carbohydrate is cup of cooked rice/pasta, 1 slice of bread and cup of dried cereal.
7. Decrease or eliminate the consumption of sugary drinks (i.e., sodas and fruit juices). On average, a 12 oz. regular soft drink provides 150 calories. If a person consumes one 12 oz can of soft drink a day, they could gain up to 15 pounds a year.
8. Do not skip meals. Skipping meals statistically does not show weight loss. In fact, people who skip meals end up gaining more weight because they often binge eat on the next meal. Instead choose a healthy low calorie snack such as fresh fruits, pretzels, unbuttered popcorn, graham crackers, celery sticks, baby carrots or grab a protein or granola bar.
9. Aim at having a regular eating schedule.
10. Commit to eating well for a healthier you in 2012 and years to come.