Heading into the end of January 2011 leaves me wondering about how many New Year’sresolutions to lose weight and be healthier have bit the dust. So many times you hear people’s well meaning proclamations to “clean the slate,” ” start a new diet,” “become a “new me” with the goal of being “bikini ready” by the summer!
As dietitians, we need to educate that lifestyle, not dieting, is the means to meeting and maintaining one’s goals. The following points are key to help guide you into a “Lifetime of Eating.”
- Moderation: Learning to use “moderation” when eating helps to keep from avoiding or overeating certain foods or food groups. Occasionally having that cookie, piece of cake, or whatever you have a craving for isokay. This is immensely helpful to avoid the feeling of being “deprived,” which can lead to overeating and bingeing. When using moderation, even a bite or two can tame those cravings!
- Variety: Eating food from all food groups is necessary to gain all the benefits that they each offer. Within those groups, fruits & veggies offer so many choices and can be promoted with the upcoming theme for National Nutrition Month: “Eat right with color.” Eating a variety of different food choices also helps from falling into the “food rut” of always eating the same foods. Variety and trying new foods can create excitement, and staves off the boredom of always eating the same things.
Portion Control: Knowing “portion size” is key in weight control. With foods in grocery stores, restaurants, and schools being “super-sized,” people have lost a sense of what their portion size is. It’s time to pull out the measuring spoons, measuring cups, and food scales, to bring people back to reality!
- Balance: This pertains to many areas. You want to balance your meals with healthy proteins, carbs, and fats, but you also need a good balance in life. Emotional eating and stress are such a huge part of bad eating habits and over-eating. Taking time for yourself to work on the areas that create stressors is very important. They include learning ways to cope without food, spending time with friends and family,creating different routines, and developing new habits. Which takes us to the next “key” area to a healthy lifestyle.
- Exercise: Exercise is for everybody! We know the benefits of exercise; it aids in weight loss, weight maintenance, body toning, maintaining and building muscle, improving one’s health, and dealing with stressors of life. Exercise needs to be incorporated into our daily life. We should plan our day not by asking “if” but “when” should I exercise today?
So as I head into 2011, my goal is to avoid making New Year’s resolutions by continuing to make “eating for alifetime” a part of my life!