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Ask a Dietitian: A Healthier You in the New Year

By Rachel Blundell MS, RD/LD

So it’s the New Year and you’re motivated to get healthy. Way to go! It’s important to remember that a healthy lifestyle isn’t a one-size fits all way of living. It isn’t about “yes” and “no” foods so try to avoid restrictive, fad diets or unrealistic goals. Being healthy is all about moderation, variety and fun!

Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your journey towards good health in 2012:

  • Plan to eat a little less. Portions sizes are huge these days so try to use a smaller plate, eat more slowly, avoid eating directly from packages and share a meal when eating out to help cut down your food intake.
  • Avoid skipping meals. When we skip a meal we tend to overeat later. Once the hunger kicks in we can justify just about anything – a second helping, a higher calorie selection, dessert, etc. So plan to eat a breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
  • Fill up half your plate with fruits and vegetables. These nutritious, fiber-rich foods help to fill us up with little calories. Try to stay clear of fruits with added sugars and vegetables with a lot of added fats (butter, cheese, full-fat dressings). If the only vegetables you eat are potatoes and corn, try to incorporate more colorful varieties like green beans, asparagus, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, beets, or any you like. For great recipes on how to prepare fruits and vegetables visit the cooking section of fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org.
  • Switch to whole grains. By choosing whole grains like 100% whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat pasta you’re getting more fiber which helps to fill you up and keep you feeling fuller longer. Fiber also helps to lower cholesterol so your heart will thank you!
  • Get moving. Physical activity is vital to leading a healthy lifestyle. Walking, biking, yoga, aerobics, and swimming are only a few of your options. Try to find something you enjoy and incorporate at least 30 minutes 4-6 days a week. You’ll feel great!

For nutritional counseling, Norman Regional Health System offers the guidance of registered dietitians. Those interested can schedule an appointment for an assessment with a referral from their family physician.

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Contact Kelly Wells
Norman Regional Health System

Office (405) 307.2143
Fax (405) 307.2144
Email NRHS_Corporate_Communications@nrh-ok.com